and Saving Our Selves (SOS) Launch Strategic Alliance For Community Development is pleased to announce the participation of Saving Our Selves (SOS), the powerful gang conflict intermediation and youth leadership organization based in Newark, New Jersey, in its upcoming annual gathering in Washington, D.C. Members of SOS will be attending the website's "Business and Building" Weekend from October 26th to the 28th in Washington, D.C. to network, dialogue, plan and advise on a possible Community Development Initiative to be launched and supported by the website's national and international audience.

The weekend gathering and meeting is the first step of an alliance between the website and street communities, established by Publisher, Cedric Muhammad and SOS President, Marcellus "Bishop" Allen.

"I'd like to think of as part of the Air Force and Saving Our Selves as part of the Army in the battle to develop our communities and rebuild our wasted cities," Cedric Muhammad explains.

SOS - founded by members of the Bloods and Crips street organizations - was instrumental in establishing a cease-fire in the Spring of 2004, during an increase in violence in the city of Newark. At a historic May 21, 2004 gathering, at the offices of the Newark Housing Authority, with community activists, spiritual leaders, politicians, teachers and others present, leaders from both street organizations signed a peace agreement pledging to not engage in detrimental behavior in certain areas, and near schools and churches.

Since that time, SOS has been instrumental in providing conflict mediation and counseling to youth; and in connecting Members of Street organizations to educational resources and employment opportunities. As a result, the organization has earned the respect of ex-offenders, government officials, the youth and community leaders.

"The inception of Saving Our Selves was based on the sole principle of building up that which we destroyed - giving back and building stronger. In that, it is a pleasure to begin this alliance with and start the process of healing our communities," said Marcellus "Bishop" Allen, President of Saving Our Selves.

"We've been looking to form a possible alliance in our yet-to-be-decided Community Development Initiative Area, that would allow us to respond to issues pertaining to Ex-Offenders, Unemployed Youth, Members of Street Organizations and the Homeless. The Brothers and Sisters in Saving Our Selves (SOS) have the experience, dedication, love, and street credibility that is lacking in so many other groups who advertise themselves as addressing these issues, but who fall short in reaching those most at-risk. We are honored that Bishop and Members of the SOS family will be joining us for a heart-to-heart dialogue and decision-making process that can help us arrive at a great strategy and action steps. We are not only looking to support existing work, already taking place on the ground, but to also offer some innovative approaches in order to fill in some gaps," said Cedric Muhammad, Publisher of (

The "Business and Building" Community is made up of entrepreneurs, activists, professionals, teachers, artists, students and intellectuals drawn from the website's larger viewing audience. The Community was launched in October of 2006 and is establishing Initiatives in Four Areas: international Affairs, Political Action, Business and Investment, and Community Development.

In International Affairs the Community is launching a "United States of Africa-Diaspora Advocacy Group." In the area of Business and Investment, the group is launching a Black-Owned Bank Initiative and Investment Club.

To learn more about the "Business and Building" Community and its upcoming gathering please visit:

Billboard Announcement:

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Event Itinerary

Wednesday, October 10, 2007