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Best Activist San Francisco 2008 - Rudy Corpuz Jr.

Readers' Choice: Matt Gonzalez

Corpuz is the founder of United Playaz, the 14-year-old gang prevention and antiviolence organization with a sister chapter in the Bronx and a motto of "It takes the hood to save the hood." Corpuz has a track record for reaching both at-risk youth and adult ex-cons, because he once lived the violent life of the streets and suffered the incarcerated consequences. He also has a gift of gab that compels people to listen. The conventional "scared straight" approach isn't part of his strategy, though he does lead teens on eye-opening field trips to San Quentin and San Francisco State University for a firsthand look at the polar extremes of their future options. The Safety Network gave one of its 2008 Community Leadership Awards to Corpuz for improving public safety in San Francisco's southern districts, but his positive impact stretches even beyond city limits.

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DannyCebato1944
DannyCebato1944

 My advice would be that the next time you want to teach kids, don't catagorize them as troubled and don't label them as at risk, it makes them live up to that title and it's too obvious to me that when you spell the organization with the Z instead of an S at the end that you are replicating the very gangs that don't spell out words properly. Kids deserve the highest level of education and professionalism, no one will take them seriously if they are taught this way. As a Filipino American, I know this is a white world, being a gangster, and talking about the hood, is the very standard of poor blacks in America, who refuse to wake up and act professional and humble. My sons come first and if I put them through my own teaching of white american standards they will get the jobs before the rest of those kids their do.

DannyCebato1944
DannyCebato1944

 Not really impressed, as a Filipino, I am wondering why most of the men here want to be gangsters and then imposethis concept on my sons. They came home talking like some kind of black man on the street corner, I'm done with this, I sent my sons back home to get good quality education, when they come back after 12 years their skills and abilities will be above standards. Since when did printing "It takes the hood to save the hood" on black hooded sweaters, to convey peace, it's almost like creating a gang their only in a different form, with the perception of "peace". I had to rediscipline my sons after taking them here, just sad.

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Bill Schwalb
Bill Schwalb

I've known Rudy Corpuz, (best activist- 2008) for a dozen years. United Playaz is an outstanding group working with at risk youth. He, United Playaz ( & his brothers, too!) are doing righteous work, helping youth find better paths and giving an opportunity to those who've been incarcerated to make positive contributions to others.

You want to support youth, give them wider and better horizons? Get involved, support and donate to United Playaz! www.unitedplayaz.org

Yours for Justice,

Bill Schwalb, former youth development worker3680 1/2 20th St.san Francisco, CA 94110

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