About Alive & Free
What is Alive & Free?
Alive & Free is the name of the violence prevention prescription of the Omega Boys Club/Street soldiers-a nationally recognized youth development and violence prevention organization headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Co-founded in 1987 by Dr. Joseph E. Marshall Jr., Omega's mission is to keep young people alive (unharmed by violence) and free (from incarceration).
Alive & Free campaign poster
What is the history and background of the Alive & Free Movement?
The Alive & Free Movement was created by Dr. Marshall in 2006 in response to the increasing numbers of inner city youth dropping out of school and being incarcerated or killed. In Birmingham, Alabama in 2006, the Movement was officially launched at the first Alive & Free National Conference. The second Alive & Free National Conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland in 2008. The third National Conference was held in Seattle, WA in 2010. The Movement focuses on recruiting, teaching and developing street soldiers — people committed to eliminating violence in their own lives and in their communities.
What is the Alive & Free Prescription?
At the heart of the Alive & Free Prescription is the notion that violence is a social disease with an explicit treatment process. The disease is transmitted by the germs of bad information, bad instruction, bad advice, and bad example that to young people appear to be good. Youth are exposed to these germs via their families, peers and neighborhoods; and through music, television, video games, and movies. The disease appears as techniques for survival when, in fact, the opposite is true. Infected youth do not survive, they only learn how to die or go to prison. The Alive & Free Prescription works to change beliefs, attitudes, values and actions that promote violence.
Who is the Alive & Free Prescription designed for?
The Alive & Free Prescription is designed for anyone interested in helping young people stay alive and free. There are more than 60 projects nationwide who employ it. The Alive & Free Prescription is utilized in detention facilities, schools, community based organizations, after school programs; and in treatment facilities. The city of San Francisco has adopted the Alive & Free prescription as its uniform violence prevention philosophy.
How effective is the Alive & Free Prescription?
Evidence that this prescription reduces violence comes from 18 years of anecdotal data and formal program evaluation. Since 1987, nearly 100% of the youth who have actively used the prescription have remained alive and free. Many are youth who were involved in the drug trade, gangs, or other violence-prone lifestyles. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has identified the Alive & Free Prescription as one of the most 15 promising models across the nation.
What is the Street Soldiers National Consortium?
The Street Soldiers National Consortium is a group of organizations that have been trained in and use the Alive & Free Prescription to prevent violence in their communities. The Consortium seeks to find and develop new street soldiers. The Consortium President is Dr. Joseph Marshall.