Keep It Real, LA

Location: Los Angeles, USA
Combat sport: Boxing
Focus issues: violence prevention, youth leadership
Target Group: Young people ages 5-18, who are affected violence and gang activities
Established: 1996
Joined the FFP Alumni: 2011
Contact: Lloyd Wilkey

Keep it Real is a community based violence prevention and youth leadership program. They work with young people in three communities; Inglewood, Long Beach, and Hollywood, and they deliver additional specialized programmes in schools and juvenile detention facilities.

The Keep it Real combines boxing training with mentoring and group dialogue to help young people work through sporting and personal challenges. The curriculum helps young people to manage anger, use strategy, and adapt to emerging situations, and to build fundamental skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication that help them become less likely to engage in risky behaviors or be the target of aggressors, and to become leaders of their community.

Ultimately Keep it Real is about helping young local leaders to emerge. Every session begins with a class coming together to pledge: ‘As a warrior I’m responsible to take care of three things: myself, my family, and my community’. This programme is about building the essential characteristics of effective, conscious, and moral leadership and encouraging young people to practice leadership in their daily lives.