Eugene Rivers and Ray Hammond, starting over again

Revs Ray Hammond and Eugene Rivers

This is one of those moments where I am most proud of these two.  As you know, I helped to start the Boston TenPoint Coalition with these two gentlemen and the Rev. Sam Wood in 1992.  Together we were a part of a movement in the city that saw the homicide rate drop by 79% over the course of the 90s, with a 29-month period that saw ZERO juvenile homicides (significant because most of the shootings in the early 90s were of young juvenile youth).  Gene and Ray represented the visible leadership of that group.  Success, however, raised its ugly head, if you will, and the ensuing clash of egos and agendas tore these two guys apart.  During that tense time I spent much of it trying to keep it together, but I wasn’t superman…

But what you see in this photo is not a fake picture.  It is actually two preachers publicly coming together in reconciliation over the bad blood that existed between them.  They reasoned, how can we keep conflict between us, then try to tell the youth to be peaceable at the same time.  So, in an act of real leadership, they decided to broker a truce between them.  It served as a model for some of us there.  Sure there are skeptics, but because I know the heart of these two men, I know that its real.  Couldn’t be more proud of them in that moment…

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