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Thell Robinson, A Thug is a Dud, Columbus, Ohio

Mediating violent conflicts, helping gang members create productive lives.

Tags: Social Justice, Human Rights

Thell Robinson memeThell Robinson is the founder of A Thug is a Dud in Columbus, Ohio. In the past year alone, this 100% community-based anti-gang program has successfully mediated 38 high intensity, violent conflicts between gangs in Columbus’ East Side. They mentored and trained 23 violent youth, the majority of whom used the program’s ongoing support to find jobs, leave gangs and/or continue their education.

What is most compelling about Thell’s program is that is run and operated by former felons and former gang members. They do not collaborate with police or government agencies, and their primary strategy is earning and maintaining the community’s trust, which is likely the secret of their success.

Their 2015 operating budget was under $10K but their team could easily handle a $50-100K budget in 2016. With a budget of this level, they can expand their team on the streets, provide more training programs for youth wanting to leave gangs, and mediate even more conflicts in Columbus.


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