Alexandria Gang prevention Community Task Force Newsletter
  • Job Readiness - the Ethics Initiative.
    Jody Manor, owner of BittersweetJody Manor, owner of Bittersweet, discusses job readiness with T.C. Williams High School Students

    Jody Manor and patricia Washington Jody Manor, owner of Bitterwseet is joined by ACVA President and CEO, Patricia Washington, T.C. Williams Chef Craig Scheurmann and Sherri Chapman, Coordinator, Career & Technical Education at ACPS
    Since its formation in 2005, the Gang Task Force has formed several subcommittees to deal with a number of issues. One of those subcommittees was tasked to work on improving graduation rates. After some work and research, the committee decided their work should be expanded to also include youth job readiness. At that time, Greg Hudgins, the Chair-Elect of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB), and an organization development expert and consultant, joined our research and discussions after participating in the Alexandria Citizen's Academy (now Alexandria City Academy).

    Although the focus had been on job creation, research revealed that, during one summer, about 80 percent of students eligible to be hired for employment through a Joblink program failed the ethics exam and could not be hired. Job creation was still essential, but it was clear that the focus had to expand to also include attaining and maintaining employment.

    The subcommittee consulted with Alexandria City Public Schools and learned that the State is taking the issue seriously: 21 "workplace readiness skills" are now being taught in technical education classes. It was learned that some businesses are interested in assisting with these lessons and, after meeting with the WIB and school systems, educators recognized great value in their potential contributions.

    Jody Manor, owner of Bittersweet Catering~Café~Bakery in Old Town Alexandria, was among the first business owners to agree to help. On March 7, the pilot program brought 20 culinary-arts students to Bittersweet for a "real-world" education, under the leadership of Chef Craig Scheuermann.

    To learn more about this initiative, please contact Mike Mackey at, or 703.746.4144 or Greg Hudgins, MSOD, at:

    G R E G W. H U D G I N S - MSOD
    Organization Development Consultant

  • Servant Forge Humanitarian BallServant Forge Humanitarian Ball
    The Servant Forge Humanitarian Inaugural Ball was held on Sunday, January 20, in National Airport's Historic Terminal A. The Ball, hosted by founding Gang Task Force member, Jim Copple, and his wife, Colleen Copple, focused on the needs of those across the globe who are marginalized by abuse, neglect and indifference. All proceeds from the event – Wings of Hope: Empowerment and a Voice for Women from King Street to Kenya - went to support many gender-based violence prevention and intervention programs, including Alexandria's Domestic Violence Program and Sexual Assault Center, the Alexandria Mentoring Partnership, the SOHO-Space of Her Own creative mentorship program and the Gang Prevention, Intervention and Prevention and Education Program

    For more information about Servant Forge and how you can help, go to:

  • The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership (AMP)
    The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership (AMP) held its regular recruitment and information session in February and 60 community members attended the event. The AMP's 11 programs are continually in need of more mentors (there are always more children than adults).

    Research has proven that mentoring – an adult spending time with a child – increases protective factors associated with youth development, and decreases risk factors associated with substance abuse, teen pregnancy, poor school performance and criminal or gang involvement. Consider spending some time with a young person.

    Mentor a child. Change two lives. Go to for more information. Click here for the program flyer.
  • Jody Manor, owner of BittersweetMike Mackey addresses international audience at the Institute of Peace Conference on Counter-terrorism.

    Howell Crimm addresses international groupAlexandria Seaport Foundation's Howell Crim addresses international group from the Institute of Peace Conference on Counter-terrorism during a tour of "a program that works".
    Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force and City of Alexandria Initiatives Highlighted at National Trainings
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) invited members of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force to present information to the Central American Community Impact Exchange (CACIE) program at the FBI on March 14.

    CACIE is a joint FBI, Department of State, and White House National Security Staff (NSS) initiative that helps Central American countries develop community impact programs. The initiative is designed to promote community action plans and facilitate a dialogue between Central American community leaders, law enforcement and their U.S. counterparts. The CACIE program trained 20 participants from Central America and the United States over a period of two weeks, allowing international community leaders and partners to travel to two to three pre-determined U.S. cities and one Central American city. Alexandria's Gang Prevention Coordinator, Mike Mackey, joined colleagues from the National Capital region to present local initiatives.

    Mackey and Meredith McKeen, Program Manager for the gang Intervention Prevention Education (IPE) program, shared local strategies and initiatives at the United States Institute of Peace Countering Violent Extremism Working Group on March 21. This initiative, through the State Department, was followed by a tour of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation and included representatives from around the globe.

  • Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Service Unit, Department of Community and Human Services and Best Practices Court Hosts Training on Human Trafficking
    One hundred and seventy five professionals from the City attended training on Human Trafficking on May 7.  Speakers included a detective from the regional human trafficking task force, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jim Copple of Strategic Applications International, and Meredith McKeen from Northern Virginia Family Service.  The afternoon also included a special training on local resources.  For more information and training on human trafficking, contact Mike Mackey at , or 703.746.4144.

  • Jody Manor, owner of Bittersweet
    Alexandria Gang Prevention Community Task Force holds quarterly meeting at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch
    The Task Force held its regular quarterly meeting at the Boys and Girls Club (at 401 N Payne St Alexandria, VA 22314) on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Members were provided with a welcome, overview, and tour of the Club by President Clark Miller and Branch Director, Chad Merica. Discussion included the Club's many supports and resources that are provided to youth and families on a daily basis and how its great work pares very well with the initiatives of the Task Force. Future collaboration includes coordinated efforts for National Night Out and education and support classes for parents. For more information on the Boys and Girls Club in Alexandria, go to

  • Save the Date!
    Please join in for National Night Out - Tuesday, August 6, 2013, as our community joins others across the country in celebration of crime prevention. Contact for more information!

  • Violence and its Impact on Children: How Do We Respond?
    Thursday, June 13 - 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
    Charles Houston Recreation Center
    905 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

    Giordana De Altin Popiolek, a clinical psychologist with the Department of Community and Human Services, who has worked with children and adolescents, will present information on this topic and address questions posed by community members. Check the program flyer for more information.

  • Members:
    Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg (Co-Chair)
    Councilman John Taylor Chapman (Co-Chair)
    Ms. Ronnie Campbell (ACPS School Board)
    Ms. Michele Evans (City Manager’s Office)
    Mr. Michael Cohen (Associate Principal, T.C. Williams High School, Minnie Howard Campus)
    Ms. Patricia Williamson (Middle School Representative - Francis C. Hammond I - Associate Principal)
    Ms. Susan Stickles (Elementary School Representative - Technology Integration Specialist)
    Ms. Bonnie Baxley (Director - Community Lodgings, Inc.)
    Mr. James Williams (NAACP)
    Mr. Merlin Alvarado (Youth representative)
    Mr. Steven Jansen (Vice President/COO - Association of Prosecuting Attorneys - Member, At-Large)
    Ms. Claritza “Cathy” Santiago - Parent Representative
    Ms. Erin O’Leary - Representative of Private Schools - Bishop Ireton H.S. Director of Counseling Services
    Mr. Michael Johnson - Attorney/Business Representative
    Mr. Noah Ray (Youth Representative)

    Mike Mackey (staff) - call 703.746.4144 or email