GANG LEADERS meet TIM & ADAM DRAPER in their Silicon Valley Hood and walk on TONY ROBBINS Turf of Fire at UPW
"One Man Can Change the World"
Imagine gunshots in your town. Gangs. Crips. Bloods. Gangsta Disciples. Crime. Violence. Pain. Fear.
Now, imagine those gangs meeting in peace.
Enter George Taylor – Super Hero, Game Changer, Successful Start Up Entrepreneur and founder of Untappd, the most popular and successful beer app in the world.
George had enough of the violence, fear and pain in his community. He decided to change the game. Enter TRU COLORS – his vision of change. George is living proof that one man can truly change the world, one gang leader at a time.
His decision and inspiration has transformed gang violence and conflict into "TRU" Truth, Responsibility, Unity.
Even the United Nations is featuring them in a documentary on September 11th.
WATCH THIS VIDEO and be inspired by George Taylor's story of TRU COLORS.
I stepped into the TRU Colors world in 2017 when a startup hero entrepreneur from Draper University, Disha Shidham, called to me come and teach my Game Changer leadership program to this extraordinary group in North Carolina.
I didn’t know what to expect. I called my kick ass colleague Felix Lin (who changes lives of youth and entrepreneurs with his energy, passion and power!). Of course we said YES!
Off we went to serve these gangs. We both could not have imagined the world we were about to enter.
In 2017 George had 12 gang leaders go through a 5-week course to teach them fundamentals of business and entrepreneurship. We arrived near the end of the 5 weeks. I remember walking into a room seeing some pretty heavily tatted guys, who are looking, well, pretty hard. In talking with them, one was just released from prison after being in for 10 years, another is still wearing his ankle monitor, another shot and killed the best friend of the guy sitting across from him. Most of them have been in prison. Many have been shot. All have had friends shot and killed. Many have shot at others. Yet leaders from 3 gangs came to TRU Colors together to find peace, respect and possibility. These are the Bloods, Crips and Gangster Disciples (GDs), with over 800+ gang members under them in the Wilmington area.
We truly had a game changer journey that day in 2017 digging deep into the themes of their lives, their magical moments and frankly some very dark challenging moments. It was a bit surreal to see and experience the emotions, depth of thinking and resourcefulness of these men. Their desire to breakthrough to a better life for themselves, their gangs and their families was palpable.
During our recent visit to Tru Colors this year, we worked with both the gang leaders and the apprentices. They shared the stories of the dark and light of their lives. Tears, joy, pain, respect.
Does it get much better? Well, in the middle of the day, three of them ran out the front door to stop a gun fight in their hood. How can I say... out of the box moment? Those three gang members even came back to finish the day.
Truly a vision of passion, respect and dedication expressed by George Taylor and these inspiring gang leaders.
Wow! Up until now I could never have imagined using that phrase, “inspiring gang leaders…”
Since our first meeting, the TRU Colors continues to grow. They now have a thriving apprentice program for gang members to work in companies in the community after completing a rigorous training initiation. Companies have been welcoming to different degrees. You have to understand, there are very few companies who are willing to hire felons, especially felons who are gang members. Know that every one of these guys are tagged that way in the system. They would need to work in lower end jobs, and that is their only means of making money for their families. Even if they go clean, the odds are so against them, many have to go back to dealing drugs, because it is a quick fix to their economic problems, and they’ve lived that model their whole lives.
And yet many have joined TRU Colors… a light into a better life. Some of have bought in to George’s vision, they have put faith into it because they see that this is a HUGE opportunity for them to actually have a CAREER. Something that we might take for granted, they can’t. Some are still skeptical, some think George may be still working undercover for the cops or the feds. I learned to be careful with my language in my session. At one point, I was teaching them to pay attention to the words people use. I said, “be a language detective” and the guys responded, “Gina – don’t say detective around us.” We all laughed together. And, I noted the lesson... Time to watch my own language.
And we went on to teach them the Ho’oponopono, a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. And it blew our mind that they just got it. I designed part of that exercise so that they had to sit facing another gang member they did not know well. Then they had to lock eye contact, not talking, but showing them with your eyes “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you” for 10 minutes. Imagine 10 minutes of looking into one of your rivals eyes and looking for their deepest pains, their greatest moments, their pride, their sadness. It was a moment I will never forget.
After the event, George Taylor and I went to dinner and he asked me, "What did you do to my guys? After your session today, they walked out of the building, hugged me and said, 'I love you, thank you George. I am not a guy that hugs." Until now...
TRU Colors is hosting more and more public events to shift the stereotypes of gangs. They continue to create their signature beer under the TRU Colors brand name. They have even caught the attention of the United Nations who will be featuring them in coming months.
These guys are changing the face of gang culture. Know that to work at TRU Colors these gang leaders MUST stay in their gangs and continue to work to transform the gang members lives every day.
Are you ready to say WOW!
WATCH THIS VIDEO of gang leader Cory and his journey from Blanco to Blanc … from gang leader to aspiring entrepreneur leading other gang members into the world of startup business.
Know that Cory is a deep thinker and mindful of his words. He is the type of man that you want next to you in a crisis. Calm, focused and powerful. The kind of leader that could always assess a situation and make a clear decision based on the data around him. He is completely immersed in the Tru Colors culture and leads marketing. He is well known in Wilmington and I remember leaving a gift for him at the hotel with a note for “Blanc” and one of the bellman asking if it was for the real “Blanco.” I replied Yes and he responded with his own form of “Wow.”
Stay tuned for more inspiring gang stories from the other leaders at Tru Colors - Dune, Pres (formerly known as Juan), Beez, Steve and others.
Since our first trip to Wilmington last year, we have been back to work with the TRU Colors leaders and apprentices, teaching the power of the mind and specific leadership strategies. Understanding and appreciating their world has been one of the most profound magical moments in my life.
In April, they came to Draper University for our event - a Taste of Silicon Valley where they met Silicon Valley Icons Tim and Adam Draper, two Silicon Valley venture capitalists and game changers who create and support entrepreneurial start up heroes all around the world. Adam is the founder of Boost VC, a firm who invests in startups who make Sc-Fi a reality! Adam provided this group with true startup hero advice when he said, "Remember to start a movement, not a business!" DONE... Tru Colors is a movement heading worldwide. I was recently in Europe where I spoke to people about the gangs in their city and they want Tru Colors to come asap.
Tim Draper is a Silicon Valley Icon who has created an entire ecosystem of startup heroes around the globe. Tim inspired them and shared that they all could be Start Up Heroes right now! Check out Tim's Book, How to be a Start Up Hero. Tim's wisdom continues to change lives through the his entire Draper Ecosystem around the world and the exclusive entrepreneurial and executive programs at Draper University. Tim is truly known for his zany antics, his out of the box dancing and most recently his personally written rap song, "the Bitcoin Hustle." You never really know what Tim will do next, but you can be sure it will surely lead to something better for this world.
The next day the Tru Colors crew stepped into Tony Robbins world at his Unleash the Power Within weekend program. They are still blown away by their breakthrough experience with Tony. Know that Tony Robbins is the ultimate game changer and he impacted George and these guys on a level no one could have expected. Ok - George was REALLY skeptical and almost didn't go!
On a personal note, Tony has had a HUGE impact in my life over the last 15 years. His wisdom, love and deep care for people have helped me create a kick ass business and mission, a passionate and loving relationship with my magnificent husband, ultimate health and radiance in my body, and the life of my dreams! Thank you Tony!
READ BELOW the recap George wrote about their breakthrough journey through ice and fire while in California…
Watch out world – TRU Colors is thinking BIG! They are planning events all over the country and will be in your city soon! Cheers to the TRU Colors Brews and to their mission!
Be Well, Be Joyful, Be Inspired…
Have a Beautiful Day…
Gina Kloes, founder of Inner Tech, is a Game Changer, Leadership Expert, award winning author & Peak Performance Strategist.
She ignites the entrepreneurial spirit, unleashes passion and accelerates success for entrepreneurs, executives and elite teams around the globe.
As an international thought leader, Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship Mentor, Tony Robbins Trainer, & Deepak Chopra Vedic Master Educator, she is a catalyst for exponential leadership, massive joy and creating lives and business enterprises we are proud to pass on to future generations.