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Squashing ‘Beefs’ City By City With Conflict Resolution

By Rhodesia Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Apr 20, 2016 - 7:53:42 PM

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Everyone receives certificates for completing Conflict Resolution training. Photos:Walter Umrani

NEW ORLEANS— Student Minister Willie Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 46 of the Nation of Islam has not slowed down in carrying out the orders of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to establish Conflict Resolution Centers (CRC) in Black communities throughout America. On April 9, Student Minister Willie Muhammad and members of the New Orleans Justice Or Else Local Organizing Committee traveled to Mobile, Alabama, to aid Student Minister James Muhammad in setting up a CRC in his city. The CRC model was developed by the New Orleans Peacekeepers and spearheaded by Captain Dennis Muhammad, a longtime helper of Min. Farrakhan.
Mediation training

The New Orleans Peacekeepers have been very successful in resolving conflicts in their city and are responsible for squashing nearly 30 beefs to date. Following the October 10 “Justice Or Else!” gathering in Washington, D.C., Willie Muhammad and Jesse Muhammad teamed up to assist other cities in developing their own Conflict Resolution Centers by organizing a telephone conference. As a result, 38 cities, including Atlanta, Houston, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Baltimore expressed interest in establishing a CRC. Eleven of those cities have already formed their mediation team, which has resulted in nine successful mediations.

“The day after the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered his Oct. 18 message titled, ‘The Way Forward’, I was blessed to meet with him,” said Jesse Muhammad, who facilitates social media for The Final Call newspaper and also Min. Farrakhan. “During our discussion, I shared with him the successful conflict resolution work being done by Student Minister Willie Muhammad and those striving to stop the beefs—as he instructed—in New Orleans,” said Jesse Muhammad.

“I showed the Minister a slide presentation from Brother Willie that outlined how they set up the conflict resolution center, informed him about the national ‘Justice Or Else’ training conference call we did and the feedback. Minister Farrakhan was very happy over what he saw. It is the type of follow-up action he has been looking for since 10.10.15. He said it is a model that we should use across the country and that Brother Willie would be great to spearhead the national effort because they have a proven track record in stopping the beefs,” he continued.

Student Minister Willie Muhammad said that he strives to the best of his ability to carry out the ideas Min. Farrakhan expresses to Black, Latino and Indigenous communities. “As you know, Min. Farrakhan said that we need to set up Conflict Resolution Centers in every city to help reduce violence. That’s all I needed to hear, so we moved out on his directives,” he explained.

Student Minister Willie Muhammad administering mediation training.

“I want to be with those who want to make the Minister’s word bond. Thus, we want to help cities implement this initiative properly in their city and allow them to learn from our experiences so they can accomplish even more,” he added.

It was necessary for us to set up a Conflict Resolution Center because of the crime in Mobile, explained Student Minister James Muhammad. “In 2014, the FBI report listed Prichard, Alabama (a city about four miles from Mobile) as one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Our Student Captain Preston X reached out to Min. Willie on social media to organize a day to have the mediation training.”

After seeing a flyer about a conference call titled, “The War on Two Fronts,” by Willie Muhammad, Student Minister James Muhammad, called in to hear what needed to be implemented to begin the process of starting a CRC in his city, said Preston X, a Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) Student Captain. The F.O.I. are the men of the Nation of Islam.

“We had already hosted a community meeting regarding the 10,000 Fearless and we contacted those same people to help in creating our mediation team,” he said.

Flyer for Beef Mediation
Members of the Nation of Islam and diverse community members attended the training. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour training that covers the history of the initiative, explanation of what conflict is, the intervention process, mediation procedure, role of mediators, and how to implement it in a city. At the end of the training, a test is given on all of the info. And a certificate is awarded to all those who pass.

Calvin X, member of the New Orleans LOC, helps to train people on proper mediation and ways to resolve conflict. “The training went extremely well,” he commented. “Everyone seemed enthusiastic about what they learned and ready to take responsibility for their community.”

“It wasn’t a good hour after the training that I received a phone call from a brother I had known for years,” said Vaughnie Davis, known in the streets as Veto Resurrected. “He was being accused of shooting someone. He wanted me to talk to the brother that had been shot to let him know that he wasn’t responsible for the shooting,” he continued.

“I knew both parties involved, so I and Brother Preston visited the brother who had been shot six times. He wasn’t willing to sit down with the brother he felt shot him, but he did agree to not retaliate.”

Mr. Davis went on to say how beneficial the training was in mediating this beef. He had already initiated an organization called “The White Flag Movement Cease Fire in the Hood” and felt that this Conflict Resolution Center would further aid in saving neighborhoods in the community.

“The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said that we have to be saviours to our people,” said Student Minister James Muhammad. “It’s time for us to start accepting responsibility for our communities and we truly appreciate Min. Willie and all of the brothers for coming down and training us on conflict resolution.”