#LeakAwards2020 Community Impact Honoree: Terrance Hood.
Can you tell us about yourself and your organization?
My name is Terrance Hood. My organization is Hood2Hood, it’s a nonprofit organization. Hood2Hood stems from B4UFall under the tutelage of Shane Shepherd. I saw a great way to reach these kids. I figured you know me being beside him I can do my own thing. I created Hood2Hood from the Haughville area. I came up impoverished like everybody else. I made bad decisions and did 13 years in prison. I came home and seen a lot of the murders going on in the city. I wondered if I could be somebody that the kids could look up to and somebody that could reach the kids so I started Hood2Hood.
What we try to do is teach the kids conflict resolution and teach them better ways to handle situations. Better ways to look at situations so it doesn’t always have to be guns first or fight first. It’s ok to talk your way through it. It’s ok to think different and have adverse opinions about what’s going on out here. That’s what Hood2Hood stand for. We just gone try to change a few kids lives out there. That’s enough for me. Do the right thing because they got somebody to look up to. That’s what Hood2Hood stands for.
What made you change your life? I think the moment that really made me change was 2018. I came home from prison and I realized how lost I was. I realized how the game was different, everybody thought different, and everybody act different. I also realized how kids have zero value for life when they were in the same game I was in. To see so many kids die! It was 6 murders in one weekend. I was like I got a voice, I can use my voice for the good. I don’t always have to be the chessmaster to the street dudes. Let me try to get into these neighborhoods with these same kids that look like me, look like my daughter, and look like my son and try to change them. That was the mission.
How have people said they were impacted by your work? A lot of people tell me how Hood2Hood changed their mindset. How the kids look at me and come say “Man I just wanna be just like you. If you can change and be coo then I can change and be coo.” They tell me they came up the same way I came up. They play on the same basketball court that I played on. What can they do to not walk down the road that I walked down. I tell them all the time change and mistakes are inevitable. It happens. That’s just the way the game goes. When a kid comes to me and says my words touch them it means more to me then anything else. I also let them know some of y’all situations I can’t change. I can only give you game and help inspire you to change. It’s the best feeling in the world when I know that I come from where they come from and I made it out.
Before I made it out of there I fell the same way they most likely gone fall. Prison, jail, boy school, juvenile, and group homes. So to hear a young black man say you somebody I can look up to. You somebody that’s coo to me even though you got a job, even though you ain’t grinding, even though you working a 9-5. Thats still coo to me cause I know you come from from where I come from. If I can inspire that’s success to me. That’s what motivates me.
How do you think we can fight recidivism? It doesn’t matter how much you love somebody if you’re not putting them in a position to win then they’re going to go back to the same thing that got them in there. You always have to remember that it's not set for you to succeed. They make money off of you when you go to prison. They make money when you need a DOC number. They wanna keep you in prison. It’s on you to be strong minded and be smart to understand that I got a daughter out here, I got a son out here, or I got a family out here I don’t want to go back to prison. It starts with you. They only give you so many programs for you to succeed.
It’s all about humbling yourself. The recidivism rate can change if, number one, you humble yourself. A lot of dudes don’t wanna catch the bus. A lot of dudes say it’s beneath them to get on the metro. We have no choice if this the situation you’re put in. So the way to change the recidivism rate is to change your mindset before you get out of prison. Understand it’s different when you come home from prison and understand that they don’t have a lot of programs for you. The programs that they do have you have to follow them programs. What I would do to change it is I would just make it to where education is a must while you’re in there. So when you come home you can already have your GED and be able to jump into a trade. You can enroll into Ivy Tech when you come home. So get your education while you’re in there. Get a trade when you come home and that helps our recidivism rate right there.
What does receiving a Leak Award mean to you? To be receiving a community impact honor award …man I can’t explain it. It’s the biggest award ever to me. I’m humble, I’m appreciative of it. To be known and to be acknowledged for what I’m doing to my community. I think you have to be where I been to feel the excitement.
FB: Terrance Hood IG: @Dusty_THood