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Release: Immediate

Former gang member speaks at UI Feb. 25

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Rudolph "Rockhead" Johnson, former member of the Los Angeles Compton Crips street gang, will discuss solutions to gang violence at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the University of Iowa College of Law.

Johnson, who is executive coordinator of the gang intervention program Amer-I-Can will present the talk, "America's Gang Dilemma: Getting to REAL Solutions," in the Levitt Auditorium of the Boyd Law Building.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Iowa Student Bar Association and the Iowa chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild. Johnson will also take audience questions after the presentation.

Amer-I-Can was founded in 1988 by National Football League Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown as a program designed to give gang members, former convicts and other troubled youth alternatives to a life of crime. The program emphasizes education, self-pride and personal responsibility.

Brown has visited the Iowa several times in the past 10 years to work with Adrien Wing, a UI professor or law who has helped advise Brown on establishing Amer-I-Can chapters in Iowa and the Midwest. Wing is also co-writing a biography of Johnson and is writing a book on gang intervention with Brown.

Born in 1963, Johnson spent 20 years in various California prisons and youth offender programs, including several years in solitary confinement. He joined Amer-I-Can after he was fired from a job in 1990 because of his criminal record.

He is a trained facilitator in the program.

Persons who need special accommodations to participate in this program should contact the College of Law at 335-9034.