Courtesy of The Washington Blade
One of Washington D.C.’s most infamous gangs has turned from causing havoc on the street to owning their own business center.
The Check Its were a former gang of LGBTQ youth, mostly people of color, who started off joining together to protect one another. That then transitioned into being a notable gang that was known for disrupting the Chinatown section of D.C.
Throughout the years though, the gang has shaped up. Yesterday, they made a major step into being a legitimate organization working for the better good of LGBTQ youth of color in Washington D.C.
The Check Its opened up a center that will be the headquarters of Check It Enterprises, which is the name of their business venture.
The opening ceremony was attended by several political figures such as D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congressman Danny Davis, and Councilmember Trayon White.
Courtesy of The Check It Enterprises Facebook Page
The Check Its were able to make this new step in their lives with the help of Peaceaholics founder Ron Moten, and local community groups like Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative and the Getrude Stein Democratic Club.
Plus, they held several fundraisers like a fashion show and a Fish Fry.
This new center is located in Southeast D.C. and will be focused on designing and selling clothes.
In addition, the Check Its plan to give back to the community by offering the center for programs such as sex education classes, dance classes, sewing lessons, connections to counseling, and more.
Dominic Smith, the secretary at Check It Enterprises spoke to MetroWeekly and said:
“I feel proud of myself and my friends. I feel this is an opportunity for us to give back to the community, and to teach other kids about doing the right thing and having hope. I feel like good things will come from it.”
Also, Erica Briscoe who works for the Check Its said:
“I grew up thinking I would never be nothing in life, or do anything because of the poverty we were living in, so this is just tremendous for me to have something that I never thought I would ever do. I feel like this is a new opportunity for me to be successful in life, and I’m thankful for it.”