Entertainment

Rapper The Game organizes L.A. gang summit

Rapper The Game is leading a summit with Los Angeles-area gang members to discuss ways to curb violence.

Word went out on social media, inviting street gang members to a town hall-style meeting

Rapper The Game, left, who joined Snoop Dogg (centre) to lead a peaceful march July 8 outside of the graduation ceremony for the latest class of L.A. police recruits, organized a meeting for street gang members Sunday. (Richard Vogel/Associated Press)

An overflow crowd has gathered Sunday at a community centre in south Los Angeles for an anti-gang summit organized by rapper The Game.

The Game called the town hall-style meeting with Los Angeles-area gang members to discuss ways to curb violence.

He put the word out last week on social media, inviting leaders of the Crips, Bloods and other street gangs to come together for Time To Unite: United Hoods + Gangs Nation.

L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck, performer will i.am, along with anti-gang activists and gang members were inside the centre. Outside, the crowd was peaceful and water was being handed out to help battle the heat.

Beck said the meeting was a step in the right direction toward peace, especially considering the police shootings Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Game, who hails from nearby Compton, says he wants men to have a much-needed conversation about their influence on young people and how to serve as better role models.

"Because the sad truth that no one wants to face is, before we can get our lives to matter to anyone else ... We have to show that our lives matter to us," he wrote on Instagram July 14.

Earlier this month, The Game and Snoop Dogg led a peaceful march to Los Angeles police headquarters, where they met with the mayor and police chief and urged improved relations between authorities and minority communities.

The rappers are among many activists and celebrities calling for change following the police-related killings of black men nationwide and the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas by a lone gunman motivated by racial hatred.

now