Gonzalo Rucobo

Founder, Bay Area Peacekeepers
Gonzalo Rucobo | Founder, Bay Area Peacekeepers
September 25, 2012 2:02:14 PM PDT
Gonzalo Rucobo grew up in Richmond, California and was once a gang member himself. As a kid, he glamorized the gang life that his cousins led. Then at age 12, after his parents got divorced and his father played only a part-time role in his life, he began "banging."

But in 1991, his wife and two baby daughters were shot at while she was driving his car. They were not hurt, but the event shook Rucobo.

Rucobo, who was a warehouse and mailroom worker at the Oakland Army Base, began working to bring kids off the street and into his church in his spare time. He got into music and helped organize concerts with old Latin rockers and new rap artists. At one show, they passed out brown rags for people to wear instead of blue and red, the gang colors. Soon, he began full time gang intervention work with Familias Unidas in schools, courts and community.

In 2000 Rucobo moved on to work at Centerforce at San Quentin State Prison with men returning to the greater bay area and moved up from case manager to program manager.

In 2005 Rucobo and Valerie Arce a longtime friend and mentee decided it was time to start a gang intervention program that would touch those individuals that the community and society had given up on. That's when Bay Area Peacekeepers was created.

During this time he started working with NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown, with the Amer-I-Can life skills program as their Northern California Regional Manager while continuing to build Bay Area Peacekeepers.

In 2006 Bay Area Peacekeepers Inc. received its 501 c3 status and started contracting with WCCUSD, City of Richmond and now with the City of San Pablo.

Because of his past, Rucobo has a network with gang members of all ages in the San Pablo and Richmond that he uses to keep a pulse on what's going on. Rucobo has been featured in several documentaries that can be found on the internet. He is also a part of many coalition and movements in Ending Child Incarceration. His work has been recognized by law enforcement, city and state officials, and multiple community based organizations around United States.

For more information: http://bayareapeacekeepers.org/


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