Bo Taylor and Kenny Smith met on the campus of LA High School in the early 1980’s. Bo lived in the Midtown area of Los Angeles sometimes referred to as St. Elmo Village, while Kenny lived just one mile east in the Arlington Heights area. Both were avid body builders and would often work out together. Although the two became great friends, the communities in which they lived had already began a civil war that would eventually lead to a high number of gang related shootings and homicides lasting over 20 years.
After the civil unrest of 1992, and only hours after the city stopped burning and released its mandated curfew, Bo Taylor decided to mediate a truce between his Midtown areas Crip’s with the neighboring Arlington Heights Bloods. This was the seed Bo planted in the minds of many. As it was a difficult task for some to heal and forgive the years of violence that had been afflicted upon the communities, others saw the opportunity to redirect the course of energy and aggression that had once dictated the lives of many.
At the time when Bo Taylor was championing the call for peace and unity, Skipp Townsend an Arlington Heights resident and tow truck driver was more interested in the fact that Bo Taylor also owned a tow truck and they could collaborate on business deals to support both men. Bo was focused, committed and determined to create positive results in the two communities and was no longer interested in the towing business. Bo continued his mission and soon created Unity-One, an organization to assist in the redevelopment of the community and all the disconnected people that reside in it. Skipp continued his dreams of being a tow truck driver and soon created Level One Tow Service.
After many years of challenges and obstacles, trials and tribulations, Bo Taylor and Kenny Smith came together again to discuss the movement of peace that had settled on the two communities and the surrounding areas because of the hard work of Bo Taylor and the members of Unity-One. After attending several meetings, Kenny invited Skipp to attend a life skills session at Community Harvest Charter School to hear speakers from Unity-One and the Amer-I-can Program. It was then that Kenny Smith and Skipp Townsend made a conscious effort to join the peace movement with Bo Taylor and Unity-One. They also decided to create an agency that is sensitive to the communities that were not priorities with the current Unity-One staff. They first examined the long list of agency’s that Bo had already giving birth to, Unity-One, Unity Two, Unity Three, Kush, Venice 2000, Gaining Ground in the Community and Belize Unity. It was at that time when Kenny and Skipp decided to give the community a “Second Chance at Loving Life” and creating the acronym 2nd Call.
2nd Call has continuously grown each year with a bright glow shining proudly on the name and has quickly become the organization often referred to when mentioning Trauma Informed Care with facilitation of Parenting, Anger Management, Domestic Violence and Re-Entry programs. However 2nd Call just like the moon has no direct light and can only shine bright because of the reflection of the light above. We at 2nd Call thank our Divine Intervention for allowing the light to shine on us. We are also thankful for our guide and our mentor and the vision and life of Darren Bo Taylor.