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I trace the socio-historical pathway of the concept of the credible messenger and related youth anti-violence interventions from the 1930’s to a more radically imagined iteration by Eddie Ellis in the 1980s. The focus shifts to its present-day iterations as I review two widely adopted anti-violence programs. I conclude that today credible messengers and anti-violence interventions are: (i) primarily imagined within a framework of neo-liberal possibility; (ii) valued for their contributions on individual and/or group behavioral change; and (iii) conceived in programs outside of any discourse on the structural roots of crime, collective agency, or the historical struggle for social change and empowerment.


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