MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (FOX 9) - Calling a truce isn’t the easiest thing to do sometimes, but at the Maplewood Mall, there’s a new approach to calm down conflicts before they really heat up.
The African American Truce Museum gives people a bit of history with an added focus on improving the future.
"We show people, especially youth, that we can do anything we put our minds to," said Miki Frost with the African American Truce Museum.
Miki and his team also intervene when there’s trouble in the mall.
"That’s when we talk with the kids and say, ‘how about we show you something. How about you guys get away from this real quick, I’m gonna show you something.'"
It’s a safe, neutral space that shows the kids their similarities - and has them check their differences at the door. Volunteers help them talk it out, or sometimes play it out through a video game.
"We get them to battle and take that aggression out on the video game and they go from wanting to fist fight to battling on the game," Miki said.
"It’s such a kind approach to kids in our community and youth in our community, and they are who is gonna lead us through the next decade or two, so it’s such a great investment," said Paula Mueller with the Maplewood Mall.
Miki has been doing this work for at least 12 years. He has two other truce centers and he teaches from experience, admitting he used to be part of the problem until he chose peace instead.
"I didn’t want to end up dead on the streets," he said. "I didn’t want to end up having my mom receive a phone call and that phone call telling her that I had been murdered."
Now it’s the kids who keep him alive and on a mission.
The museum will be open for a few days.