Sara's Circle: Making peace with Sharyna Cloud

Sara's Circle: Helping create a way out

Sharyna Cloud took the job to lead Cleveland Peacemakers in March to help create a way out. 
 
"Because no one wakes up, I don't think, saying I'm going to rob, steal or kill. I don't think that's on anyone's mind on a regular basis," she says. 
 
"Cleveland Peacemakers is a prevention and intervention organization...we try to reach in and touch those individuals to calm the situation down. We know not everybody wants to change, not everyone is amenable to change, and some people are scared to change. For those who want another option, that's what we're here to provide."
 
Crime in community has been Sharyna's career, which started by writing sentencing reports for state prisoners.
 
"It gave me the opportunity to look at the backgrounds of the individuals who were committing crimes or accused of committing crimes," she said. She sees patterns to this day.
 
"What we're talking about is gun violence. Guns don't kill people, it's the misuse of guns, the misuse of the conception of the power that guns have, and how that makes individuals feel with that gun. That's really the problem with this," she said.
 
She feels confident there will be a solution. "Because it is a small amount of individuals who are leading this violence cause, we know that it is doable"
 
As a mother to four sons, it's real world violence that often reaches their dinner table conversations.
 
"They don't like it, but we do a lot of talking....Using real world, in time instances to show that all it takes is one small decision that can turn your whole world around. Especially being African American males. You have to be very careful with that."
 
"Family means a lot to me because I can directly see how the lack of affects the people that we're working with," she said. "We are the family that they didn't have. We have to be a solid foundation for many of them."
 
The other key to a solid foundation? "Love yourself. If you love yourself, it will be very easy to like everybody else. You may not like everybody. But you need to love yourself."
 
Sharyna soon hopes to touch people in an entirely different way, through her dream job, too, as entrepreneur of an old-fashioned candy store. She's hoping to open Kandy Kupboard in downtown Bedford later this year.
 
She sees the space as a community haven, and one more way to make the world around here better. 
 
"Cleveland Peacemakers is talking about the lives of individuals in the community, and how we can help preserve those lives, and not only preserve them, but help lead them in a better direction."
 


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