Ice the Beef is a New Haven youth development organization run by long-time city residents, currently registered as a limited liability company but applying for 501(c)
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Alan Sage, SM’ 14, advisor to the CEO.
Q: What is the mission of Ice the Beef?
A: Ice the Beef’s mission is to break the cycle of anger in the New Haven community. We’ve experimented in a few directions to work towards that mission: in our first year we held a symposium on violence in the city and assisted a few young residents who found themselves in the middle of potentially deadly feuds. However, our main tool remains mentorship, pairing up local students, last year at Hillhouse High School and now at Domus Academy, with our staff members. Having grown up in New Haven and experienced challenges similar to those facing their mentees, Ice the Beef’s mentors bring a rare candor and understanding to the mentorship process.
Q: What Prompted you to get involved in the organization?
A: Our CEO, Darrell Allick, founded Ice the Beef after the murder of his brother Donnell Allick in 2011, a year that saw 34 murders in New Haven. Darrell used to be involved in the kind of illegal activity that led to Donnell’s demise—in his youth Darrell was one of the city’s most infamous drug dealers. Darrell saw Donnell’s murder as a sign that he needed to put an end to his risky lifestyle for the sake of himself and his kids. Because of his experiences, however, Darrell brings an invaluable perspective to the task of understanding and fighting the sources of anger that lead too many young New Havenites down a road of drugs and violence. I met Darrell through a journalism project I was working on about hip-hop and violence in New Haven and now work as his advisor.
Q: How did you set goals for the organization when you joined it?
A: Ice the Beef faced some initial challenges in developing a strategic plan since Darrell’s reputation led to substantial media attention before the organization had built up internal capacity. Thankfully we were fortunate enough to run into some very capable mentors, including Andrew Ferguson, who works on education policy in Connecticut and approached Ice the Beef after reading about Darrell’s work. With Andrew’s help, the organization developed its first one-year strategic plan and submitted an application to the Yale Law School Nonprofit Organizations Clinic for help with becoming a registered nonprofit. Erik Clemmons, Executive Director of the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology, has also been checking in frequently (mentoring us every 90 days) with Ice the Beef to ensure we’ve been making solid progress.