Christopher 2X remembers clearly when he changed his life, making his mission one of compassion, healing and hope: It was the day he walked out of prison 1999.
“I was just tired of street life,” said the man who is arguably Louisville’s best-known peace advocate. “I found my niche collaborating with different social groups for different causes.”
Today, 2X appears frequently in local media, providing support for people who have lost loved ones to violence and aiding in many good causes. He gained prominence as a peacemaker in 2004, after the trial of a police officer who had shot a young African-American man. After the officer was found not guilty, 2X helped bring peace in a charged climate, talking to those angry with the verdict.
“The violence started to escalate within the Metro Louisville area, in West Louisville, and I was getting more calls to try to help,” he said. “In that capacity I was an advocate and somebody who would bring a presence and measured approach to these chaotic situations, to ask for peaceful ways to deal with it.”
From his modest office, 2X answers calls from people all across the city, not just in the West End, when they need assistance in handling the media. He also partners with a team of trauma surgeons at the University of Louisville, to help explain and prevent gunshot wounds.
He is also the first ambassador of public relations for the Global Mixed Gender Basketball League, a new professional league led by rapper Master P, with teams in New Orleans, Chicago, Washington, and Atlanta. 2X became involved after the rapper learned of his support for the family of Dequante Hobbs, a 7-year old West Louisville boy who was shot and killed while sitting at his kitchen table in May.
The league focuses on raising awareness of local violent crimes through educational programs.
“It’s fulfilling for me to try to give back,” he said. “I wasn’t ever really a violent person, but I was engaged in street activity that doesn’t help a community, doesn’t help a neighborhood. This is my way of repairing some of the damage that I was a part of.”
2X has been involved in a long list of campaigns, including Fighting Crimes Against Children, Connected Voices, Voices of the Survivors, Put Down the Guns, and others, both on a local and national basis.
His ability to handle media interviews comes naturally, as his sister and brother-in-law both worked in local media. His reputation has spread throughout the city, and he works with police, citizens, and members of the news media.
“I started to have relationships in a lot of neighborhoods, and then it just took off over the years. My number is the same. I’m easy, I’m accessible, I don’t shy away from a call and that’s how the process happens,” he said. “If somebody is injured though a violent act, they’ll call, and they’ll ask me to help them.
“I’m very honest and upfront. There’s not a lot of monetary rewards, but I can link them to existing resources in our community to try to help.”