Marcus McAllister is a National Trainer for Cure Violence, named a top 15 global NGO in 2016 by NGO Advisors, and the #1 NGO focused primarily on violence prevention. In 2005 Marcus joined CeaseFire Illinois (the program delivery partner for Cure Violence in Illinois) as a Violence Interrupter, and after serving in the position of Violence Interrupter was promoted to Outreach Worker. Shortly thereafter, Marcus was promoted to Program Manager where he managed two sites with a combined staff of 14 people. After successfully managing these sites, Marcus was asked to interview for a position as one of only three Cure Violence national trainers to help hire, train and set up replication Cure Violence sites throughout the world. Today Marcus serves in that capacity and oversees sites in NY, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Trinidad.
Marcus was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. As a child, he found himself shuttling between Chicago and Los Angeles, shifting between parents. Marcus was introduced to the gang & drug culture as a result of living in two cities with high rates of violence in America. At the age of 18 Marcus decided to return to Illinois to finish his last year of high school.
Unfortunately, Marcus’s mother never got to see him graduate because at the age of 18, Marcus found himself in a federal court room in Chicago fighting a drug & gang conspiracy charge. He was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison. After serving 9 years of his ten year sentence, he was released in December, 1998. After release, he had difficulty finding permanent employment, wound up working odd jobs and narrowly avoided falling back to life on the street.
In 2005, Marcus was approached by CeaseFire Illinois (now known as Cure Violence) where his street background was considered an asset and his status as an ex-offender could actually be used to change lives for the good. He became a violence interrupter, a highly-trained community health worker, whose job was to stop shootings and killings using a public health behavior change approach. Since Joining Ceasefire, Marcus has devoted his life to helping others change their lives, just as CeaseFire helped him to finally turn his own life around. Marcus has excelled in his role as a national trainer for Cure Violence, and was selected to receive the WARRIOR award from the King of Kings Foundation in New York City in June, 2015. He was also awarded a New York State Assembly proclamation in recognition of his dedication and commitment to stopping violence in New York City, across the US and globally.
Marcus and his wife of 15 years live in the Chicago suburbs. They are parents of a 12 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. Marcus travels regularly and is a frequent guest speaker/presenter on the contagion of violence at events across the U.S.
Recent Media and Video Appearances Crime Watch Daily, 2016:
Participant Media, 2015: Mini-Documentary:
Participant Media, 2015: Documentary Segment Focused on Marcus McAllister:
Hollywood Reporter, 2016:
Architects of Change LIVE: Panel Conversation on Gun Violence with Debbie Allen and Maria Shriver, February, 2016:
July 2016 Milwaukee: