Tony Wrice and other members of the anti-drug coalition Turn Around America wear hardhats when they march to push drug dealers out of inner-city neighborhoods.
Tony Wrice of Philadelphia, a 1985 graduate of Northwestern College, was among 21 individuals honored during Christian Higher Education Month in October by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). Wrice and the other honorees, all alumni of Christian colleges, are featured in profiles at the CCCU website.
This year’s honorees include author and pastor Max Lucado, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Christian singer/songwriter Sara Groves, Olympic decathlon silver medalist Bryan Clay and ABC news correspondent Lauren Rogers. Applicants were nominated from the 105 CCCU member institutions. From that pool, 21 individuals were chosen, representing a wide cross section of professions, including government and law, arts and entertainment, global impact, science and technology, and business.
Wrice directs Turn Around America (TAA), which offers training and technical assistance to crime prevention groups, municipalities, law enforcement and neighborhood organizations in over 300 communities in 20 states and abroad. As part of the organization’s efforts to push drug dealers out of neighborhoods, residents join in nonstop chanting in street marches or on a street corner where drug dealers are known to be. Those involved wear matching T-shirts and white hardhats.
“We take the corner from the dealers for the evening, stay there chanting for two to four hours, sometimes all night,” says Wrice in his online profile. “You want to make [the dealers] so tired they would want to leave. We’re like a broken record. And it works.”
Other weapons in TAA’s arsenal for the war on drugs include legal action, the cleanup of neighborhoods, media interviews, and the circulation of pictures of residents arrested and released for selling drugs. Above all, citizens are called to unite with the police for the single purpose of fighting drugs.
Wrice, who majored in sociology and physical education at Northwestern and now serves as head track and cross country coach at Cheyney University, says his time at the Orange City college was special. “I got the opportunity of a lifetime to see ‘the light’ come on in terms of how people view one another on a Christian level—people working together, respecting each other and wanting to see positive things happen in others' lives.”
Last year, Northwestern theatre professor Jeff Barker, an alumnus of Seattle Pacific University, was selected among the 21 Christian Higher Education Month honorees.
The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of intentionally Christ-centered institutions. There are 105 member campuses in North America, all of which are fully-accredited, comprehensive institutions with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 71 affiliate campuses from 24 countries are part of the CCCU. The organization’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help its institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.