Ken’s Comments:

 

I do get sick of people who think “Oh, I can’t make a difference”!  Look what this dude is doing – saving lives – and I have no doubt it will be duplicated in many cities. Track him down and start it where YOU live!

 

Excerpts from the Article:

– A video shows Shanduke McPhatter as a young man in the Bloods gang waving a gun with his young sons in the same room. He was in and out of prison for 14 years with a long rap sheet, including burglary, armed robbery. and assault. Today at 39, Shanduke, with his twin sons, now 17, by his side, is a changed man. Shanduke feels blessed to be alive with a mission to help others by lifting their minds and spirits.

Shanduke started a nonprofit organization in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, that is working with the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence. The organization is called Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes Inc., also known as G-MACC.

He chose the name because it is attention-grabbing and relatable. It draws in the youth he is trying to help by showing them there Is an alternative to gangs, guns, violence, and crime. He tells the youth that he has been through it all and knows that change is possible.

Like so many troubled teenagers and young men surrounded by crime, Shanduke says he never felt as though he had a future and there was no fear of going to prison. It was a rite of passage. His turning point happened in a prison yard. He was standing next to his mentor, a hardened career criminal, as the man watched his own son enter prison. He said his mentor had tears in his eyes. He says that powerful moment changed his life.

 

G-MACC offers mental-health counseling and job options.

Social media, like Facebook, is also a catalyst for violence. So G-MACC closely monitors social media pages. If G-MACC sees something escalating on Facebook, it will try to reach out and mediate a resolution to the conflict before it makes it to the streets, Shanduke says.

The mayor’s office credits Shanduke’s organization, combined with the work of the NYPD and the religious community, with reducing gun violence in East Flatbush, which historically has been one of the worst areas of the city for gun violence.

Word is spreading about Shanduke’s successful work. Members of a similar group from Baltimore recently visited to pick his brain about methods they can use to help in their city.

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