The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Absolutely REQUIRED Viewing
This fantastic report about GMACC (Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Change) offers hope in an area that mystifies mainstream folks. We may have our hearts in the right place, but focusing on law enforcement and the courts alone won't fix everything when it comes to violence on the streets. Actually, the more programs like GMACC out there, with people able to negotiate conflicts effectively, the better chance law enforcement has to do what it's charged with doing.
Last time we on Clarkson held an open community crime meeting, reps from the 71st, 70th and 67th precincts came out. We looked forward to hear about their efforts and hot spots and reactions, and how they work together (or not.) What we got instead was a lot of anger vented at the cops from Imani and folks from Cops Watch. It was so not the forum for that, but you can't shut down a conversation like that. We became the unlikely hosts for anti-police sentiment.
What made it turn around was when the folks from GMACC took hold of the conversation. To them, solutions to deadly violence (not so much the petty stuff) involved knowing the perpetrators at a much deeper level than maybe we can every expect police to go. This is community policing. It's not venom, though obviously there's a time and place for protest. In my opinion, the last thing we need is open war between activists and cops.
Please look at this video and respond with thoughts?
Posted by Clarkson FlatBed at 9:12 AM
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Wow. There is so much good here.
Not least, the fact that he determined to start this program while in jail shows the tremendous potential that inmates have. How much more of that would we see if (a) the system focused on alternatives to detention, and (b) the prisons focused on rehabilitation and community re-integration.
Thanks for sharing. This is awesome. I had no idea that this organization existed. I hope that they remain successful and even branch out to other neighborhoods.
This is a great program, it is true, but I couldn't help but notice that the types of lessons they teach, anger management skills, or in providing safe outlets for the youngsters to occupy their time--are typically provided by families, and one speaker noted that. So why aren't the families providing these?
Mr. McPhatter is such an impressive individual -- thoughtful, self-reflective, giving & seemingly humble. I love the holistic programmatic approach, including a mental health component & reasonable, measurable goals.
And even though part of the model's success is due to the lived experiences of the group leaders, there are aspects of their strategies we can all implement on a small scale. Adults being visibly present in parks & on the block, engaged in positive activities and working to connect with young people in a real way could accomplish a lot.
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