Brooklyn Anti-Violence Group Targets the Anger

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Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Change is an East Flatbush organization that practices violence interruption. It involves people with street experience of their own stepping to try to stop disputes from escalating.

Kizzy Cox

Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Change is an East Flatbush organization that practices violence interruption. It involves people with street experience of their own stepping to try to stop disputes from escalating.

Somewhere on the journey from membership in a violent gang to founding an organization that tries to prevent bloodshed on the streets, Shanduke McPhatter learned to examine his anger.

“It was simple for me, when I got angry, to want to beat someone up. And then I felt better,” he tells City Limits’ Kizzy Cox. “Ant that’s what our people deal with today. I speak to young people all the time. It feels so much better when they release their anger.”

“That’s the problem. So I had to realize,’OK, what other way can I deal with my anger?'” he recalls. The answer was more exercise, different music. “It came from that: Understanding first, saying ‘OK, what do I need to do different?”

The approach taken by McPhatter’s organization, Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes or GMACC, is one that’s received a lot of attention as a way to deal with persistent street violence without a heavy police response. In the video below, Cox looks at what the model actually involves.

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