Reformed gangsters lead new NYC anti-violence initiative

In August of 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to create the Gun Violence Crisis Management System, which will provide nearly $12.7 million to neighborhood-based anti-violence organizations. One such group, called Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Change (GMACC), consists of reformed gangsters who hit the streets with the goal of stamping out violence in their neighborhoods. GMACC members work with local clergy and councilman to engage at-risk youth; they attend the funerals of shooting victims in an attempt to prevent retaliations; and they are called on to stop shootings in progress. Read here to learn more about this group and others like it, as well as the ongoing debate about the efficacy of this approach to gang violence.