Elected officials including City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, Councilmember Jumaane Williams and Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley, joined anti-violence organization Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes Inc. to celebrate the opening of their second Brooklyn office at 349 Myrtle Avenue on Friday, January 18.
Founded by former gangster Shanduke McPhatter in 2008 in Flatbush, G-MACC works with former and reformed gang members, as well as non-gang affiliated community members, to bring positive change to communities ravaged by gun violence and gang activity.
As a result of their affiliation and experience, these individuals are considered “credible messengers.” They are often well-known members of the community in which they work and are able to use their reputation to intervene in and mediate conflicts that would otherwise be difficult to navigate.
Through resources and programs, G-MACC helps people reflect, learn, act and evolve to embrace the healthy, caring, stable individual within, and to transform the surrounding community through positivity and activism, thereby interrupting the vicious cycle of violence.
The nonprofit is a charter member of the city’s Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the Cure Violence network, which treats gun violence as a public health emergency and utilizes community members to prevent and interrupt violence in their neighborhoods.
“G-MACC has made a resounding impact on the lives of thousands of Brooklynites since the organization’s inception in 2008,” said City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo. “Our communities suffer deeply without the resources to positively counteract gun violence. Now, credible messengers are stationed and available to intervene, also providing exposure to job development opportunities and healthy and safe lifestyle choices. I am proud to welcome G-MACC to Fort Greene.”
Cumbo, alongside fellow Councilmember Jumaane Wiliams and Vanessa Gibson and several anti-gun advocacy groups, worked with the city to launch the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence in 2017. The office coordinates the city’s various anti-gun violence initiatives, its Crisis Management System, to amplify community-based intervention and prevention services to create safe, empowered and interconnected communities in New York City.