History:

In 1997 this work was started out of a home, in the Center of Norfolk, mentoring difficult youth one on one and in small groups.  GXG started in a living room where youth, at-risk to gang violence and a myriad of other challenges, gathered weekly for in-depth, personal discussions about the unforeseen dire consequences of gangs and the growing gang culture. 

Those original encounters led this team to become a point source of support for many org. in the H/Roads area. Teams found, that angry youth would/could discuss their life styles and work out behaviors, to include: economic disparities, police contact, school truancy, racism, at risk behaviors, and acts of crime. The attendance grew to 40-45 youth, weekly, causing them to move to a nearby church’s social hall in order to accommodate the size.

As the GXG participants learned to express and come to terms with the consequences, and available options of their complex and    painful life experiences, many times the poor behavior of these at-risk youth subsided. Youth want to be heard by someone they respect and see is really listening to them, and will be on their side as an advocate to address their perceived problems. THAT is a starting point, and validation is a key to open up cleansing to those who are angry and complaining
that no body listens to me.

As an outgrowth of having life transformations, these ex-gang members began exploring their own
effective ways to recruit at-risk youth for the GXG violence prevention meetings. This work grew to include a stage team of graduates, who developed an “edutainment” troupe that uses there stories of successfully changed lives, music, dance, and dramatic skits with anti-gang, anti-violence messages that are culturally relevant to today’s at-risk youth. 

These youth were invited to and have spoken with at-risk youth in seminars, school assemblies, Boys and Girls Clubs, Multiple State Functions, Youth Detention Centers, large outdoor park events, trailer park’s, Apt. complexes Community centers, neighborhood community centers, libraries, community partners, and public housing project events. The audiences have been predominately African Americans, Latino Americans, or Asian-American youth.

Our training stage show and the success of these edutainment performances and youth violence prevention programs brought GXG into partnerships in presentations with various state programs, to include: violence awareness clinics, bully prevention, date rape/peer violence seminars, fatherhood, abstinence, Right Choices for Youth, Independent Living seminars, probation programs, boot camps, school assemblies, Va. State Gang Task force, U.S. Dept of Juvenile Justice Conferences,
and the U.S. Surgeon General's report on Youth Violence.

GXG’s violence prevention messages targeted youth and family strengthening events throughout southeast Virginia and had expanded into Richmond where GXG received statewide exposure in

2000. According to the Partners in Prevention, the Dep’t of Health’s newsletter, “Community Organizations around Virginia are encouraged to reproduce the successes that God’s X Gangsters has demonstrated.”  Through this delivery method, originally gang related violence in VA was significantly reduced and was noted by Former VA Attorney General Mark Early saying that, “This organization, God’s X Gangsters, has helped to significantly reduce juvenile crime in the state of Virginia”.

During the last 5 years, the GXG Stage Show Training Team was invited to and served thirty-one state and city government events.  Attendance ranged from 50-1,500 at-risk for gang violence participants. *Our edutainment program is an introductory agent to other teams programs and as an entry point, has recruited 8,000 at-risk youth into Va. Programs from 1999 through 2005.
Atachment(’s) 2 Fatherhood, Right Choices For Youth, Abstinence, Violence Prevention, Substance Abuse Prevention, Gang Task Force, (Generally-regional DOH meetings), as well as local Bully Prevention, Date Rape, Gang Awareness, H/Roads Youth Leadership Training.
 

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