Wednesday, January 07, 2009

God's Gang

The school I work at is on the West side of town. It is in the poorest section of town. There is also a higher incidence of crime and gang activity in the neighborhood.

There is a faith based organization within a few blocks of the school. The organization has a lot of activities going on at their site for families and children. Most of the kids at the school know of this organization. I have some issues with the way the organization operates but it does do many good things for the community. Most recently, they organized coat drive and everyone who needed a coat in the neighborhood got one.

The FB organization has an after school club for kids. I don't know the exact extent of activities that they offer to the children but I do know that they offer homework assistance, there are computers available for use, day care and snacks. What bothers me about this service is their logo, "God's Gang." Many of our kids come to school in t-shirts and sweatshirts with this logo on it. I think it is just irresponsible for them to use this as their logo. I take issue with the phrase God's Gang. It is catchy but what is it trying to say? I especially take issue with the fact that they would use this as the logo in our Gang infested neighborhood. I am sure that the people running the program would tell me that the kids are already familiar with gangs and that they are trying to use familiar language to help them see a more positive light. My thought is that kids should be taught that gangs are bad period. We have sure a bad problem with gangs in our neighborhood that all 5th and 6th grade students receive gang awareness instruction built into the regular school day.

I would love to be able to express my opinion to the organization but I have a feeling that my thoughts would fall on deaf ears.


Chanclita Divina said...

oh the politics of faith based/community organizations. i know i take issue with the required reading of certain books that glorify gang culture--as if its the only way for children to identify with a story and get them to read.

MsAbcMom said...

I hadn't heard of that yet. How awful!

Anonymous said...

Not sure what city you are in. Since you indicate West Side, you are not in Chicago.

God's Gang Chicago is over 30 years old, founded in the heart of the Chicago Housing Authority, Robert Taylor Projects, now demolished. They have been feeding families and teaching families to feed themselves since the 80's.

Chicago's GG offered shelter and security to the Taylor children until 2001. These days they are teaching urban agriculture, entreprenuership, business,and doing intake for energy assistance to help families keep their utilities.

This organization is building strong responsilible adults under their Planting Dreams program.

I do not understand your issues with an organization that is doing good for any community.

If the children have a need for belonging, to a family, to a gang, to a larger entity, why not God's Gang?

You should visit their website at