Meeting discusses flash mob causes, solutions

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - August 18, 2011

"And if we don't take a hold of this thing, it's going to get worse," community activist Isam Smith said.

The meeting, organized in part by 'Mother's in Charge', an anti-youth violence advocacy group, brought parents together with representative from various city agencies.

City Youth Commissioner Jordan Harris told parents the flash mobs are a symptom of a bigger problem in the community.

"So we're saying to our children, you live in place with the same number of people who are losing their lives [from homicides] that are losing their lives in a warzone," Harris

Some said in strong words, that it's time for parents to get involved in their children's lives.

Some of the comments heard at the meeting included:

"The men in this community have to stand up."

"Teach your boys to wear their pants on their waists!"

Parents were implored to expose their kids to positive things other than the violence they may see every other day.

"Here's the thing, you can't ask a young person what you want to be and expect them to say architect if they don't know what a architect is," Harris said.

Muhammad Shakur the Senior Manager of Education and Assessment of the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers which teaches young people how to be productive members of society spoke up at the meeting.

"We are definitely looking to mentor young children," Shakur said.

Vernetta Burger also voiced his opinion. His group, Parents Involved Network, teaches parents how to be active in their kids' lives.

"So if the children don't see that the parents care about them or their education or where they are or what they're doing, why should they?" Burger said.

It turns out many parents didn't even know of these various programs that are out there.

Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison reminded people, that if you don't know, call 311 and ask.

If you don't get an answer right away, call again.

National Comprehensive Center for Fathers

Western Learning Center

Parents Involved Network

Diversified Community Services

Mothers in Charge

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