Taking Back the Streets
MAD DADS (Story)
Crime is a concern for all Americans, so I guess it would seem rather surprising to learn that I wasn't at all nervous to be riding around in a van full of men, in the middle of the night, past crack houses and gang hangouts. Excited, yes. Scared, no, because I was with John Foster, Bob Tyler and Eddie Staton. These three dads were fed up with gang violence, crime and the endless flow of illegal drugs in their community, so they banded together and formed MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social disorder). They eventually founded a national movement that is now serving communities all across the country. Night after night, this group of men takes to the roughest neighborhoods during the darkest and most dangerous hours. They hope that by their presence and influence as positive male role models and mentors, they can help take back their streets and make their communities safer. They are not a substitute for the police, nor do they try to be. They go on peaceful patrols and are embraced by local law enforcement. Mahatma Ghandi said, "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." Well these MAD DADS are a force to be reckoned with. They are the force behind change.
Photo. Jim Young / Reuters; Photo, MAD DADS. Emily Terrell / minneapolismaddads.org; Photo, MAD DADS of Greater Pittsburgh. pittsburghmaddads.org