SAN JOSE, CA –Through compelling stories, gangstas reveal the reasons they entered into the gang life style. "Making of a Gangsta" goes beyond stereotypes, colors, and tattoos to provide a first-hand account of why young people join gangs.
The documentary will be shown free of charge on Thursday, March 9 at 7 pm at the Santa Clara County Office of Education (1290 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose) in the Oak Grove Room. Director Adam T. Ybarra will be present to introduce the film, and at its conclusion remain on hand to host a question and answer session.
"Making Of A Gangsta" challenges viewers to see beyond the polarization and judgment that has plagued the gangster and instead embrace hope and purpose by seeing human qualities and potential. The 58-minute documentary showcases the transformation was not a radical change or overnight occurrence, but rather a slow mental germination that slowly emerged while ushering gangster features, qualities, mannerisms and characteristics.
The Tenacious Group has partnered with the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) and the Strong Start Coalition to provide this free showing to educators, parents, law enforcement, and other individuals working with youth. SCCOE Trustee Grace Mah, who reached out to Director Ybarra to set up the showing, believes the issue of implicit bias and institutionalized racism contributes to some students being deprived of life skills, academic mentoring, positive reinforcement, and a healthy support system.
"This documentary will help all of us who work with children explore our own biases and rethink ways we can support children who may not fit our own perceived notions or judgments," commented Trustee Mah. "I encourage anyone who cares about our young people to take an hour out of your day to attend this showing."
"Making of a Gangsta" features a number of interviews from former gang members, family members, and youth who reside in gang infested neighborhoods, clinical psychologists, and gang experts. Space is limited to 75. To rsvp, visit
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