Fonda Jordan wanted to expose her kids to the best while raising them in the Watts, section of Los Angeles. She placed them in academic programs and sports so that they would learn the value of education. For a while, those activities were key in helping them earn spots on the honor roll.
However, things changed by the time her sons reached high school. Jordan worked two jobs to provide for her kids as a single mother. Without a positive male role model presence, her sons joined gangs and went down the wrong path. Jordan eventually lost both sons to gang violence. One of her sons were killed and the other is currently serving time in prison.
Jordan, who started the Faith and Action recently sat down to discuss how gang violence affects families.
When did you first learn that your sons were involved in gangs?
I found out in when they were in high school. I was a single mother working two jobs. They were encouraged by other gang members and they didn’t have a father around. So they were led by what they saw and the music that they heard and started believing that living that kinda life was okay.
What did you say to them to try and steer them in the right direction?
I would tell them the only place gangs are going to lead them are in jail and it became true. I would try to tell them that I loved them and that I am their mother and their father. I tried to enforce education on them. They were both valedictorians in junior high school. One of my sons told me, “Mama, I’m scared I’m going to get caught up.”
What’s the most important advice you give to mothers who have son involved in gangs?
Don’t give up on them. Keep pulling them from out of those dope houses, keep pulling them from around them corners, and never give up on them. The last resort is turning them over to the law, and we don’t want to do that. So just try to show them some other routes and get them out of the communities. I became a stay-at-home mom and I now have kids who attend UCLA and Tuskegee University, the Navy and I started my own businesses. I was always at their functions and games so they can see that their parent really cares.
What are your thoughts on the gang truce?
The gang truce is something that I’ll pray about. My biggest dream is for all this to stop. Treaties have stopped wars, so why can’t it stop these gang members. I really believe peace is necessary.