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Press Room

 

For Immediate Release                                                         
Contact: Mallory Hanora 617-825-1917
mallory@ldbpeaceinstitute.org

 

Rain doesn’t dampen spirits at the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s 21ar Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace: “In Unity There is Healing”

BOSTON, MA: Families from across the state walked from Town Field in Dorchester all the way to City Hall Plaza despite the rain to complete the 21st Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace. Peace Institute President & CEO Chaplain Clementina Chery Peace started the walk in 1996 for mothers of murdered children to receive support and love from their neighbors. Survivors of homicide victims and supporters braved the weather to mark the significance of Mother’s Day with a unified message of peace and healing.

State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry served as Co-Chair of the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace and has been a consistent supporter of the mission of the Peace Institute located in her Dorchester district. “I applaud the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute for empowering families impacted by violence and I’m proud to kick off their Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace,” said Senator Forry. “This Walk is one of the most powerful events in our Commonwealth.”

Honorary Co-Chair Governor Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker concluded the Opening Ceremony and inspired walkers to make the 6.8 mile journey to City Hall. “Events like the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace that bring together so many different groups of people are a big part of what makes Massachusetts such a great state,” said Governor Baker. “Lauren and I applaud Chaplain Clementina Chery for the effort and passion she brings to spreading the message of peace in our Commonwealth each and every year.”

More than 200 teams registered for the 21st Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace including survivor families, hospitals, health centers, faith congregations, and community organizations. These teams raised money to sustain the Peace Institute’s critical programs and services. The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is the state’s leading homicide response agency.

Funds from the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace will support innovative work to transform society’s response to homicide like the recent release of the national edition of the Survivors Burial and Resource Guide. Chaplain Chery developed the guide to help surviving family members navigate the crisis and chaos in the aftermath of murder. The Burial Guide is currently available at three major hospitals: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital who all participated in the Walk. Many survivors who walked today received services and support from the Peace Institute and benefited from the Burial Guide. The new edition can be used by families and providers anywhere in the country.

“My family and I were not prepared to deal with the murder of our beloved child. We left the hospital empty-handed. There was no coordinated response to homicide in Boston at that time,” Chaplain Chery remembers. “The Peace Institute offers families emotional and practical support and we train providers to respond equitably and effectively when a homicide happens. Families of murder victims deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion, regardless of the circumstances.”

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More information:

The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is a center of healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by murder, grief, trauma, and loss. The vision of the Peace Institute is to create and sustain communities where all people are valued and all families can live in peace.

Chaplain Clementina Chery co-founded the Peace Institute in 1994 in honor of her oldest son Louis D. Brown. Louis was caring, compassionate, and an avid reader. He was committed to making his community a more peaceful and just place and believed all young people have the potential to be peacemakers. Louis had the long-term goal of becoming the first Black president of the United States. Louis was killed in the cross-fire of a shootout in 1993 when he was fifteen years old.

The Mother’s Day Walk for Peace is a celebration of our potential to create more peaceful communities. Every year families from across the state and region walk together toward peace. The Mother’s Day Walk is also the Peace Institute’s most important fundraising event. In 2017, our goal is to raise $400,000 for our critical programs and services.

The Mother's Day Walk for Peace started in 1996 so mothers of murdered children could receive support and love from their neighbors. Twenty-one years later, the Mother’s Day Walk continues to be a powerful way to honor our loved ones who have been murdered and embrace our partners in peacemaking

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release                                                         
Contact: Mallory Hanora 617-825-1917
mallory@ldbpeaceinstitute.org

                                                                     

The Peace Institute to recognize survivors of homicide victims who “Inform, Influence, and Impact Policy” at the Opening Ceremony of Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month

Monday November 21, 2016. BOSTON, MA: The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute convenes the Opening Ceremony of the 16th Annual Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM) at the Massachusetts State House today. SHVAM is a month-long effort to educate the public and policymakers about the impact of murder on families and communities and recognize the diverse contributions of the survivors’ movement.

Senator Linda Dorcena Forry will open the program and welcome fellow elected officials, survivors, clergy, and providers. “I applaud the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute for empowering families impacted by violence and I’m proud to have hosted this event since 2014,” said Senator Forry. “The incredible advocacy work from survivors of homicide informs the policy decisions we make in the legislature but also brings awareness to a critical issue concerning public health. It is essential that we provide the resources necessary for survivors, those personally affected or who may have witnessed these acts of violence in our neighborhoods,” concluded Senator Forry. Senator Forry will also read a proclamation in honor of SHVAM issued by Governor Charlie Baker.

Attorney General Maura Healey and Liam Lowney, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance and a survivor himself, will be keynote speakers.

Staff of the Peace Institute will present survivors of homicide victims from across the state with awards for their exemplary advocacy. Gregory Gibson will receive the Inform Award for persistently educating the public and policymakers about the impact of homicide on families and complex issues facing the survivor community. Mr. Gibson’s son Galen was killed in a school shooting at Simon's Rock College in 1992. This prompted Greg to write Gone Boy, a critically acclaimed investigation into his son's murder and gun violence in America.

Carla Sheffield will receive the Influence Award for courageously changing the conversation about murder victims to include people who are killed by police. Ms. Sheffield’s son Burrell Ramsey-White was killed by a police officer in 2012. Since then, Ms. Sheffield has founded Better Opportunities, Inc. to advocate for mandated licensing of police officers.

Mary Franklin is to receive the Impact Award in honor of her tireless leadership on the issue of unsolved homicide through her organization the Women’s Survivors of Homicide Victims Movement. Ms. Franklin’s husband Melvin was killed in 1996 and his murder remains unsolved. Heather and Jerry Mullin will also receive the Impact Award for establishing Joanna's Place, a center that provides free counseling and support groups for grieving children and families. Mr. and Mrs. Mullin’s six year old daughter Joanna was murdered in 2007.

“Today marks the re-birth of a movement,” Peace Institute Program Coordinator and survivor Alexandra Chéry remarked. “Survivors are leading the way on policy initiatives that impact all of our families. Though we are grieving, we are committed to healing ourselves and working with our allies to create communities where all families are treated with love, dignity and compassion.”

The Opening Ceremony is the first in a series of events all month long. For the full schedule, please visit www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org

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MEDIA ADVISORY: 16th Annual Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month

November 20 - December 20

Contact: Mallory@ldbpeaceinstitute.org 617-825-1917

 

WHAT: Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM) is a month-long effort to educate the public and policymakers about the impact of murder on families and communities and recognize the diverse contributions of the survivor’s movement. The theme of 2016 is “Inform, Influence, and Impact Policy.”

Since SHVAM was established in 2000 through 2015, more than 2,558 people have been murdered in Massachusetts (statistics from FBI UCS Annual Crime Reports). For every person who is murdered, there are at least 10 impacted family members left behind to cope with ongoing grief and trauma.  There are more than 25,580 surviving family members mourning loved ones killed in Massachusetts over the past sixteen years.

Survivors of murder victims have taken a leadership role in peacemaking through advocacy, education, and organizing. SHVAM is the time to highlight their work and the need for statewide coordinated, compassionate, and consistent support and services in the immediate aftermath of a murder and ongoing opportunities for healing in the months and years afterward.

WHO: The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is the convening agency behind Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month. The Peace Institute is a center of healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by murder, trauma, grief, and loss. The Peace Institute was founded in 1994 and is the go-to homicide response agency in Massachusetts.

WHERE: Massachusetts is the only state in the country to acknowledge the unique needs and experiences of survivors of homicide victims with an awareness month.

WHEN:  November 21 – Opening Ceremony at the State House from 9:30am-12pm will be hosted by Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry with speakers including Attorney General Maura Healey and Liam Lowney of the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance. Awards will also be given to survivors who have informed, influenced, and impacted public policy.

December 3 – Massachusetts Survivors of Homicide Victims Network inaugural convening at Lombardo’s from 12-4pm. This gathering will focus on building the momentum of the survivor’s movement for more peaceful communities.

December 19 – Homicide Response Briefing for Law Enforcement from 8-11:30 am at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute with presenters including Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and Chairman of the Joint Committee of Public Safety and Homeland Security Representative Harold Naughton. Over 40 survivor-serving organizations will be on site to make connections and share resources with law enforcement officers. 

December 20 – Closing Ceremony at Roxbury Presbyterian Church from 9:30am-12pm with speakers including survivors from across the state.

 

 

For Immediate Release                                                         
Contact: Mallory Hanora 617-825-1917
mallory@ldbpeaceinstitute.org