I am grateful for your support and investment throughout 2016. Our network is strong and ready to continue the challenging and fulfilling work of peacemaking in the new year.
This year we served 48 families in the immediate aftermath of their loved one's murder. Our hearts are with these survivors who are taking the first steps on their journey toward healing. We will continue to be there for these families next year, and whenever they need us in the years to come.
In 2016, the Intergenerational Justice Program (IJP) provided support to 24 family members on both sides of homicide as they navigated the criminal justice system and the re-entry process. IJP nurtures our community's incredible capacity to choose peace even after something bad happens.
In 2016 we trained over 1,000 people and offered training or technical assistance to over 70 agencies. Most notably, we provided a day-long training to the Miami Police Department Homicide Detectives and convened a Homicide Response Briefing for over 100 law enforcement officials across the state of Massachusetts. We are committed to working with all of our partners so that they can respond equitably and effectively when a homicide happens.
This year, we were selected 2016 Social Innovators because of our two decades of experience and expertise serving families impacted by murder. As we move into to 2017, I am embracing our potential and power to transform society's response to homicide so that all families are treated with dignity and compassion.
As you know, Governor Baker significantly cut the Peace Institute's line item in the state budget. Thank you for calling your legislators to demand they fully restore funding!
Despite the barriers community-based organizations like ours are facing, I want to share a hope with you for 2017. In the coming year, I hope we can listen to those of us who have been most impacted by murder, trauma, grief, and loss and hear what's needed. I hope we can invest in community-based solutions to complex problems. I hope we can focus on the assets in our community, not just the crises.
One way to invest in our community is to make a contribution to the Intergenerational Justice Program so we can increase our capacity to serve more families impacted by murder and the criminal justice system. Please give generously.
In these troubling times, I will continue to practice the Principles of Peace. I invite you to join me and be guided by love, unity, faith, hope, courage, justice, and forgiveness.
Happy New Year from my family to yours.
In peace and service,
Chaplain Clementina Chery