For Immediate Release May 12, 2019
Amidst heaviness, Families Rise Up for Justice at the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s 23rd Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace
BOSTON, MA: Thousands of people walked from Town Field in Dorchester to Boston City Hall on Mother's Day as they rise up and tip the scale toward justice. Survivors of homicide victims wore tee shirts and carried banners memorializing their family members with messages of love and justice. While recent murders in the city have caused residents pain and anguish, the Walk for Peace was an opportunity to focus on the assets in communities and take steps toward healing.
"It's such a powerful experience to see everyone gathering and uniting. The range of emotions you experience is overwhelming in a positive way. It's truly amazing the amount of people who come out to support us" comments Shannon Tangherlini, a member of the Peace Institute’s Survivors Network who lost her son Matthew Tangherlini to violence.
New survivors and survivors whose loved ones were killed years or decades ago walked side by side with neighbors, allies, clergy, business owners, providers, and elected officials in an powerful expression of unity. Over 230 Walk teams registered and raised money to expand the Peace Institute's critical services, training, and advocacy work. The Peace Institute is the only organization in the Commonwealth that supports and guides families of murder victims from death notification through the funeral and burial process and offers ongoing healing programming. The organization also trains law enforcement officials and public health professionals to respond equitably and effectively when a homicide happens.
“The public health crisis and epidemic that is gun violence is everyone’s problem and everyone needs to play a role in this solution”, said Ayanna Pressley, MA Congresswoman, Walk Co-chair. “The newspaper headlines have moved on but we are still focused on helping these families and wrapping our arms around them [because] healing is power.”
This year the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute celebrates 25 years of transforming Boston’s response to homicide. Through its renowned Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, survivor outreach services, and other long-term healing programs, the Peace Institute has affected how Boston’s municipal and social leadership, law enforcement, the medical community,and allies understand and treat survivors of homicide victims.
To commemorate their 25 years of service, the Peace Institute will be launching a national campaign. “We are taking our focus beyond ending violence and gun control to building a national movement of waging peace” said Chaplain Clementina Chery, CEO and President of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.