By Hannah O’Connor
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, it is important to take the time to appreciate all the mothers in our lives, and consider the impact they have had on the lives of both their own children and other youth. In its very existence as an unofficial holiday, Mother’s Day is drawn from a place of peace and gratitude.
With this in mind, the annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, created and hosted by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, aims to highlight the issues of gun violence and homicide and their effect on mothers who have lost their children to such horrific events. In 1993, Louis D. Brown, son of Joseph and Chaplain ClementinaChéry, was shot dead in the streets of Dorchester as a direct result of gang violence. That fatal shot was fired while Brown was on his way to an event for teens against gang violence.
In the wake of her son’s death, and out of an unimaginable grieving process, Clementina Chéry created the annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, and founded the prominent non-profit organization in Brown’s name, the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. Rooted in the fundamental values of “Love, Unity, Faith, Hope, Courage, Justice, and Forgiveness,” the Peace Institute has risen as a shining example of the continuation of Louis Brown’s life passion for and dedication to peace on the streets of Boston, Dorchester, and other communities that fall prey to the horrors of gang violence.
This year’s 2019 Mother’sDay Walk for Peace is no exception. Countless members of the resilient and diversified communities from Dorchester and greater Boston-and those outside them-are joining together in quiet yet moving celebrations. To be a part of this incredible movement and memory, please access the main website for this year’s Walk for Peace below:
Personally, I feel a certain pull towards the work which Chaplain Chéry initiated in the wake of what one might consider the darkest of times in a human being’s life; that of losing someone who was loved beyond belief and in the purest sense. I have seen firsthand the work that youth leaders of the #Enough movement so passionately carry out on a daily basis, unified in their collaboration and willingness to work to ensure that every child has the fundamental right to a future, a life.
I wholly admire Chaplain Chéry for her level of motivation and dedication to challenging violence with peace and love. It is a concept which is inspirational in theory, but truly groundbreaking in practice, and one that, especially given the incredible presence of Tina Chéry, strengthens my resolve to consistently practice in my life.
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.