May 2012 Update: LDBPI's Mother's Day Walk for Peace

May
30

You may have noticed that our last couple updates have included an announcement about the Mother's Day Walk for Peace. In case you weren't able to make it, we want to share a brief report of what happened and why YVSP is convinced that it's such an important event.

LDBPI's Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace

On Sunday morning, May 13th, over 4,000 people came out to Fields Corner in Dorchester for the Mother's Day Walk for Peace. The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute has been organizing the annual walk since 1996. The vision behind the event is to both give Boston's communities a chance to publicly remember the young people lost to violence, and also to celebrate the lives of those young people. What makes the gathering such a unique source of community healing is that each Spring it brings together so many different kinds of people and organizations who all agree that Boston needs to unite around the pursuit of peaceful streets and neighborhoods. The event itself is about the community taking an active, unified step toward healing, and declaring that our collective hunger for peace has the power to bring down traditional walls of division such as class, race, and place of residence. In its 16th consecutive year, the Mother's Day Walk is part of Boston's rhythms, and it continues to draw everyone from the friends and families of victims to Mayor Menino and representatives from the District Attorney's Office.   
  
By every measure, the Mother's Day Walk was a tremendous success! It was a beautiful morning, with an excellent turnout of over 80 teams of walkers. Each team was made up of families, groups of neighbors, faith communities, and public agencies that came out because of their commitment to peace. The Walk raised over $75,000 dollars for the Peace Institute, with the goal of raising a total of $100,000 by Father's Day. Most of those donations were given by individual supporters, making the fundraising figure an extraordinary testament to the value of the Peace Institute's work in the eyes of the community.    

Throughout the year, the Peace Institute supports individuals, families, and institutions like schools as they learn to cope with the grief and loss. But violence causes high levels of traumatic stress that can affect the entire community. The Mother's Day Walk offers a vital opportunity for the community as whole to remember and celebrate the lives of young people, gathering people from across the city to acknowledge the suffering caused by violence and to give their shared hope for peace a powerful voice. Events like this not only help to heal the wounds left by violence, but YVSP believes that responding to past trauma is essential to the ongoing project of cultivating lasting peace in our city.    

YVSP is grateful for the Peace Institute's continued work on behalf of everyone impacted by violence, and we're excited to congratulate them on the success of the Mother's Day Walk!  

All photos courtesy of The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, used with permission.

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