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June 14, 2021
 
Brown Peace Institute Raises $400K via Virtual Annual Walk
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

May 10, 2021 — The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, a Boston nonprofit that aims to be a center of learning and healing for families and communities impacted by murder and trauma, raised $400,000 toward a $600,000 goal via its annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, held virtually for the second consecutive year yesterday.

This year’s event, the single largest fundraiser in the year for founded The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute (LDBPI), marked 25 years since the first walk for peace, which normally attracts hundreds of walkers, was held.

Fundraising will continue through June. Last year’s event raised $430,000.

“It was a way for us to come together, so that we can get permission to grieve our children that are no longer here, and then permission to celebrate those who are here, and to recommit to work together to protect each other’s children,” said Chaplain Clementina M. Chéry, who founded LDBPI to honor her son, who was killed in 1993 at age 15, quoted in The Boston Globe. “And here we are, 25 years later.”

This year’s event kicked off April 5 with “25 days of walking” leading up to yesterday’s live broadcast on Facebook. Activities such as fundraising, keeping a journal, or creating artwork were suggested for each day.

“It was a way for us to come together, so that we can get permission to grieve our children that are no longer here, and then permission to celebrate those who are here, and to recommit to work together to protect each other’s children,” said Chaplain Clementina M. Chéry, who founded the Peace Institute in honor of her 15-year-old son, who was killed in 1993. “And here we are, 25 years later.”

Latoyia Edwards, an NBC10 Boston news anchor, hosted Sunday’s event. Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey praised the Peace Institute’s work, noting, according to The Globe, that said she is exploring a housing fund to help survivors who want to move to a different part of the city after a traumatic event.

LDBPI, founded in 1994, provides a range of services, including outreach and healing workshops for people affected by violence, as well as training services such as peace building classes for incarcerated people and workshops that explore racism as a root cause of violence.

Last year, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when Boston, and other large cities across the country, experience a marked increase in homicides, LDBPI received a grant of $100,000 from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to support its public advocacy efforts.

At the time, Chéry noted, “An investment in a survivor-led organization that informs, influences and impacts policies that create a more equitable society for families impacted by murder, trauma, grief, and loss is vital, if we are to bring about real and lasting change in our communities.”

Responding to the increased violence, LDPBI inaugurated a collaboration with the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia.

LDBPI also was instrumental in helping the community heal from the impact of homicide during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing 50, free Peace Play in Urban Setting Kits, a healing technique for families, youth groups, religious institutions, and community-based organizations.

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