Marchers in Mother's Day Walk for Peace Hope for End to Violence

As Tina Chery marks another Mother's Day without her son, she continues her mission to stop violence in Boston.

Louis Brown was just 15 when he was shot and killed in the crossfire of rival gangs in 1993.

"He was going to a Christmas party and he wanted to be the first African-American president," Chery said. "He was an honor student."

This weekend, Chery will remember Brown by leading the annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace, a seven-mile trek for survivors who have lost loved ones to murder. The walk will raise funds for the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.

"It's not who I wanted to be," Chery said. "I give credit to my then-husband, Joseph. This was really his vision. I just wanted to be at home, curl up under my covers, pull my shade down."

"The work that Tina does, reaching out to mothers, fathers and grandmothers of people who lost loved ones, is amazing work," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Last week, city and state leaders helped recognize the institute's 25th anniversary. Shannon Tangherlini of Brockton was there, too. Her oldest child, Matthew, was shot to death more than three years ago.

"I'm faced with decisions of funeral arrangements, burials. Things that I had no answers, I did know where to turn, who to reach out for help," Tangherlini said.

They hope the walk will raise as much as $400,000. It will help pay for programs as the institute looks to launch a national campaign for the families of homicide victims.

"As people in urban settings, we are more than the narrative that's portrayed. We do not raise our children to kill and we do not raise our children to be killed," Chery said.

Chery says that while a lot has been accomplished, more needs to be done.

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