The day Hadiya was born my life began and the day she died I thought it was the end of mine, until I realized it was the beginning of my new life – as an activist,” said Cleopatra Pendleton, mother of slain 15-year-old Chicago student Hadiya Pendleton, during an emotionally charged speech at the launch of MOTHERS ON A MISSION: AGAINST URBAN GUN VIOLENCE.
Hosted by BET Networks and The National Action Network, M.O.M.: AGAINST URBAN GUN VIOLENCE seeks to reclaim the true meaning of Mother’s Day by “appealing to women throughout the world” to unite for peace.
Pendleton noted that while Hadiya was the “. . . 42nd child killed at the hands of gun violence in 2013,” there have been countless others after and the numbers continue to rise. Speaking to the importance of stricter gun laws, “I’ve been travelling all over to bring awareness to violence and some people say I should sit down, but I say no. It’s time for you to get up!”
MOTHERS ON A MISSION: AGAINST URBAN GUN VIOLENCE also shared a “5 Point Call to Action” for mothers during the month of May:
1. Find a local anti-violence program in your area and donate time and/or money.
2. Work with other mothers to petition your local community center or place of worship to stay open during extended hours to provide conflict resolution and anti-violence programming for youth especially during summer months.
3. Contact elected officials and make your voice heard about gun violence.
4. Work with local organizations like National Action Network on programs like “Occupy the Corners.”
5. Lend your time to mentoring youth in your local community.
Note to Editors: Photos available upon request.