A grieving mother fights for peace in Boston

Clementina Chery at the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which she started after her son was killed. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/METRO
Clementina Chery at the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which she started after her son was killed.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/METRO

Clementina Chery had a choice to make shortly after her 15-year-old son was innocently gunned down in crossfire between gangs battling in Dorchester.

“For me the anger and violence was there,” she said, adding, “I didn’t want to go that route. I wanted to go on the path less traveled.”

Chery chose the path of peace following the death of her son, Louis Brown, and founded the Dorchester-based Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.

Her son was killed in 1993 as he walked one afternoon into a teens against gang violence event. It was her son’s death, she said, that woke her up. 

“My anger was there, my search for revenge was there, but yet who was I going to take revenge out on? Someone who looked just like me? Someone who looked just like my son? So I had to channel my pain and my anger in a way that would be more about rebuilding the community,” she said.

The Peace Institute focuses on primary prevention, to stop the seeds of violence before they grow, and peace education as a way to stem violence. It has even developed curriculum for elementary to high school students on how to choose peace over violence in the wake of a crime. 

Primary prevention such as peace education and emotional literacy are areas that Chery believes will provide long-term tools for young people and help communities more than “Band-Aid solutions.”

“If we don’t address the emotional psychological needs of hurt children then they will become hurtful adults,” she said.

For 17 years, the Institute has put on the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace through Dorchester. The attendance has grown each year. This year Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was one of the 26 students and educators killed during the shooting in Newtown, Conn., spokes to the crowd about loving each other and spreading peace.

Chery said the growing numbers at peace events like the Mother’s Day walk gives her hope.

“Doing good is hard. We live in a culture that is reactionary because everything is a quick fix. Seeing change is a long-term investment … you don’t see the results next day,” she said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.