boston dorchester mother's day walk for peace A banner at the Mother's Day Walk for Peace in Dorchester holds the pins of people lost to murder.
Credit: Michael Naughton/Metro

More than a thousand men and women, children and grandparents, all from varying backgrounds came together in a Dorchester park on Sunday and shouted the same message: Peace is possible.

The group prayed, cheered and stretched before leaving the park to march through the streets of Boston for the 18th annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace.

"We're hoping this walk will open up the eyes of the young ones to stop the violence," said Brenda Shepherd, of Dorchester. Shepherd walked on Sunday for three relatives she lost to murder, including two of her nephews.


The walk, put on by the Dorchester-based Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, attempted to raise $200,000 for the organization's work to help family members of murder victims and to advocate for peace.

"I believe that we are one Boston," said Tina Chery, the founder of the peace institute, which is named for her 15-year-old son who was gunned down on his way to a anti-violence event in 1993.

boston dorchester mother's day walk for peace People walked through the streets of Dorchester for the annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace on May 11, 2014.
Credit: Jeremiah Robinson/Metro

Mayor Marty Walsh, who launched a gun buyback program earlier this year as part of his effort to stem the rise in homicides this year in Boston, joined the walkers on the 3.6-mile trek.

"We are still getting phone calls that somebody has been gunned down. We're still getting phone calls that there's violence in our city and throughout Massachusetts. We need to stop it. We need to make sure that we continue to work together," Walsh said.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

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