The following announcement was provided by Watertown Walks for Peace:
The 2021 Watertown Walks for Peace (WW4P) initiative has raised over $4,800 to support the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester, exceeding its original $3,000 fundraising goal by at least 60 percent. The funds are being raised as part of the Institute’s annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Largest Sum Raised in Seven Years
The $4800 total is the largest amount raised by Watertown Walks for Peace in its seven years of joining the annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace. But organizers are still seeking donations and hope to reach $5,000 in total giving. Online contributions can still be made at the WW4P team webpage: https://lbdpeace.z2systems.com/ww4p2021.
A Symbolic Walk for Peace
The Dorchester to Boston Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, which typically draws hundreds of participants, was a virtual fundraising event again this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizers for the Watertown Walks for Peace team, however, decided to organize a “symbolic walk” early on Mother’s Day to take advantage of relaxed restrictions for public gatherings.
At 8 a.m. on Mother’s Day, over 60 Watertown residents (including 10 children and youth) gathered at the Church of the Good Shepherd for a brief welcome and sharing, facilitated by the Reverend Andrew Goldhor. They then walked to the MLK mural at the Boys & Girls Club, where they mingled over coffee and donuts – adults talking and kids playing in the warm spring sunshine. As Deborah Peterson, one of the organizers, said, “After walking together, everyone was everyone hanging out in the space next to the MLK mural. The sun was glistening off the mural, kids were bouncing a basketball, and the adults talked in groups like we hadn’t done for a year.”
Reactions of Symbolic Walkers
Sara Keary, a Watertown resident and mother who joined the symbolic walk with her husband and two young children, expressed her enthusiasm for the symbolic walk: “It was a meaningful way to spend Mother’s Day with my family … and to be connected to my community … a beautiful way to see other kids and families. We’ve never done the Walk for Peace before, so doing this on a small scale was nice introduction.”
Eric Kemp-Benedict shared a similar reaction, “For me, personally, it was a joyful event. It was a beautiful day, and I got to see friends in person, rather than through a screen. I met some new people, and the kids running around gave the whole event that extra bit of energy that transforms a really nice event into a really special one.”
Roma Jerome, reflecting on the significance of the symbolic walk, stated spoke about the significance of the symbolic walk: “It was definitely not the same as walking in Dorchester through neighborhoods affected by gun violence, but something needed in our community among those of us who are committed to the same cause. And it was really heartwarming and nourishing for the soul to be among like-minded people who are committed to racial justice and combatting gun violence.”
Tod Gross also spoke of the importance of symbolic walk. “The presence of families marching together showed our solidarity in facing this issue as a community … the united voices of the participants showed their determination to make this a safer world for all.”
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
The Mother’s Day Walk for Peace is sponsored by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester, a center for healing and teaching, supporting those who have lost loved ones to homicide, and working with young people to teach the ways of peace. It was founded 23 years ago by Chaplain Clementina Chery, the mother of Louis D. Brown, who was killed by random gunfire in 1993. The Institute has earned a reputation as an innovative leader for peace. For more information visit: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/
Watertown Walks for Peace Sponsors
Watertown Walks for Peace was sponsored this year by World in Watertown; Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the Environment; First Parish of Watertown (Unitarian Universalist), Church of the Good Shepherd, and Kingian Response Team.