Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58Mothers in Charge staff members and volunteers help in simple ways such as sending a card to every family in Philadelphia that loses someone through violence. They also support grieving families that need someone to fight for their rights. For instance, Ms. Johnson-Speight fought for a mother to receive money from the state govern- ment to pay for her son’s burial. He had been murdered, and the state has a special fund that helps cover victims’ burial costs. Ms. Johnson-Speight also uses her experience as a family therapist to counsel people, helping them express their emotions and talk about their grief. She knows she is making a difference, she says, when family members come back to thank her for helping them cope and recognizing that they can make it through the pain. Mothers in Charge has grown from one program in North Philadelphia to nearly a dozen chapters across the United States, from California to Missouri and New Jersey. Unfortunately, Ms. Johnson-Speight says, she expects that her organization will continue to expand. As long as people murder each other, she sees a need for Mothers in Charge. Stopping violence in the first place is a driving goal of the group. Ms. Johnson-Speight and her team visit prisons, juvenile detention centers, Dorothy Johnson-Speight Helping families cope when violence strikes home Dorothy Johnson- Speight was an ordinary woman leading an ordinary life until her son was murdered. At 24, he died from a bullet fired by a young man who argued with him over a parking space. Her grief was unbearable, Ms. Johnson-Speight says. He was a peaceful, compassionate young man who worked with children and planned to earn a graduate degree in counseling. She knew she needed to do something to cope with her tears, sadness, and anger. In 2003, she started Mothers in Charge, an orga- nization that supports grieving mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, and others who have lost someone through violence. In her organization, people who have experi- enced tragedy show others that they can survive their heartbreak too. “We have had the first-hand experience of pain,” she says, and have learned that as long as there is life, “there is hope.” 20