In celebration of its ninth anniversary, local organization Mothers in Charge recently held the “Commemoration of Peace, Mothers Still Standing” event at Penn’s Landing Caterers, located at 1301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. in South Philadelphia.
Dorothy Johnson-Speight, whose 24-year-old son was murdered in 2001, founded Mothers in Charge. The organization’s mission is aimed for violence prevention, education and intervention and community advocacy.
On May 15, Mothers in Charge gathered to reflect on accomplishments, and honor and recognize various individuals and organizations and welcome Roxanna Green.
Green is the mother of slain 9-year-old Christina TaylorGreen, who was killed at the shooting at a political rally involving Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on January 8, 2011. Green was honored by her invitation from Johnson-Speight to attend the Mothers in Charge event.
“I knew it was going to be a great thing because we have the same values and mission,” Green said. “Our foundation is focused on youth and it’s all the same — stopping violence; we hope to do things in the future together and somehow partner.”
She started a foundation called, “The Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation,” to honor the life of her daughter through charitable and educational projects.
Green, author of “As Good as She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson,” wrote this book as an inspirational piece for anyone who is going through a difficult time. Writing her book became a part of her grieving process.
“It was so therapeutic,” she said.
Johnson-Speight and Mothers in Charge was pleased to have Green in attendance and available for book signings.
“She and I made it a pledge we would work together in the future,” Johnson-Speight said. “I think the key is going to be, to organize those efforts on a national basis — our goal next year is to have a national platform for our 10th anniversary.”
Of those honored at the event was, Commissioner Dr. Arthur Evans and Bill Hart, executive director of the R.I.S.E (Reintegration Services for Ex-offenders).
“We do a lot of programs in the prisons,” Johnson-Speight said.
Both Johnson-Speight and Green agree it is important to build relationships and have community members involved in these efforts.
“I would encourage women and men to find people in your community and city — it has been therapeutic and powerful,” Green said. “I think about how Christina was such a happy child; she wouldn’t want me to be moping.”
To get involved with Mothers in Charge or the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation, visit mothersincharge.org and www.christina-taylorgreen.org.