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By Gretel Kauffman, The Christian Science Monitor


Clementina Chéry’s son was killed in the crossfire of a gang-related shootout. Soon after in Boston, she founded the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute to address the roots of violence and support grieving families, regardless of circumstance.

JUNE 2, 2017  BOSTON—Fifteen-year-old Louis Brown, an aspiring engineer with a penchant for comic books and Chinese food, wasn’t in a gang. On the contrary, he was on his way to a Teens Against Gang Violence meeting when he was killed in the crossfire of a gang-related shootout.

In the days and weeks that followed, members of Louis’s family found themselves on the receiving end of a flood of support from Boston city officials and the local community. But while appreciative, his mother, Clementina Chéry, says she couldn’t help but wonder if they would have received the same treatment had the circumstances surrounding Louis’s death been different.

“What if my son was gang-involved?” she muses aloud, 24 years later. “What would happen to my family and me? Would the city really have provided us support?”

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