After one of her sons was fatally stabbed on a Dorchester street in 1995, she overcame her sorrow and worked to make her neighborhood safer. But then, in May 2006, she lost another son, in the same neighborhood, to the same senseless violence. Most women would probably have given up the fight after two such deaths. Most women are not Isaura Mendes. And most recently Isaura channeled her efforts in to the Peace billboards to remind us that peace is possible.
The Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy is an anti-violence initiative co-directed by Dorchester peace activist Isaura Mendes and Shannon Flattery of Touchable Stories. It is named in honor of Isaura's oldest son Bobby who was murdered in 1995. It is rededicated to her youngest son Matthew who was murdered in 2006.
The program began in 1999 to help stem the tide of growing homicides in the Dorchester/Roxbury neighborhoods. Programs include public speaking in schools and prisons, grief counseling for families and friends who have lost loved ones, roundtable dinners with community members and their elected officials, holiday celebrations for local children and the Annual Parent's and Children's Walk for Peace.