By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia non-profit that was founded to help mothers cope after losing a child to violence will celebrate 12 years this week.
It’s been 13 years since Dorothy Johnson Speight has spent Mother’s Day with her son, Khaaliq. The young man was shot multiple times in 2001…murdered in cold blood. Speight started Mother in Charge 12 years ago to prevent the violence that claimed her only child and to deal with the ripple effect of violence within communities.
“I think about my son who was a college grad — he graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and was working with kids with special needs at a middle school in Germantown,” says Speight, “those kids don’t get what he was willing to give.”
Mothers in Charge will hold its second annual Cost of Violence conference beginning on Monday, bringing in speakers, including Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, the teenage boy gunned down in Jacksonville Florida for listening to music.
“We’ll be looking at the law of stand your ground, a law we see as a license to kill,” says Speight.
She says the three day conference runs includes workshops on violence prevention, victim services and data that puts a dollar amount on what violence costs a community.
“There’s a high cost that everyone pays when it comes to violence whether you’re affected directly or indirectly,” says Speight.
She says they’ll close out the gathering on Wednesday evening with a 12th anniversary celebration gala.
On Wednesday the group will celebrate its 12th anniversary with a glitz out gala.