Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

The mission of Mothers for Justice and Equality (MJE) is to end neighborhood violence. By empowering our members to be effective change-makers, we reclaim the identity of our communities and restore a sense of hope and purpose for our children.

We pursue our mission by building relationships with families that have lost loved ones, youth at-risk for violence, formerly incarcerated youth, and leaders in the public and private sector. We tell our stories in the hopes that humanizing neighborhood violence will transform hearts — the broken hearts of families suffering silently in their grief, the numbed hearts of the residents of high risk of violence neighborhoods, the fearful hearts of people outside these neighborhoods, and the skeptical hearts of those who can influence policy for change.

We reach out to all with the belief that these children are all of our children. They deserve to be nurtured in a safe environment and given opportunities that all parents want for their children. Building relationships build empowerment and the belief that change can happen. We have witnessed the strength of mothers and grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers, claiming their voices and speaking out for their children. MJE has made allies among leaders in all sectors of the city who support our mission and endorse our approach. MJE is a movement. One relationship at a time, we are moving people out of alienation, silence, intimidation, fear, and apathy into courageous change–making. As NAACP President Michael Curry reminded us, “Courage has not skipped this generation.”

It is never normal or acceptable for children to be murdered — anywhere. All children’s lives have value. Mothers for Justice and Equality is a movement that, at its roots, asks that we open our hearts. We allow ourselves to feel the pain when a child is lost and we summon our resolve to create neighborhoods where all children are free from the threat of violence. We welcome you to join us.

In peace,

Monalisa Smith
Founder, President, CEO
Mothers for Justice and Equality