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25 Days of Walking honors mothers who lost loved ones to homicide

For the second straight year, COVID-19 has forced the annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace in Dorchester to reimagine how it would honor mothers who have lost loved ones to homicide.

Instead of a single-day virtual event, this year’s event will feature nearly a month of events aimed at getting people moving out and about to promote physical and emotional well-being.

The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s 25 Days of Walking will be held as a run-up to the 25th annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, said Shaulita Francis, a spokesperson for the institute, in a phone interview.

The event, which began last Monday, features a different activity falling under several themes such as “Creativity with Principles of Peace,” “Mindfulness Monday,” “Physical Activity,” and “Peace in Action,” which involves doing random acts of kindness, she said.


The institute wanted to have “activities that not only get the body moving, but the mind moving,” Francis said.

On Mother’s Day, there will be a live broadcast at 9 a.m. with NBC Boston featuring the institute’s CEO and founders, who will speak about the institute and celebrate families who have been affected by homicide, she said.

The broadcast can be live-streamed on the institute’s Facebook page, Francis said.

The first few days of the walk were “very encouraging,” according to Francis. Participants have shared photos and videos of themselves engaging in the activities.

“We can’t wait to see as people share more of their stories, share more of their experiences, what that looks like,” she said.

People interested in joining can register and a start a fund-raising team online, she said. Those who do not want to register can still donate, sponsor the walk, or watch the broadcast, Francis said. A total of 131 teams have been registered.

This marks the second year that COVID-19 has forced the institute to hold its efforts online, she said.


Last year, the institute held a virtual broadcast, but wanted to find other ways to engage people who are “Zoomed out” this year, she said.

“I see the significance of the walk as a representation of the work the peace institute does, but also a way of acknowledging the voices and the lives of the people impacted by homicide,” Francis said.

Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.