Local organization to host event for mother’s who lost children to gun violence

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.. — The Silent Women Speaking Foundation is hosting an event this weekend recognizing local mothers and those from surrounding areas who have lost children to gun violence.

Haraka Carswell, who is the founder of Silent Women’s Speaking says this weekend her organization will hold a free two-day event, titled Angles Mother’s Day Weekend, at The Potter’s House.

This event is for mothers in Jacksonville and surrounding states who have lost their children to gun violence.

Mothers will get share to their stories with one another and listen to speakers during the event.

This is the third year Carswell, has put on this event for these mothers, and she says every year it seems to get bigger and bigger

“This year over 150 moms registered, I’m expecting at least about 80 to 90,” said Carswell.

And Carswell Action News Jax, this two-day event will be packed with activities to help these mothers try to heal.

“I always tell my moms, one thing about it. I know their angels we would want me to make sure they have a good Mother’s Day. On Friday we are doing a meet and greet. I have moms coming in, each mom gets to set up a memorial table on that table they get to honor their child,” said Carswell.

Carswell adds on Saturday Mother’s Day will be treated to a brunch and presentations from guest speakers.

One of those speakers is Lakeshia T. Washington. She is from Jacksonville and lost her 20-year-old son, Terrance Kennard Jr, in 2019.

She said she sent her son to live with his dad in El Paso, Texas because of the constant gun violence here in Jacksonville

She tells Action News Jax, her son was gunned down in El Paso at a house party, while she was recovering in a hospital bed 10 days after surgery related to her diagnosis of breast cancer.

“For me, I was already in physical pain, and the mental anguish of losing a child it was really hard,” said Washington.

Washington says her son left behind three children and says now she has to explain how their father died.

She adds, for people who think about committing these violent crimes, should always think twice before pulling the trigger.

“They think that they are hurting the person, but you’re not hurting the person, you’re hurting the family, the person is resting in peace,” said Washington.

Washington tells Action News Jax, her son’s murder has yet to be solved.

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