Racine & Me: Voices of Black Mothers United
RACINE, WI (CBS 58) -- Nakeyda Haymer, the Wisconsin State Lead for the Voices of Black Mothers United joined CBS 58's Alex Corradetti in studio to discuss her efforts to make communities safer and less violent.
The Voices of Black Mothers United is an initiative of the Woodson Center. Mothers who lost children to violence or addiction seek to honor the lives of their children by creating communities that are safe for everyone. It was launched in January, 2021. These mothers seek to heal, strengthen, and make their communities safe by supporting violence intervention and sensible police reform. In Racine and elsewhere, they’re about empowering community leaders to step up and promote peace in their neighborhoods. Change has to come from within these communities; it’s not something imposed from without.
They promote “positive policing,” sensible police reform, and strong relationships between local police and community leaders - not “defunding the police.” many residents of crime-ridden neighborhoods want a strong police presence to deter crime.
VBMU moms also meet with and console families affected by violence. The VBMU mothers have themselves gone through the process of grief, and devote their time to helping other mothers grieve their murdered children. They also seek to prevent any acts of retaliation, helping prevent violence before it occurs and stopping the cycle.
Nakeyda’s brother was murdered in 2017. She knows what families of murder victims feel, because she went through the experience herself. Grief can often lead to despair, where families who lost loved ones are tempted to respond with violence or through self-destructive acts. Nakeyda didn’t want her life to be defined by that tragedy. She’s working to show others that pain can lead to purpose, that positive change can happen, that we should be spending our lives building something good. In Racine, the VBMU chapter launched not even four months ago and has already partnered with the city government to reduce violence in the area.