Washington (February 3, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today announced his guest to the State of the Union, renowned violence prevention expert and peace pioneer Chaplain Clementina “Tina” Chéry. Chaplain Chéry founded the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute based in Dorchester in 1994 after the murder of her fifteen-year-old son Louis. She is an internationally recognized expert in the field of homicide response and has served families of murder victims for more than two decades. Through her leadership at the Peace Institute, she has trained thousands of public health professionals, law enforcement officials, and religious leaders in the best practices for supporting survivors and interrupting cycles of retaliatory violence through the “Survivors Burial and Resource Guide” and “Always in My Heart” children’s workbook.


“Tina is a teacher, a healer, a change agent, and one of our greatest forces for breaking the cycle of violence in Massachusetts and throughout the country,” said Senator Markey. “She is leading a movement for peace and justice for survivors of homicide and other forms of violence, and giving them dignity in their hours of most need. While our neighborhood streets suffer from the scourge of gun violence, Tina Chéry wages peace. Thanks to her leadership, our families, our communities, and our government agencies have the tools to respond to violence with compassion and fairness so that futures aren’t lost to grief and the cycle of violence. I thank Tina for her dedication to the values of peace and potential, and for developing and sharing invaluable tools and resources through the Peace Institute for survivors.”


“I’m grateful to Senator Markey for the invitation to join him at this year’s State of the Union,” said Clementina M. Chéry, President and CEO, the Peace Institute. “This invitation is more than a personal honor, it is a recognition of the work that the Peace Institute does to transform society’s response to homicide and support those who experience murder, trauma, grief, and loss. I will be attending Tuesday’s speech on behalf of all those working to address the root causes of violence to make our communities safer, and on behalf of all survivors of homicide victims. I hope others will join us in waging peace every day for the next generation and learn about the mission of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute — named for my son Louis who was killed 26 years ago at the age of 15 and who dreamed of being the First Black President of the United States.”