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Sheila Tyson Recognized for Supporting Mothers Grieving Children Loss to Gun Violence

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Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson, left, receives the Public Service Leadership Award from Angela Walker, President and CEO of Mothers United Against Gun Violence. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)

By Barnett Wright

The Birmingham Times

Mothers United Against Gun Violence, will host its inaugural dinner for mothers who have lost a child to gun violence on Saturday August 19 at Rhema Word Ministries, 900 39th St N. Birmingham, AL 35222 from 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson was honored by the group on Tuesday afternoon with the Public Service Leadership Award. On Saturday personnel from Birmingham Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department will be in attendance and recognized.

Angela Walker, President and CEO of Mothers United, said she wants the mothers to walk away knowing that an organization took enough time to think about them and put together resources to show that someone cares.

“It is going to be inspirational. It’s going to be uplifting, [the mothers] are going to be showered with love,” said Walker. “We know that this cannot change their entire life, but it could be a life changing event that they will remember. Because sometimes we have to create good memories in the lives of people who are living” with grief.

Dr. Mark Haynes Executive Vice President of Mothers United, said all of the mothers will be presented a “Courage Award.” “We just want to give them something tangible for what they have had to endure,” he said.

Tyson said she was honored by the award. “For people that have been hurt so bad by losing their sons took out time from their pain and busy schedule to honor me means the world,” she said. “…makes me feel like the work I’m doing is not in vain.”

Many of the slain children are innocent victims, Tyson said.

“[Some] people feel if your child is killed they had to be bad or in trouble,” she said. “There are so many innocent victims who die every day that didn’t have anything to do with gun violence … they are true victims. Because you live in a poor neighborhood, traveling on the road … living in a low-income neighborhood that can be a public health crisis because of the greater chances of   dying.”

News staff writer Nicole S. Daniel contributed to this post.

Mothers United Against Gun Violence Inaugural Dinner.  Rhema Word Ministries,  900 39th St N. Birmingham, AL 35222 from 5 p.m.-8 p.m.