By Rosilyn Temple, Founder and Executive Director of KC Mothers in Charge
Kansas City (KC) Mothers in Charge was born out of grief after my son Antonio was murdered in November 2011. I still remember standing alone and devastated at my son’s homicide scene. Since then, I have dedicated my life to caring for mothers and families of homicide victims. KC Mothers in Charge serves families in the Kansas City metro area — giving them hope and the help they need to heal. Our team of staff, core mothers and volunteers serve families at homicide scenes and through home visits, assistance with funeral arrangements, weekly family support calls, 24-hour crisis line support, monthly support groups, and counseling services.
KC Mothers in Charge supports families bereaved by homicide — bridging the gap between families, law enforcement, and community members. Our mission is to reduce violent crime through prevention, education and intervention, and to guide and support the families of victims. Our vision is a Kansas City community safe for all, where families are empowered and supported.
Because of systemic inequities in the United States, many Black people in America know what it’s like to not feel safe and to worry for our children and loved ones. In honor of Black History Month, our communities can come together to imagine better.
Mothers who have been hurt in the worst way — those who have lost our children to gun violence — have been at the forefront in the fight against gun violence. We want to see change. We want families to be safe in their own homes and communities. We want to be able to raise our children without having to worry that they will be victims of gun violence.
I’m proud of being able to get up and go out to support a family every time we have a homicide in the community. We’re doing something that has never really been done in Kansas City. We are at the homicide scene comforting families during their darkest moment. We are making a difference. Families and the community lean on us and depend on us to be their support.
I wish I could promise to keep homicide from ever happening again, but I can’t. But if I can prevent one mother from having to bury her child, that would be a lot. Imagine if we were all working towards this goal together.
That’s why I believe we can band together, stand together and bond together to fight this fight to reduce the violence in our community.