Louis D. Brown Peace Institute aiming to spread light with Peace Poles in Dorchester

DORCHESTER, Mass — Spreading love and light through art is one of the ways the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is responding to violence in Dorchester. Boston 25 News Reporter Brea Douglas was there as the healing center participated in its first installment of the “Peace Poles” trail which uplifts the principles of what the Peace Institute stands for.

On an already bright and sunny day in Dorchester, a group of people walked around the community shining even more light one pole at a time.

“We are all doing this in the honor of our loved ones and for our community to help cultivate generational peace and to come together and help each other heal and grieve,” says Alexis Smith, Lead Artist for the Love Pole, and Survivor Ambassador.

Smith’s son was murdered in 2017. She makes up a team of artists, organizers, and those whose who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence now coming together to promote love and unity through art.

“I am hoping that they will want to pull over park somewhere, get out of the car check it out and see what it means,” says Smith.

The “Peace Poles” as they’re called were inspired by the murder of Ruth Henry’s friend who was just 17 years old when he was killed in 2005.

“We have lost a lot of people and it is very easy to just get stuck in the sadness of that loss and just thinking about how to honor their memories. Hoping that people kind of think beyond the statistics to who are the human beings that we are losing,” says Ruth Henry, Generation Peace Teaching Artist-In-Residence, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.

Down the street from the pole representing love, the group installed another pole representing unity. It includes seven strands, which stand for principles of love, unity, hope, justice, faith, courage, and forgiveness. Temmy Gomes is one of the artists who also lost loved ones.

“It honestly was so healing to be a part of the community and be able to make this,” says Temmy Gomes, Lead Artist for Unity Pole and Generation Peace Ambassador.

“I think it is important to have this because you will see people that will walk by probably in the wrong path and something like this might set them straight,” says Jaylon Phifer, one of the Unity Pole Artists.

On the Love Pole are hearts with the names of men and women who have died due to gun violence and the Love Pole is positioned on the same route as the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace which is next Sunday at 8:00am.

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