The Power of Ideas

We shine a light on Boston’s new power class: the visionaries, idealists, and thinkers among us whose insights are transforming the way we live, work, learn, and play.

By Boston Magazine

EMPOWERED AND ENGAGED MOTHERS ARE THE KEY TO ENDING VIOLENCE

Monalisa Smith and Kim Odom
President, Mothers for Justice and Equity; Pastor and LIPSTICK Field Director

They are known simply as “The Mothers”—the survivors left standing after their children were taken from them by Boston’s plague of urban violence—and in a few short years they have created a power base out of powerlessness. Together, Smith (left) and Odom have reshaped the way Boston responds to trauma, using strategies that are “grounded,” as they’ve written, “in the principles of restorative justice, an approach promoting the belief that healing through social connectivity and engagement will prevent street violence and lead to healthier, more vibrant communities.” The mothers have built, from their grief, a grassroots movement that seeks to hold the rest of the city accountable when a life is lost—and attempts to make the city whole again.

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