PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — An upcoming Peoria event is looking to promote awareness and empowerment while seeking justice and healing for grieving families in the community.
The nonprofit organization “Mother’s War On Violence” is hosting “Purpose Through Pain,” a fundraising event this Sunday, to shine a light on Peoria’s unsolved murders, hoping to bring some sort of resolution for the loved ones of those victims.
The organization’s founder and director, Yolanda Wallace, said one of the biggest parts of the event will be the unveiling of 45 decks of 53 playing cards with the faces and facts of some of the city’s solved and unsolved homicides.
She said all of the proceeds from the decks will go towards helping Mother’s War On Violence continue to raise awareness in the community.
“These cards will have the victims’ picture, where they got killed, how old they were at that time,” Wallace said. “It’s to promote the awareness that these cases are unsolved.”
Wallace also said she doesn’t want these cases to end up as out of sight, out of mind scenarios.
“I think it’s the humanitarian thing to do to think about how to promote life,” Wallace said. “So, by these families sharing their pictures, which I’m very thankful for because I know it’s a hard thing to share those pictures, it’s really going to heighten the awareness that these people were here, they did live and they were young just like the young people now.”
She also said she wants the event to highlight the survivors and the loved ones who are left behind.
“It’s very important that we continue to put this out in the forefront that this is a real thing and they have real families,” Wallace said. “For each victim, there is a mother, there’s a father, there’s a sister, there’s a brother, there are aunts and uncles and they are who make up our community today.”
Wallace said there will be special music by Warith Muhammad, vendors, desserts and refreshments, resource tables, raffles to It’s a Vibe Studio, and additional speakers.
“I’m going to actually tell my story, for one, of what I went through and how I turned my pain into purpose with the Lord’s help,” Wallace said.
She said she hopes the event will also result in more tips coming in about some of the city’s unsolved murders that will eventually lead to the arrests of the perpetrators and justice for the affected families.
The event takes place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at the East Bluff Community Center at 512 East Kansas Street.