Monday, August 12, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Phyllis Duncan and Rev. David Lowe address the crowd during Saturday’s peace gathering in Maywood. | Michael Romain
The funerals of Dean Stansberry, 38, and Yarnell M. White, 30, both of Maywood, were held over the weekend. The two men were fatally shot on July 30 on the 1200 block of South 13th Ave.
On Saturday, Phyllis Duncan, the founder of Mothers of Murdered Sons, stood in a parking lot on the corner of 9th Avenue and Madison Street in Maywood — two blocks from where Stansberry’s stepson, Isiah Scott, was murdered in March. The names of Scott, Stansberry and White, among other people whose lives were lost to gun violence, were handwritten on poster boards taped to a building. The words preceding their names: “Justice for …”
Duncan, who lost her own son to gun violence in 2005, organized the event with the help of community members like Barbara Cole, the founder of Maywood Youth Mentoring. Cole passed out flyers featuring “10 survival tips if stopped by the police” and “10 community safety tips for you and your loved ones” as Duncan urged those at the gathering to get more involved in their community.
“We gotta be foot soldiers,” Duncan said into a bullhorn as cars whizzed by along Madison. “We can’t do this work inside doors. We must leave our houses. We’ve got to knock on doors … Hurt people hurt people. We have a lot of hurt people in our community.”
Miguel Jones, a Maywood trustee, said that he was in attendance “to support in any way I can,” adding that community members “have to speak and brainstorm about what we have to do to prevent these things.”
The names of people whose lives were lost to gun violence were taped to the walls of a building during Duncan’s Saturday peace rally. | Michael Romain
Min. Chris Burton, a spokesperson for #1 Stop the Violence, a community organization based in Chicago, said that he plans to coordinate with Duncan on an anti-violence event in late August.
“We want to let the people know that if you stand up, STV will stand up with you,” Burton said.
Nubian Malik, a local poet, said that gatherings like the one on Saturday should take place more often in Maywood.
“We need to make it our business to get together just to be together,” Malik said. “I want to encourage everybody to take heed what it is you’re looking at, because this is the space that, as African people, prior to our captivity, this was our reality — the African village. We knew that mamma and baba, the women and men inside the community, served the community and all the children belonged to us.”
Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said that she hopes more people rally behind efforts like Duncan’s.
“She pulled this together out of her pocket,” the mayor said. “People need to support her. I just ask people to support her.” VFP
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