FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Grieving mothers take their message of peace to Parliament Hill
Ottawa-area residents are invited to a November 18 vigil on Parliament Hill to raise awareness of the spike in gun violence in Somali-Canadian community
Ottawa, Ontario (November 17, 2013) – Two mothers of slain young men are joining Positive Change, a volunteer advocacy group, for a candlelight vigil to remember the more than 50 Somali-Canadian young men who were murdered across Canada in recent years.
The vigil is taking place on the steps of Parliament Hill on Monday, November 18, at 7 p.m.
Habiba Adan, a co-founder of Positive Change, lost her son 26-year-old son Warsame Ali in a double homicide in September 2012 in Toronto; their killer remains at large. Similarly, Faduma Nur’s son Abdulkadir Mohamoud, 22, was beaten and shot in Edmonton in 2006; the case is also unsolved.
The women are just two of the many mothers who received the most devastating call a mother can receive. More than 50 young Somali-Canadians males have been killed in Alberta and Ontario since 2006; the great majority of cases remain unsolved. In 2012, six of 33 Toronto shooting homicides befell Somali-Canadian men, who were killed between June and October.
“No mother should feel the pain and sorrow I do every day. We are all affected by gun violence, regardless of what part of the country we live in,” says Adan. “I hope the Ottawa community joins us in standing up for our sons from coast to coast.”
Ottawa has nearly 4000 Somali-Canadian residents. Positive Change hopes to address the underlying issues of gun violence, including unemployment, education, policing and mental health.
In addition to the mothers, the audience will also hear from local activists, Members of Parliament, and Rima Berns McGowan, adjunct professor of diaspora studies at the University of Toronto.
After the 45-minute vigil, members of the public are invited to walk over to Ottawa University, Tabaret 083 (Senat room)-E, to view a documentary on the violence and discuss possible solutions. Light refreshments will be served.
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About Positive Change:
Positive Change is a group of concerned citizens who have united to tackle youth violence in the Somali-Canadian community. We are made up of mothers, relatives, friends and supporters of young men who were recently murdered in Toronto and across Canada. www.positivechangeto.com
For more information, please call: