Frank Ogawa Plaza was filled with over 100 people wearing pink clothing or pink ribbons on Friday in support of ending violence against women. The rally was led by Bay Area Rising, an all-volunteer team dedicated to feminist principles and ending violence against women all over the world. A branch of the 1 Billion Rising…

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Lorrain Taylor lost her twin sons, Obadiah and Albade, in February 2000. “Depression is a battle, you have to fight it,” she says. “You can’t give up.”

In 2004, Lorrain Taylor, the mother of two twin sons murdered in 2000, founded an advocacy group she called the 24/7 Gospel—now called 1,000 Mothers to Prevent Violence—and part of its mission is the support group, the Circle of Prayer and Empowerment, or COPE. The group meets every other Saturday, near Lake Merritt, at Regeneration Church. Her main job at these support groups is to hear the survivors of these loved ones mourn, as well as to simply invite family members to come and sit with others and talk, or just listen. Reaching out to families of homicide victims is Taylor’s full-time job now. When needed, she shows up to their doorsteps with groceries, a smile, a hug, kind words.

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Laughter, prayer, song and tears marked Saturday night’s third annual PURPLE Fundraising Gala for the families and friends of those who have lost their lives to violence. The event, organized by the Oakland-based advocacy group 1,000 Mothers to Prevent Violence, recognized two Oakland police investigators and a retired schoolteacher for having gone “beyond the call of duty to bring healing to surviving families.”

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