Sarah Severns | Humanitarian Photographer

Case Study: MCC

 

Case Study: MCC


MCC is a relief, justice and peace-making organization that has existed for over 98 years. They have offices in 50 countries working in relief, food, water, health, education, migration, peace, restorative justice and advocacy. For this specialized project, we visited Chicago where MCC is partnering to bring peace and justice to families who have lost children to gun violence.


Meet Elizabeth Ramirez

Elizabeth Ramirez sits on her couch in the Chicago suburb of River Grove. Elizabeth's son, Dee Jay, was shot and killed in October 2011 while celebrating his upcoming 24th birthday. After failing to find support in her grief, Elizabeth started Parents for Peace a Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC has partnered with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez sits on her couch in the Chicago suburb of River Grove. Elizabeth's son, Dee Jay, was shot and killed in October 2011 while celebrating his upcoming 24th birthday. After failing to find support in her grief, Elizabeth started Parents for Peace a Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC has partnered with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez lays out photos of her son, Dee Jay Rodriguez, on the dining room table. In October 2011 Dee Jay was shot and killed in his apartment in Chicago's Bellmont-Cragin neighborhood. In the aftermath of her son's murder, Elizabeth helped found Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization that comes alongside families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez lays out photos of her son, Dee Jay Rodriguez, on the dining room table. In October 2011 Dee Jay was shot and killed in his apartment in Chicago's Bellmont-Cragin neighborhood. In the aftermath of her son's murder, Elizabeth helped found Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization that comes alongside families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez plays with her three year old grandson, Dee Jay, who was named in honor of her late son, Dee Jay Rodriguez. Elizabeth's son was shot in killed in October 2011, four years before his nephew and namesake was born. Elizabeth helped found Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization that helps families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez plays with her three year old grandson, Dee Jay, who was named in honor of her late son, Dee Jay Rodriguez. Elizabeth's son was shot in killed in October 2011, four years before his nephew and namesake was born. Elizabeth helped found Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization that helps families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez, stands in the basement of her home gazing at a wall of rememberence devoted to her late son Dee Jay. The shelves contain momentos of Dee Jay's life and death, with items like his high school diploma, sports trophies, and the program from his memorial service. Dee Jay was shot and killed in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood of Chicago in 2011. Dee Jay's mother, Elizabeth, helped found an organization called Parents for Peace and Justice to help provide support and advocacy for families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC has partnered with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support them in their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez, stands in the basement of her home gazing at a wall of rememberence devoted to her late son Dee Jay. The shelves contain momentos of Dee Jay's life and death, with items like his high school diploma, sports trophies, and the program from his memorial service. Dee Jay was shot and killed in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood of Chicago in 2011. Dee Jay's mother, Elizabeth, helped found an organization called Parents for Peace and Justice to help provide support and advocacy for families who have also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC has partnered with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support them in their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez stands in Blackhawk Park in Chicago’s Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Elizabeth's late son, Dee Jay Rodriguez, attended his first sports camp at Blackhawk Park and there is an honorary street named after him along the park's border. Dee Jay was shot and killed in October of 2011 as he celebrated his upcoming 24th birthday. In the wake of his death, Elizabeth helped found MCC partner organization, Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago.

Elizabeth Ramirez stands in Blackhawk Park in Chicago’s Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Elizabeth's late son, Dee Jay Rodriguez, attended his first sports camp at Blackhawk Park and there is an honorary street named after him along the park's border. Dee Jay was shot and killed in October of 2011 as he celebrated his upcoming 24th birthday. In the wake of his death, Elizabeth helped found MCC partner organization, Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago.

Dee Jay Rodriguez Way borders Blackhawk Park in Chicago's Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Dee Jay was shot and killed in 2011 at the young age of 23. In the aftermath of his death, Dee Jay's mother, Elizabeth Ramirez, co-founded Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for parents who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and justice to help support their important work.

Dee Jay Rodriguez Way borders Blackhawk Park in Chicago's Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Dee Jay was shot and killed in 2011 at the young age of 23. In the aftermath of his death, Dee Jay's mother, Elizabeth Ramirez, co-founded Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for parents who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez stands at the intersection of Belden Ave and Leclaire Ave near Blackhawk Park on Chicago's west side. An honorary street sign stands at the intersection for Dee Jay Rodriguez Way. Dee Jay, Elizabeth's late son, was shot and killed in October 2011. In the aftermath of his death, Elizabeth helped create Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Elizabeth Ramirez stands at the intersection of Belden Ave and Leclaire Ave near Blackhawk Park on Chicago's west side. An honorary street sign stands at the intersection for Dee Jay Rodriguez Way. Dee Jay, Elizabeth's late son, was shot and killed in October 2011. In the aftermath of his death, Elizabeth helped create Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.


Meet Corniki Bornds

Corniki Bornds sits on the bed in the room of her late son, Fontaine "BJ" Sanders. BJ was shot and killed as he walked to Franklin Park to play basketball with his friends in 2017. Corniki said it was too painful to enter her son's room for over 6 months after his murder, but now she finds solace inside. Corniki often sits in her son's room to journal, think and look at momentos of him. In the wake of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mother's who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago in a support group run by Parents for Peace and Justice. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their advocacy and support work in Chicago.

Corniki Bornds sits on the bed in the room of her late son, Fontaine "BJ" Sanders. BJ was shot and killed as he walked to Franklin Park to play basketball with his friends in 2017. Corniki said it was too painful to enter her son's room for over 6 months after his murder, but now she finds solace inside. Corniki often sits in her son's room to journal, think and look at momentos of him. In the wake of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mother's who have lost children to gun violence in Chicago in a support group run by Parents for Peace and Justice. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their advocacy and support work in Chicago.

Corniki Bornds points to a basketball signed by the friends of her late son, BJ Sanders. BJ was a avid basketball player and was walking to play ball with some friends when he was shot and killed at Franklin Park on Chicago's west side. Corniki found support through other parents who had lost children to gun violence in a support group run by Parents for Peace and Justice. MCC helps support Parents for Peace and Justice in their important mission to help families and communities who have been affected by gun violence in Chicago.

Corniki Bornds points to a basketball signed by the friends of her late son, BJ Sanders. BJ was a avid basketball player and was walking to play ball with some friends when he was shot and killed at Franklin Park on Chicago's west side. Corniki found support through other parents who had lost children to gun violence in a support group run by Parents for Peace and Justice. MCC helps support Parents for Peace and Justice in their important mission to help families and communities who have been affected by gun violence in Chicago.

An honorary sign sits at the foot of the bed belonging to Fontaine "BJ" Sanders. In 2017 BJ was shot and killed as he walked to Franklin Park to play basketball with his friends, just days before his 20th birthday. BJ's mother, Corniki, found support through a group of mothers who had also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

An honorary sign sits at the foot of the bed belonging to Fontaine "BJ" Sanders. In 2017 BJ was shot and killed as he walked to Franklin Park to play basketball with his friends, just days before his 20th birthday. BJ's mother, Corniki, found support through a group of mothers who had also lost children to gun violence in Chicago. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

A train moves along the El (elevated line) running through Ping Tom park in Chicago. Chicago is home to MCC partner organization, Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost kids to gun violence in Chicago.

A train moves along the El (elevated line) running through Ping Tom park in Chicago. Chicago is home to MCC partner organization, Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost kids to gun violence in Chicago.

Corniki Bornds stands on the basketball courts at Franklin Park on Chicago's west side. In 2017 Corniki's only son, BJ, was murdered in a non-targeted shooting as he walked to the park to play basketball with his friends. Corniki shares, “I tell everybody when I go there, ‘I’m not going to claim this as the place where my son died - its the place my son lived. I have more memories of his life here than his death, so I’m not going to associate it with that, even though that's what it is.’“ In the aftermath of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mothers who had also lost children to gun violence. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Corniki Bornds stands on the basketball courts at Franklin Park on Chicago's west side. In 2017 Corniki's only son, BJ, was murdered in a non-targeted shooting as he walked to the park to play basketball with his friends. Corniki shares, “I tell everybody when I go there, ‘I’m not going to claim this as the place where my son died - its the place my son lived. I have more memories of his life here than his death, so I’m not going to associate it with that, even though that's what it is.’“ In the aftermath of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mothers who had also lost children to gun violence. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Corniki Bornds stands on the sidewalk at Franklin Park, in the very spot where a vigil was held for her late son, Fontaine "BJ" Sanders. In 2017 BJ was murdered in a non-targeted shooting as he walked to the park to play basketball with his friends. Corniki shares, "As the detectives told me when they came to the hospital, ‘He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time’. I think about that - It was a park, how can a kid be in the wrong place at a park? He wasn’t in the wrong place. The shooter was in the wrong place. Thats where he was supposed to be, doing what he should be doing at that age. And the person who was with the gun shooting in the broad daylight was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” In the aftermath of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mothers who had also lost children to gun violence. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Corniki Bornds stands on the sidewalk at Franklin Park, in the very spot where a vigil was held for her late son, Fontaine "BJ" Sanders. In 2017 BJ was murdered in a non-targeted shooting as he walked to the park to play basketball with his friends. Corniki shares, "As the detectives told me when they came to the hospital, ‘He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time’. I think about that - It was a park, how can a kid be in the wrong place at a park? He wasn’t in the wrong place. The shooter was in the wrong place. Thats where he was supposed to be, doing what he should be doing at that age. And the person who was with the gun shooting in the broad daylight was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” In the aftermath of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mothers who had also lost children to gun violence. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Basketball courts at Franklin Park on Chicago's west side. In 2017, Corniki Bornds only son, BJ, was murdered in a non-targeted shooting as he walked to the park to play basketball with his friends. In the aftermath of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mothers who had also lost children to gun violence. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Basketball courts at Franklin Park on Chicago's west side. In 2017, Corniki Bornds only son, BJ, was murdered in a non-targeted shooting as he walked to the park to play basketball with his friends. In the aftermath of her son's death, Corniki found support through other mothers who had also lost children to gun violence. The support group is run by Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization in Chicago. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.


Meet Robert Torres

Robert Torres, co-founder and president of Parents for Peace and Justice, a care and advocacy organization that was founded in 2012. Robert is an entrepreneur and businessman, but, as the father of two girls, he knew he wanted to do more to help the gun violence epidemic in Chicago. "At Parents for Peace and Justice we are trying to provide more programs, resources, and jobs in the community. That is our mission - to bring more into the community. To help the mothers and families who have lost their children to violence.” MCC is a partner of Parents for Peace and Justice helping to support their important work.

Robert Torres, co-founder and president of Parents for Peace and Justice, a care and advocacy organization that was founded in 2012. Robert is an entrepreneur and businessman, but, as the father of two girls, he knew he wanted to do more to help the gun violence epidemic in Chicago. "At Parents for Peace and Justice we are trying to provide more programs, resources, and jobs in the community. That is our mission - to bring more into the community. To help the mothers and families who have lost their children to violence.” MCC is a partner of Parents for Peace and Justice helping to support their important work.

The Chicago River flows into Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is home to MCC partner organization, Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost kids to gun violence in Chicago.

The Chicago River flows into Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is home to MCC partner organization, Parents for Peace and Justice, a support and advocacy organization for families who have lost kids to gun violence in Chicago.

Robert Torres, co-founder and president of Parents for Peace and Justice, a Chicago based care and advocacy organization that was founded in 2012. Robert stands in Humboldt Park, where Parents for Peace and Justice has held over 10 vigils and marches over the last 7 years. Parents for Peace and Justice holds vigils in the location where gun deaths have occured in hopes that people from the community will come forward with information. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Robert Torres, co-founder and president of Parents for Peace and Justice, a Chicago based care and advocacy organization that was founded in 2012. Robert stands in Humboldt Park, where Parents for Peace and Justice has held over 10 vigils and marches over the last 7 years. Parents for Peace and Justice holds vigils in the location where gun deaths have occured in hopes that people from the community will come forward with information. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Robert Torres, co-founder and president of Parents for Peace and Justice, a Chicago based care and advocacy organization that was founded in 2012. Robert walks through Humboldt Park, where Parents for Peace and Justice has held over 10 vigils and marches over the last 7 years. Parents for Peace and Justice holds vigils in the location where gun deaths have occured in hopes that people from the community will come forward with information. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.

Robert Torres, co-founder and president of Parents for Peace and Justice, a Chicago based care and advocacy organization that was founded in 2012. Robert walks through Humboldt Park, where Parents for Peace and Justice has held over 10 vigils and marches over the last 7 years. Parents for Peace and Justice holds vigils in the location where gun deaths have occured in hopes that people from the community will come forward with information. MCC partners with Parents for Peace and Justice to help support their important work.


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