Honoring Ms. Dorothy Johnson-Speightby Representative Chaka Fattah
Posted on 2014-12-11
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mr. FATTAH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of
Philadelphia's greatest luminaries, Ms. Dorothy Johnson-Speight,
Founder and Executive Director of Mothers In Charge, Inc. She is a
respected leader, solid advocate and inspirational speaker against the
war to end senseless acts of violent crime. Her work, though rooted in
Philadelphia, has led to national appearances and presentations across
the United States and abroad.
A licensed family therapist, Dorothy actively engages in championing the rights of children and families. She has a distinguished career in victim advocacy. In 2001, her life was forever changed following the tragic murder of her son Khaaliq Jabbar Johnson over a parking space dispute. That tragic incident left Mrs. Johnson-Speight needing the support of others. She reached out to other grieving mothers and together they founded the non-profit organization Mothers In Charge, Inc., a grassroots organization whose mission is violence prevention through education. Mothers In Charge engages in proactive intervention with children, young adults, families and community organizations.
The work of Mothers In Charge under the direction of Mrs. Johnson- Speight has motivated mothers from around the country who have suffered the indescribable loss of a child. Chapters of this extraordinary organization have been founded in Wilmington, DE, San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Kansas City, MO, Atlantic City, NJ, Brooklyn, NY and Harrisburg, PA.
The extraordinary work of Dorothy Johnson-Speight and Mothers In Charge has been appreciated and acknowledged by some of the nation's most influential publications and organizations. Dorothy has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Best Philadelphia Award from the Philadelphia Magazine; the Philadelphia Eagles identified her as one of the 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians; in 2012, the Philadelphia Tribune chose her as one of Philadelphia's Most Influential African American Leaders, and the Philadelphia Inquirer named her Citizen of the Year in 2013. The recognition doesn't stop there as Mothers In Charge has also received numerous organizational awards and recognitions. The organization was the focus of a special feature on the OWN Network's ``Our America'' with Lisa Ling. Villanova University produced a documentary, No Greater Pain which journal's Dorothy's unspeakable loss and her arduous and unexpected journey to victim advocacy.
Organizational awards include the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Director of Community Service Award, the Wells/Fargo/Wachovia Community Service Award, and the School District of Philadelphia Humanitarian Award.
I am pleased to lead the Congress in honoring Dorothy Johnson- Speight--founder of Mothers In Charge--for her unceasing efforts and outstanding progress in victim advocacy. Her legacy in Philadelphia and her mark on the national stage for victim advocacy will leave a legacy on generations to come.