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A mother's view of last week's tragedies
Sharon Butts
Sharon Butts is co-founder and secretary of Unity in the Community Inc., a Richmond Hill-based organization that promotes unity through culturally diverse, fun events and educational activities for youth and families. - photo by Photo provided.

After last week’s terrible tragedies for two young black men and the police officers that have moved this country’s heart, I decided to write this column as the "mother" of an organization that believes unity is the answer.

We need to remember we are a community of Americans, like a large village. We have forgotten how to look out for each other as we would ourselves. And in this village, we have to ask, where are the mothers? Mothers came together and formed an organization called MADD, Mothers Against Driving Drunk. These were mothers, and the issue had to do with choices their children made. They banded together, brought awareness and changed legislation. We lost several of our sons last week and many of us mothers have taken moments to grieve. But we should have talked to our friends and started to come up with ways to help and protect our sons (and daughters) from the disunity and hatred that now can easily be seen through technology.

There are marches, memorials, grief and families in upheaval because of lack of concern for human life. This will not stop until we come to realize that unity is the equalizer in life. When we understand and accept that the preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures, we will begin to see each other as human beings first, rather than our outside differences. We need to step forward and support a change — a change in perception, ideology, acceptance of each other and a change in legislation. I know many are doing something, but we need to come together and do more.

Help us create activities in our neighborhoods that promote neighborhood unity, cultural diversity, inclusive and diverse fun activities, like historical storytelling at the library, festivals at parks and block parties in neighborhoods, or anything else that looks like fun and helps people embrace diversity. If you would like to commit to unity in the community, then please email us, and we can give you more information. Please contact us at

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