'He wouldn't want me mourning and crying': Sisterhood exhibit gives grieving mothers a voice

A group of mothers came together and formed a bond known as “The Sisterhood.”

“My son died on the scene, he was about to go home,” said Gwendolyn Baxter, The Sisterhood Founder.

Baxter decided after her 23-year-old son Larry died back in December of 2003 that she would turn her pain into purpose.

“He made life joyful for other people, so I was like he wouldn’t want me mourning and crying,” said Baxter.

That’s when she decided to birth a non-profit known as the “Sisterhood Action Support Group,” turning death into a living exhibit. 

“The stories of the families that are left behind after gun violence are so often ignored and so often unheard and we already had a platform for communities and schools to talk about different forms of violence,” said Danny M. Cohen, Founder and Interim Executive Director of Unsilence. 

For one year, Cohen, a professor at Northwestern and founder of the online platform Unsilence, helped Baxter by using his research on violence and a team to create this virtual spade, where people can go online and read stories of a dozen mothers across Chicago who have lost their children to violence.


“We’ve become so good at ignoring real pain and suffering and systemic violence that is never ending,” said Cohen.

In 2020 in Chicago, there have been 2,601 shootings, 3,274 people have been wounded in those shootings and over 600 have died.