BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As we approach Mother’s Day, we know it can be difficult for those who’ve lost their mom. It’s also a painful time for mothers who have lost their children.

Sylvia Bennett Stone, director of Voices of Black Mothers United, works to give voice to those mothers whose children were taken in acts of violence. She helps hurting mothers heal by taking action. CBS 42’s Sherri Jackson spoke with her during National Crime Victim’s Right Week last month.

“So we’re here to assess and see what kind of solutions need to go forth on the ground but we also want to bring together those who have been affected by the violence and give them a voice,” Stone said. “We often believe those who are mostly affected are the ones that have the solutions, so we’re giving them a voice.”

Stone has been working with mothers across the country one state at a time after finding her own voice when a stray bullet killed her daughter Krystal Joy in Birmingham in 2004.

“I think the more people we give a voice to, the more we will be heard the more others will understand the magnitude of what we are dealing with,” she said “The work with Voices of Black Mothers United is very important. It helps mothers to give us a space to talk, a space to heal, a space to communicate with each other and know that we’re not crazy. We’re going through grief for our children.”

This is another installment in The Birmingham Times/ 42 joint project called “Beyond the Violence.” We’re joining our media partners in examining causes, effects, and potential solutions to gun violence in the community. The ultimate goal is to make a difference in saving lives.