Lorrain Franklin-Taylor, a native of Centreville, Miss. who grew up in a family of nine children, is the remarkable founder and chief operating officer of 1000 Mothers to Prevent Violence, a non-profit organization based in Hayward, California.
Lorrain, 57, lost both her 22-year-old twin sons, Albade and Obadiah Taylor, to gun violence while they were working on their car in Oakland in February of 2000. After years of devastation and sorrow, Lorrain turned her greatest nightmare into a positive endeavor which has helped hundreds of grieving parents and families who have lost a love one to violence in the Bay Area.
A former social worker, Lorrain was forced to resign her job in 2001 and enter long-term disability due to grief related illnesses for five years. In 2006, she began reaching out to homicide victim survivors throughout the Bay Area and Northern California—those who, like her, had experienced extreme trauma from a lost one. Realizing there were limited services for such survivors, she founded 1000 Mothers to Prevent Violence, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.
The organization’s mission is to ease the detrimental impact of violence on homicide victim survivors by providing ongoing compassionate support and services. Among the services are COPE, a grief support and prayer group, Project SSMART (Study, Support, Music, Martial Arts, Resources Therapy), a new and innovative program for grieving children, parents, grandparents and caretakers and ongoing “Aftercare for Next of Kin.” In addition, 1000 Mothers provides advocacy throughout the Bay Area for violence prevention policies and strategies within communities, in collaboration with the Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Her organization also has a food program with volunteers, and stages events such as The Mourning Mothers Walk and the Purple GALA, which brings survivors and law enforcement together for an evening of healing.
A high-spirited gospel singer, songwriter and recording artist, Lorrain has written more than 25 songs and has recorded two albums, “Gumbo for My Soul” and “Another Day’s Journey.” Her song, “It’s Time to Take a Stand,” in memory of her beloved twins, was included on the Million Mom March compilation CD with icons Emmylou Harris, Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin and Melissa Etheridge. She has also sung the national anthem before a San Francisco Giants’ game at AT&T Park.
An honor student in Mississippi, Lorrain graduated from high school at age 17, and migrated to San Francisco where she met her ex-husband Gregory Taylor, Sr. They had three children together. Their one living son, Gregory Taylor, Jr., is a gifted entrepreneur. Lorrain has received numerous awards and honors as a community activist and organizer. In 2000, she was the keynote speaker and leader of the Million Mom March in Oakland which drew over 7,000 marchers on a rainy day. Additionally, she has been the recipient of the Bay Area Jefferson Award and a National Jefferson Award nominee, as well as the Distinguished Leadership Award by Legal Community
Against Violence, the Comcast Bay Area News Group Hometown Hero Award, Special Feature: Nonprofit Leader by CompassPoint, Special Profile Feature: Chronicle (“Grieving Mom’s Mission of Mercy” Special Profile)and the University of San Francisco’s Everyday Hero Award. Earlier this year, Lorrain became the first-ever recipient of The Oakland A’s Bullpen Relief Award, a donation given by all the baseball team’s relief pitchers. Most recently, she has been selected as an honoree on Ebony Magazine’s annual Power 100 list, which salutes the most influential African-Americans of 2013. Also, on Christmas Day, 2014, Lorrain was profiled in the Associated Press.
In addition to overseeing the operations of 1000 Mothers to Prevent Violence, she is organizer and chairperson of the Oakland Police Department Community Advisory Counsel. A recent graduate of Leadership Hayward, she earned her master and bachelor degrees from the University of San Francisco, her Nonprofit Management Certification from San Jose State University and is a candidate for a Master of Social Work. Her immediate goal for 1000 Mothers to Prevent Violence is to develop a “One Stop Shop” Trauma Recovery Center for victim survivors in the City of Oakland which will be free of charge to families impacted by gun violence.