VOICES: Responding to Mass Violence

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Mary Fetchet and Beverly Eckert met at a gathering of families after losing a son and husband, respectively. Knowing the obstacles faced by those impacted by the attacks of September 11, 2001, they formed  VOICES of September 11 as a grass-roots organization to provide information and support to those families.

Since 2001, VOICES has addressed the long-term needs of those affected by 9/11, commemorates the 2,977 lives lost, and promotes national preparedness. The VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience conducts research and training, while helping communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from other tragedies or disasters.

VOICES focuses on long-term support for those impacted by mass violence and tragedy and reject the assumption that “time heals all wounds.” Victims usually lose support from their community over time, while their work of healing continues. Because of this, VOICES provides long-term aid to meet the evolving needs of survivors and families that have lost loved ones.

In 2006, VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial Project, a digital archive that tells the stories of those lost on 9/11. VOICES staff traveled to see over 1,600 families, creating meaningful tributes to their lost loved ones—including photographs, personal mementos, and fond memories and stories that are now chronicled online.

The organization’s work extends to the following:

    • Distribution of information via emails and newsletters to 16,000 registered members
    • Advocacy on a wide range of issues relevant to the 9/11 community
    • In person and teleconference support groups and focus groups
    • Anxiety and depression screenings
    • Annual Information Forums on September 10th
    • Annual Commemorative Luncheon on September 11th
    • Interfaith Services
    • 9/11 Living Memorial Project
    • Publication of the “Always Remember” 10th Anniversary Commemorative Book
    • Annual Resiliency Symposium
    • Publication of “Preparing for After” Resource Kit
    • Launched “Enroll One More,” a national campaign designed to build awareness of the World Trade Center Health Program among 9/11 responders and survivors

VOICES’s mission to help humans heal after mass violence directly facilitates a more peaceful world. In order to sustain a peaceful society, we must be able to overcome violent acts in the past and move forward in productive ways. WOVEN is proud to support an organization whose long-term support of victims promotes inner peace and healing. Keep up with WOVEN to hear about more ways to create a peaceful planet, alongside WOVEN and our partners.

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