Women Who Lost Loved Ones To DC Gun Violence Team To Help Others – NBC4 Washington


Two women who lost loved ones to gun violence in Washington, DC, are working together to help the growing number of people, including children, who have also suffered the loss of family members and friends.

Ryane Nickens has lost more than a dozen family members and friends to gun violence in the past 25 years. In 2017 she founded the TrayRon Center, named after her sister Tracy and brother Ronnie, who were murdered in various incidents in the 1990s.

Starting in Ward 8, Nickens – a lifelong resident of the district – has created a healing space in church basements and other donated spaces for people, including children, who have lost a loved one to violence.

Last summer she received an unusual email.

“I sent her an email that I had lost my husband to being shot,” said Cathy Feingold. “We were out on a meeting night.”

On June 29, DC-based Cathy Feingold and her husband Jeremy Black were having dinner near Logan Circle and walking together near 14th and R Streets when two groups started shooting at each other. Black, a 53-year-old father of two who worked for the Peace Corps, was hit by a stray bullet and killed.

“She emailed me three days after seeing her husband die in front of her eyes,” Nickens said.

In her email to Nickens, Feingold asked how she could help.

A memorial fund for the TrayRon Center on behalf of Jeremy Black was just the beginning.

“We’re trying to build a partnership, to build a bridge, with people here in Takoma Park who want to have an impact on gun violence,” Feingold said.

Feingold had friends who wanted to help with the kind of support that allowed the TrayRon Center and other groups to expand their trauma healing and gun violence missions.

“The work these great leaders need to support their backs so they can do important work in the community on Fridays and not spend all of their time figuring out the paperwork around a 501 (c) (3),” Feingold said. “So we think it’s about building bridges. It’s about supporting leaders who already exist in their community and making sure they have their superpower. “

“In other parts of the city the notion of gun violence is now growing in the communities and they are looking for spaces,” Nickens said.

Nickens hopes that she will get a house for the TrayRon Center this year.


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