A Survivor-Centric Approach
Chaplain Clementina Chéry
Chaplain Clementina M. Chéry is the co-founder and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. With over two decades of experience as a survivor serving families impacted by murder, Chaplain Chéry has developed the best practices in the field of homicide response. Her ultimate goal is to transform society’s response to homicide so that all families are treated with dignity and compassion, regardless of the circumstances.
Chaplain Chéry was chosen as a 2017 Barr Fellow for her effective, visionary, and collaborative leadership and capacity to motivate others, drive change, and produce results. She was also selected as a 2016 Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum in recognition of the Peace Institute’s groundbreaking solutions to social problems. Chaplain Chéry has developed groundbreaking publications for families of murder victims and the providers who serve them, including Always in My Heart: A Workbook for Grieving Children (2011) and the Survivors Burial and Resource Guide (2013). Chaplain Chéry is also coauthor of an article entitled “Homicide Survivors: Research and Practice Implications” published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005.
Chaplain Chéry has extensive experience training public health professionals and law enforcement officials to better serve families impacted by murder and interrupt cycles of retaliatory violence. She has trained doctors, social workers, psychologists, street workers, religious leaders, police officers, homicide detectives, and other providers at city and state agencies, hospitals, and community-based organizations. Chaplain Chéry has presented at the National Organization for Victims Assistance conference three times. Chaplain Chéry worked closely with the Boston Police Department to establish the Family Resource Officer position within the Homicide unit to better serve families of homicide victims. Chaplain Chéry also convened the first ever Homicide Response Briefing in Massachusetts for over 100 law enforcement officials from across the state.
Chaplain Chéry has received countless awards in recognition of her courageous leadership and tireless peacemaking work. Most recently, Chéry was named one of Boston’s 100 most influential leaders of color in 2016 by Collette Phillips Communications, Inc. She was also given the 2016 Impact Award by Phillips Brooks House Association at Harvard University. In 2014, Salem State University Awarded Chaplain Chéry the Champion of Peace Award. She was named Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers in 2011. Chaplain Chéry holds honorary Doctorate Degrees from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Regis College in Weston and Mount Ida College in Newton. She has also received The Chancellor’s Medal of Honor from the University of MA. She was ordained as a senior chaplain with the International Fellowship of Chaplain, Inc. in February of 2012. Her best accomplishments are being mother of Louis, Alexandra and Allen and the proud grandmother of 4 yr. old Alexander.