Activist Remembers King’s Lessons
Her aim is to save kids from gun violence
1/11/2022, 4:34 p.m.
The motivational speaker and founder of the Go Get Your Child Community Violence Prevention Coalition, her vision is “to have a community that collaborates together to create safer options to violence.”
With the help of grants and other activists, Palmer’s latest efforts include reaching out to at least seven women who have lost a child to gang violence, to help them become stable, and have them in turn help other mothers. To learn more, go to gogetyourchild.org.
“If we start healing the women, we can heal this community,” she said.
Palmer had a tough childhood, and remembers being inspired by King.
A couple of months ago, Palmer was in Washington, D.C. and was determined to see the Martin Luther King Memorial. She said being able to give tribute to the civil rights leader by placing t-shirts from the many nonprofits she works with at the base on his statue for a photo, making a connection to her own activism, was inspiring.
But King’s dream of equality for all has yet to be fulfilled, she said.
“He said that he had a vision that one day we will all play together and be free, and we still ain’t, and we’re going into 2022,” she said.
“I grew up in an abusive home, got into drugs, and in 1991 went to prison,” she said. “In 1992 I got saved and in 1993 I got out in October and had custody of my kids by the following January,” she said. “Then I got a proposal from Keith Palmer. We got married and he helped me raise my kids.”
Palmer is also involved in a campaign where signs that read Do Not Murder are placed at various deadly shooting locations around the city. She says more work is needed to address violence, and authorities should pay more attention and listen to those who have been impacted directly.
Her work in the community also involves working with many other nonprofits, including Love is Stronger and Black Men in Training, and she also seeks advice from Vincent Jones-Dixon, Gresham’s first Black city councilman, who lost a brother to gun violence.
Saving children from gun violence is her main goal, Palmer said.
“I’m gonna fight for these kids, because if I can save one child – don’t care what color he is – from killing somebody, then that’s my mission,” she said.
It hasn’t been easy, she said, and she’s received pushback for her activism, even from her own family.