Hadiya Pendleton's Parents Launch Anti-Violence Group

Hadiya's Promise to fight for gun control with help from Mayor Rahm Emanuel

By Michelle Relerford
|  Friday, Jun 13, 2014  |  Updated 3:40 PM CDT
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When the honor student was killed last year, her parents made a commitment to fight Chicago's street violence. NBC Chicago's Michelle Relerford reports for the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON on June 13, 2014.

When the honor student was killed last year, her parents made a commitment to fight Chicago's street violence. NBC Chicago's Michelle Relerford reports for the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON on June 13, 2014.

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Hadiya Pendelton's mother and Tom Wortham's mother join Mayor Rahm Emanuel to ask for tougher gun laws. MaryAnn Ahern reports

Remembering Hadiya Pendleton 1 Year Later

Friends and family of Hadiya Pendleton took a moment Wednesday to remember the honor student whose shooting death drew national media attention and came to symbolize gun violence in the city.
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When Hadiya Pendleton was killed, her parents made a commitment to find solutions to the problem of violence in Chicago. On Friday, they announced the start of their organization created for that purpose: Hadiya's Promise.

The promise, hopes, dreams of Nate and Cleo Pendleton's daughter were stolen two years ago, on Jan. 29, when she was shot and killed blocks from her high school, the unintended target of gang violence.

The death of the 15-year-old girl sent shock waves across the country, drawing the attention and support of First Lady Michelle Obama. It also started Pendleton's parents on a journey to change and save lives.

They teamed up with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to start Hadiya's Promise and fight for gun control. Cleo Pendeleton says seeing the continued violence always hits home for her.

"It hurts my heart, tremendously it does, because ... I know the pain of losing your offspring," she said. "The fact that there are people concerned enough to sit down and try to figure out what the issues are and try to create a resolve, I think that is very important." 

Pendleton's namesake national non-profit organization will begin a six-month strategic planning process.

Its board includes leadership from the religious community, youth advocates and parents who lost their children to violence.

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