OAKLAND — In Oakland, the community is dealing with a high level of gun violence, especially among youth.
A father who lost his daughter 25 years ago is spreading a message of love and he hopes to put an end to so many senseless killings.
LoEshe’ Lacy was only 16 years old when she was gunned down just across the street from her high school in Oakland.
For the past 25 years, her father Donald Lacy, founder of the Love Life Foundation, has been working to bring peace to the streets. His work has been critically important, especially in the past two years.
“On this spot, 25 years ago, my daughter LoEshe’ took her last breath,” Lacy told a group that had gathered on Thursday to honor the life of LoEshe’ and countless others who have lost their lives to gun violence.
“It’s not lost on me the meaning of her name,” Lacy continued. “LoEshe’ means love life.”
Lacy has been working with victims of gun violence and making lasting connections to give his community hope.
“I needed him when I lost mine and he’s one of those that answered their phones at 2 – 3 o’clock in the morning. (He) listened to me, hear my cries and lift me up,” said Daryle Allums with the Adamika Village Young Kings Project.
“Love life is the official motto of Oakland. Best-kept secret in Oakland and it doesn’t need to be. In a city that’s overwhelmed by violence, we need to sing that song. Love life over and over,” Lacy said.
Lacy says his daughter inspired him to become a community advocate. LoEshe’, even at the age of 16, was known as a conflict resolution mediator at school. Now, Lacy is making sure the message of peace reaches other young people.
“I share that with them and hopefully they share that with somebody else,” said Ziair Hughes, who lost his brother to gun violence.
Hughes’ brother was killed in 2015. His mother Audrey says it was the Love Life Foundation that helped her family grieve and cope with their loss.
“He touches our lives in more than one way. Love Life, why don’t you jump on in? We need some more of it,” said Audrey Candy Corn.
At the Love Life Foundation, the mission is to spare others from the pain they have experienced and build a vibrant Oakland community.
“This isn’t a movement for Black or Brown, this is a movement for all people. Violence affects us all,” Lacy said.
The Love Life Foundation has several events planned for this week but Lacy says anyone anywhere can honor his daughter by spreading love through a random act of kindness.
KPIX correspondent Andrea Nakano filed this report