*I first met Carmen in March of 2018. When I first met her she shared that she had been incarcerated for five years and was released in 2011. Her brother was also murdered three years ago and she has made it her mission to fight for justice for the victims of homicide and for their families. She has taken this mission even further in the past year and has organized an Inter-Faith Peace March on May 4th.
“My strength comes from all my past failures and all the trials I’ve had to endure from childhood traumas to reliving those same traumas that I never healed from as an adult.
I had to find ways to always reinvent myself and was afraid of the stigma associated with finally confronting myself and trying to figure out who I was. In the past I have endured physical and mental abuse as well as drug abuse, deaths of those close to me, and incarceration where I was separated from my children.
Where I am today? Since my brother Richard Davila’s murder on 01/03/2016 I began my quest for justice and even though those who killed him were apprehended within he first three months I never stopped fighting. I joined other organizations in the quest for justice for their loved ones and became a mentor and advocate for others in the community. Today I am closer to establishing my non profit and providing the much needed services that our youths and community members need. I have since become part of the Philadelphia Cares program within the district attorneys office in which I am able to provide services and support to the families of those affected by gun violence in the city of Philadelphia. I am the only bilingual crisis responder throughout the city and I am able to serve and support the families who have had a family member killed. I bring forth my own personal experience and am able to provide for these families the support that my family never received. I continue my outreach work with the high risk population and I facilitate anti-violence groups with youths ranging from 12-18 yrs old to prevent them from entering the system. Last but not least on May 04,2019 I and pastor Jessie Alejandro have organized a city wide peace march that will take place in neighborhoods throughout the city. Our hopes are to rebuild communities and give them hope and a voice !!! We are fighting back! The city of Philadelphia is already up to 100 homicides this year – and no one is coming to help us – and we must help ourselves and begin to change the narrative.”