Non-profit bringing ‘Mothers of Murdered Sons’ billboards to Jackson
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A bold, unmistakable billboard is coming to Jackson and the non-profit behind it hopes it gets everyone’s attention.
MOMS, the acronym for Mothers of Murdered Sons, is a support group for women who have lost their sons to gun violence. And the non-profit is growing for all the wrong reasons.
The organization started a year and a half ago with one member. Today, 134 women make up MOMS and their one-of-a-kind billboards are headed to Jackson.
“We have seven of them across the Mississippi Delta but the need is here too,” Founder Jessica Fraizer said.
The hope is to remember the lives lost and remind everyone of the work that still needs to be done to stop violence.
A rich purple background contrasts with bold, white letters reading, “Mothers of Murdered Sons. Gone... BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.”
Each billboard has images of more than 12 ‘sons’ killed in Mississippi.
One of the pictures is of Parish Frazier, Jessica’s 20-year-old grandson.
“It was March 3, 2020, at exactly 8:30 in the morning. We were there when it happened,” Jessica said as she recalled the day. “We were actually... there. Parish passed away in my arms,” she said with a heavy heart.
Jessica’s daughter, Tiffany, Parish’s mom, was also shot that day but survived.
19-year-old Dontarius Rendall was arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault, police say, but the case has yet to go to court.
Tiffany joined her mom, Jessica, for our interview Tuesday but couldn’t form the words to speak about that day. Tears streamed down Tiffany’s face as we asked about her son. She shook her head and took a deep breath as her mom spoke on her behalf.
“At the same time my grandson was murdered, Tiffany was shot three times,” Jessica explained. “And she’s not; she’s just not able to... She’s not ready. We’re just trying to put our life together,” Jessica said.
And part of their healing process includes bringing awareness to gun violence which is why they want the billboards in Jackson.
“We’re originally from the Delta, and that’s where we took my grandson’s body and started this organization,” Jessica said. “But we want to bring awareness to gun violence here. We want to let the police officers know that you still have work to do.”
MOMS hopes the images on the billboard are etched into everyone’s minds.
“It’s one thing to see it on the news or read it in the newspaper, but we put it on a billboard because we want it to stay in your face,” Jessica said. “I think I have like 100 young men between the seven billboards, and it’s just growing - it’s growing,”
Jessica said the billboards also help moms grieve.
“The greatest pleasure that we get out of the billboards is to ride by every morning before they go to work to look at their sons on the billboard. You’ll never understand what it’s like until you’re in our situation, but when these billboards go up, there’s not one dry eye.”
And in between their efforts to expand billboards across the state, the non-profit is in the community advocating for stricter gun laws, speaking out against violence, and above all - helping other MOMS know they’re not alone.
“We hold each other up. If one is having a bad day, we’re there for one another. It’s a private group we don’t allow any negativity. We just want other moms to have a place to feel safe and secure.”
To receive counseling support from MOMS, you can call their hotline at (662) 452-8219.
To donate or learn more about the non-profit, call (601) 316-2093.
Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.