Angela Williams, born and raised in Riviera Beach, Florida, grew up as the youngest of ten siblings. She has three children and worked for the Palm Beach County school board for seven years. As a young adult, Angela recognized a need in the community and organized an annual school supply drive, benefiting Riviera Beach children.
In 2003, Angela’s life changed when her nephew, Torrey Manuel, was killed by a senseless act of violence. Having grieved with her family and watched her sister suffer the loss of a precious son; Angela decided to do something positive. She wanted not only to assist other families suffering from tragedy, but to help prevent these tragedies from occurring in the first place.
Through strength, determination, and a desire to make change, MAMA was born. MAMA, short for Mother’s Against Murderers Association, is a charitable organization founded by Angela, in memory of her nephew Torrey. MAMA’s mission is to positively impact the community by providing support for the families of victims, informing the community about the long-term effects of violence, and voicing the need for change to lawmakers.
Over the past eleven years, Angela has lost a total of fourteen nieces and nephews to violence. Her experience in tragedy makes her an understanding and caring support provider to other families that lose a loved one.
Angela has spent countless nights out in the community, called by community and community leaders to be with the families of victims. She witnesses first-hand the destruction caused by violence and she suffers along with these families each and every time she gets the call to do so.
The family support that Angela provides extends beyond the night that tragedy strikes. Angela negotiates with funeral homes and raises funds so that families of victims can arrange a proper funeral. Afterwards, Angela continues to support mothers by going to court with them when perpetrators are tried for their crimes.
One of the causes of violence that Angela hopes to eliminate is retaliation. When a young person is killed, sometimes that person’s family wants to take justice into their own hands. On many occasions, Angela has brought a perpetrator’s family to meet with a victim’s family, and by doing that she has been able to prevent retaliation between those families.
The fact that many of these tragedies are preventable sparks Angela’s drive to make change. Through numerous programs directed at her community’s young people, some of which are described at the end of this letter, Angela teaches that violence is not the answer, and she demonstrates all that can come from doing good deeds.