Finding purpose in tragedy.
Lorna Hawkins, Drivey By Agony, Executive Director
Lorna is the founder of Drive by Agony, a non-profit organization. As a trailblazer for the Stop the Violence movement, she has been a violence prevention specialist and victim’s advocate for 30 years.
She has been instrumental in creating and implementing platforms for victims of crime to express their feelings about the deaths of their children. Lorna started a cable television talk show a month after her first born son was gunned down in a drive by shooting which occurred the night before Thanksgiving in 1988.
Mothers and family members came to the show to speak about their child’s murder, to share their stories, and to help other mothers cope with the madness of bloodshed that was destroying so many lives.
Lorna has developed, structured and participated in forming Women Against Gun Violence, and branded campaigns to prevent gun violence. She has also formed and educated teams of advocates to enter into schools, corporations and businesses to understand the issues affecting victims of crime and gun violence.
Under Lorna’s guidance, Doctors and nurses learned how to deal with the ever growing number of gun violence patients in the general hospitals from Martin Luther King to San Francisco.
She has been a presenter and educator for Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence, and for a study by the Rand Corporation among many others.
With the help of other mothers, Lorna organized A March for Peace in Los Angeles in 1990. The march was the first of its kind and started with 50 people who marched from the children’s museum to the District Attorney’s office where a press conference was held.
In 1992, Lorna was still producing, hosting and directing her Drive by Agony talk show when her second son was murdered by car jackers wielding AK-47’s in Los Angeles.
While she had received some attention from the media and she felt uncomfortable in the public eye, she was compelled to continue her program even in the face of enormous personal grief.
Little did she know that her story had appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. This development propelled Lorna into the wider media and she appeared on CNN, and she was made the person of the week by Peter Jennings of World News Tonight. Alaska Airlines magazine also named her the “Hero Next Door” in their monthly feature.
She has since been interviewed by Geraldo Rivera, Sally Jessy Raphael, Roseann Bar and The Today Show’s Katie Couric among many others. Her story of courage and dedication has appeared in magazines such as People and Jet. McCall’s made her their Angel of the Year.
Lorna has also received numerous awards from Los Angeles County and surrounding cities. She has been bestowed a Congressional award and was also honored by Women in Film. She has been recognized with awards from district attorneys, police and sheriffs.
She spoke at the SCLC women conference and walked in the company of women such as Coretta Scott King, and Mimi Till, Emmitt Till’s mother. She sat down and had a conversation with Rosa Parks while in Washington D.C.
Lorna is also an experienced urban organizer, specializing in gang intervention, victim’s advocacy and community organizing.