Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 27, 2022. (WTTW News)

Nine years after Hadiya Pendleton’s death, her mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, is still fighting to end gun violence. She founded Hadiya’s Promise – a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending gun violence through education.


Many survivors of gun-related violence and supporters of the Wear Orange Campaign believe part of the solution to saving lives is stricter gun laws. Groups like Moms Demand Action say the recent shootings make their movement more urgent. 

Cleopatra Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton, delivers her victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing of Kenneth Williams for the murder of Hadiya Pendleton at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on July 20, 2021. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

During a sentencing hearing Tuesday, family members of the slain teen made clear they feel the man who served as the getaway driver was just as responsible as the man who fired the fatal shots in 2013.

In this Aug. 23, 2018 file photo, defendant Micheail Ward appears just before closing arguments during the trial for the fatal shooting of Hadiya Pendleton at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune /Pool, File)

Cook County Judge Nicholas Ford handed down the sentence to 24-year-old Micheail Ward on Monday, five months after Ward was convicted of murder and aggravated battery in the killing of Hadiya Pendleton.

Defendant Micheail Ward during the trial for the fatal shooting of Hadiya Pendleton at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Aug. 21, 2018. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune / Pool). Inset: Hadiya Pendleton.

A Cook County jury took about three hours to convict the man accused of fatally shooting 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton at a Kenwood park on the South Side in 2013.

When President Obama announced last week a series of executive actions to reduce gun violence, he was joined by the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, who was murdered in Chicago three years ago this month. The Pendletons join us to talk about curbing violence in Chicago.

It Takes a Village to Fix It

City officials aren’t the only ones trying to make a dent in Chicago’s violence. There are heroes and heroines throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods providing positive alternatives for youth in an effort to help reduce the violence that plagues the city. We’ll meet some of those community activists who are trying to make a difference.

Since the high-profile murder of her 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton’s mother has jumped head first into the national debate on guns. She joins us to explain why.

State's attorneys outline their case against two young men charged in the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton. Paris Schutz has more on what prosecutors say happened that day, and what they believe it says about Chicago's homicide problem.


Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is here to talk about why the city saw its deadliest January in a decade -- and what he's doing to curb the violence.