Mother of slain Chicago teen to attend WH Easter Egg Roll

Cleopatra Cowley, whose daughter Hadiya Pendleton was slain by gun violence in Chicago on January 29, told reporters today that Hadiya's loss "cannot be in vain," saying, "Something's wrong with the way the laws are structured, perhaps."

Updated: 11:25 a.m. ET

After appearing alongside first lady Michelle Obama at this year's State of the Union Address, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, the mother of a teenage girl who was gunned down in Chicago shortly after President Obama's second inauguration, will bring her 10-year-old son to the White House Easter Egg Roll this year, CBS Chicago reports.

The first lady invited Cowley-Pendleton and her husband, Nathaniel Pendleton, to the president's annual address after attending the funeral of their daughter, Hadiya Pendleton, in Chicago earlier this year.

Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in a Chicago park just days after performing at an inauguration-related event in Washington, D.C., in January. She has since become something of a symbol for the ills of urban gun violence, and Mr. Obama has referenced her death repeatedly in various speeches pushing tougher gun laws.

Cowley-Pendleton told the Chicago Tribune the first lady reached out to her with the invitation "as a mother."

"It was sincere. It was just nice," she said. "I have an amazing amount of respect for Mrs. Obama, I do. She didn't have to reach out to me, and she did, and she did it not as a first lady, she did it as a mother."

A spokeswoman for the first lady confirmed that Mrs. Obama did invite the family to the Easter Egg Roll.