Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My 8th Take Back the Night

 I arrived very early, right after work and tired from working with kids all day (lol), to help set up. 
 My job: To put the Pieces for Prevention together. We have displayed for the past 3 years. As you have seen on my blog before, these pieces are decorated and designed by survivors and supporters as additional awareness and prevention. 
 I have personally made 4 of these pieces and my 2010 Queendom T.E.A. queens made 6. It was liberating to see all of our work again from previous years... 

 The finished "piece"!
 Next, we put together vendors tables for TurnAround, Inc. and the supporting organizations and groups. 
 We were honored to have the mayor as our key note speaker for the second year in a row. She shared statistics of rape and sexual assault in Baltimore. She shared her plan of decreasing violence against women in this city. 
 Again, I welcomed our audience to participate in the "Open Mic"--the most powerful part of this event. Survivors and supporters come forward to share their stories and encouragement. For many, this is the first time they have ever shared their story publicly... 
 This is my new sister, Justine! Her story is very similar to mine. She is only 17, but has experienced more than you could ever imagine. After being betrayed and ostracized by people who should support her, she too has had to look to supportive friends as her strength. I adopted her into my family as of last night! :)
 Sadly, this is the last Take Back the Night sponsored by TurnAround, Inc. and W.A.V.E that Marie Lilly would plan. Marie has been an employee of TurnAround for years, created W.A.V.E and has consistently planned TBTN since I have been on board. I can't imagine what it will be like without her and she will be dearly missed. This is the first time we have taken a picture as a group, with our new adopted sister in the center.
 Justine reveals her Turn Around tattoo, thanking the organization for helping her along her journey. How powerful is that!!
 I will never forget Marie, what she has done and how she has personally empowered and taught me how to be a strong survivor... <3
While I do attend TBTN at several colleges/universities, the event hosted by TurnAround is and will always special to me because I get to help plan it, volunteer for it and I was honored in 2009 to be the keynote speaker. I pray that it never ends. 
Until next year's event...

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