Sunday, December 21, 2014

SASSU Presents: Soul Moments

Join us tomorrow, Monday at 8pm as we discuss "Coping With Depression"

If you have any questions that you would like to have answered during tomorrow's discussion, you can submit them here anonymously.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Have The Power-with a capital P

We have reached the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness month so I wanted to check in. How are you going about spreading awareness?

A few weeks ago, I filmed a documentary with the help of Give Life Media about my experience with Sexual Assault in the very place that it happened. I really had every intention on going to that park and being strong. I didn't want to cry or feel sad but I did. In fact, I cried a few times (if you know me you know I am a huge cry baby) and that's OKAY. I chose to be vulnerable and reminded myself that there is strength in that. There is strength in my vulnerability. Now, I know that for some people that may seem to be a bit much;to go back to the place where something so traumatic happened. For me, that seemed PERFECT. No, it was  IS perfect.  To go back to the place where a man, a stranger who knows nothing of my awesome-ness (yes, that's a word ;-)) tried to violate my Spirit is POWERFUL. I took my Power back and no matter who you are and what you are going through, you have the right and the will to take your Power back, too. All you have to do is DECIDE! I cannot wait to share this journey with you! In the meantime, what are YOU going to do?
Photo is courtesy of Give Life Media. To see more of their work click HERE

There is still time for you to participate. The  National Sexual Violence Resource Center has created fun, interactive and effective ways to spread awareness about Sexual Violence and to show your support. Feel free to join in.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I am my Sister-Karyn Washington, Suicide and Me

People need us and we need people.

I wanted to take a moment aside from my efforts to raise awareness surrounding Sexual Assault and talk about this.

I just saw a post on Facebook that Karyn Washington, founder of "For Brown Girls" has transitioned. For Brown Girls is a blog that empowers women across the world to embrace their beautiful Black skin. She's also responsible for the #BlackSkinRedLip project. Though I have heard of Karyn prior to her passing through, I didn't know much about her.  I came across Ty Alexander's blog about Karyn and the conversation that they shared via email due to both of their dealings with depression. Both Ty and Karyn experienced the passing of their mothers. You can read the entire blog HERE.

Anyhow, what touched me was that Ty felt as if she could have been more transparent with Karyn regarding her depression and thoughts of suicide.

We deal with this, y'all. Depression. Suicide. We, as a community, experience this but we don't talk about it.

 I can't get too deep into this because I promise you, I'd be all day but I just needed to get this little bit out of my system. My heart is hurting, for Karyn, for her family. My heart is hurting for Ty. My heart is hurting for every woman, man, child that has dealt with depression, thoughts of suicide or feeling that they are good enough or that life is not worth living. I've been there. I've been there a lot more than I'd care to admit. Being a survivor of rape has its ups and it sure as hell has it's downs. And sometimes, I, we, get caught up in portraying to the world that we are so strong that we forget to cut the shit and just be HUMAN. For me, sometimes, being an activist, a role model, a motivational speaker or the friend that listens to everyone's problems can be emotionally, mentally and spiritually draining. And wait. PAUSE. Just so you know, this post isn't for the self righteous folk. This is for the people who can be real with themselves and admit that we, as humans, go through shit. Shit that makes us feel bad an sad. It makes us doubt everything and everyone. We feel, we hurt and we don't always deal with it because dealing with it would require us actually telling the truth to ourselves about our stuff.

Just like Karyn and Ty, I used to think about suicide all of the time. I wondered if people would miss me if I was gone. My heart was hurting so bad after my rape that I often wondered what life would be like if I were no longer in it.  But we don't want to talk about this. Suicide.

Karyn, I am so sorry. I don't exactly know what led to you feeling like this life was not worth living but I can certainty imagine. Thank you for being a gift. Thank you for shining your light and empowering US to see ourselves beautiful. Your passing has inspired me to being even more transparent. I am grateful for you.

Karyn Washington

We have to start being honest about what effects us. We have to be honest with ourselves and with another if we expect to see change.

Iyanla Vanzant often says, " I am not my sister's keeper. I am my sister."

 Click here for suicide statistics

Click here to find a Crisis Center in your area

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SAAM- Day 1- DAY OF ACTION #SpiritOfCommitment

The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. During this month, I will discuss a variety of different topics surrounding sexual assault. I will provide education and resources and begin breaking down barriers so that we begin to feel more comfortable talking about how this effects our communities, our homes and the world. . Please join me during the month of April by helping me spread awareness.