Friday, February 27, 2009

Speaking at Oak HIll Today

Today, I take a visit to Oak Hill Detention Facility. The topic, domestic violence.

For those who are unaware, Oak Hill is a detention facility for youth. There are youth at this facility facing charges from all sorts of crimes. Some have been convicted, but are serving time. But, there is something about this facility that truly gets my attention. I am interested in the attitudes of these young people who face life everyday behind bars. Not sure if you remember, my youngest brother has been convicted for multiple felonies and now is serving a 97 year sentence.

It is unimaginable for me. I could not fathom serving a sentence that long behind bars, but for so many young people and people in general, this is reality. How do we connect? What do we say? Are we there to ease their suffering?

Not sure of all those questions and definitely not sure of the answer. I will not be going to necessarily answer those questions either. More importantly, I want to give these young people an opportunity to see that there is time and opportunity for change. I was afforded an opportunity to turn my life around that is the same attitude I would like to influence the young people to take.

Well, I will keep you up to date on the youth I engaged. I will be joining Michelle, who will be speaking about the death of her daughter as well as loosing members of her family to the violent tragic fire in northeast Washington, D.C. It was the worst fire on record in many years. Kenny Barnes, who lost his son to gunfire will also headline this event. Kenny is founder and CEO of ROOT, Inc., an organization engaged in the community working to stem gun violence.

Til next time...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Struggle Never Ends, Nor Our Resolve

It has been some time since I blogged. I have been transitioning into school this semester, work and my personal life. These things take precision and planning. It is quite overwhelming. This is my graduation semester. I am excited and optimistic, but nervous as hell. I was supposed to graduate a year ago. That was quite disappointing. I was really hurt, but I knew I had to pick up the pieces and try again. Here I am, trying again.

Today's blog is a mix. I have some things to share with you.

Recently, a family member was victimized. In fact, two family members were victimized. One of my cousins was shot in a robbery. He was working in a retail store when a gunman walked in with a mask on and demanded money from the register and safe. After my cousin told him that there was no safe and key, he decided to rob everyone, emptying their pockets and taking money from the register. He confiscated $250 and then he shot my cousin. He is still in harm's way. The bullet is still lodged in his back, possibly resting on his spine. This incident took our family by surprise. I have yet to deal with it.

It is only a couple of months since the vicious death of my Godsister, Tiffany Gates.

Next, another family member was molested. I cannot talk in depth about this situation, but we are working hard to deal with the aftermath of such a horrible tragedy.

In the next blog, we will discuss steps to dealing with molestation and I will give you my testimony, at least one of them. I was molested three times.

Til next time...