In April 2013, National
Stop the Violence Alliance, Inc. will be hosting their first annual women’s
conference. “Behold! The Power of Woman” is our theme and I am very excited! Womanhood
is an indispensable trait that our global community often takes advantage of.
This conference will be a way to honor the strides that women have taken to
further our domestic and international achievements, as well as raise awareness
about the current issues that women (and even men) face.
However, I believe that
one of the organization’s biggest motivations this year is celebrating the life
of our civil rights leaders. Every child in America, and even abroad, are
extremely familiar with names such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While it is important to celebrate the lives of
those who have paved the way for equality either through abolitionism or
nonviolent resistance, there are so many others who have assisted in creating a
more tolerant world. Hence why our organization is honoring the life and legacy
of Congressman John Lewis and the late Rosa Parks.
So many people have a
confused look on their face when asked, “Do you know who John Lewis is?” A
silent and unsung hero, Congressman Lewis has been on the front lines, battling
oppression and inequality. He is the only living speaker from the March on
Washington who was present on the stage during the inauguration of President
Barack Obama. Congressman Lewis was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which during his tenure he opened Freedom
Schools and launched the Mississippi Freedom Fund. Among his other accolades
include his being one of the original 13 Freedom Riders and his pivotal role in
the Selma to Montgomery marches. We are so honored to be presenting Congressman
Lewis with a much deserved bust! We thank him for his many contributions.
We are also honoring the
life and legacy of the late Rosa Parks, the Mother of the Modern Civil Rights
Movement. She was such a trailblazer, having lit the match that sparked so much
change. The fire that she ignited still burns. Her organization, the Raymond
and Ross Parks Institute for Self-Development, also holds a special place in
our organization. Sescily Coney, President and Director, has been active in
their organization since the age of 10. She was a part of their “Pathways to
Freedom” program and as a proud alum, she still assists whenever she is needed.
She believed in the mission of the organization and in the eternal memory of
Mrs. Parks. We are so honored to be unveiling a bust for Mrs. Parks and to have
representatives of the Institution that will be present. Mrs. Anita Peeks, Mrs.
Elaine Steel, and many others, we look forward to hosting you.