BCS Staff Participates in W.A.V.E. event

Maria Almonte-Weston, BCS Project Director
On Saturday November 24, 2012 I was present when Maria Almonte-Weston, Project Director of Bronx Community Solutions, and Sharon Ife Charles, Citywide Anti-violence Coordinator for the Center for Court Innovation, spoke at an inaugural event sponsored by W.A.V.E. (Women Against Violence Everywhere). 

W.A.V.E. is the brainchild of Cynthia Thompkins, J.D., and is an initiative created on the premise that communities that experience trauma must find ways to heal themselves, and furthermore women can be agents that facilitate that healing. 

Cynthia Thompkins, J.D., founder of W.A.V.E.
One of the goals of W.A.V.E. is to empower women with voices so that they may speak out against violence. This event brought together women from different walks of life. Some were survivors, mothers who lost children to violence, witnesses of violence and others have worked with women with a history of violence.  

State Senator Gustoff Rivera delivering the welcoming speech
State Senator Gustoff Rivera delivered the welcoming speech where he expressed his support of W.A.V.E and the work it aims to accomplish. Maria and Sharon each spoke about the broad spectrum of violence, the effect that it has on families and the important role women can play in the healing process. Cynthia Shields, a mother who lost her son to gun violence, shared her story of how this act of violence affected her and her family, as well as the continual healing process she goes through every day.
Sharon Ife Charles, Citywide Anti-Violence Coordinator, CCI
 After the speakers, two amazing artists performed spoken word and sang beautiful songs about strength, courage and wisdom of women. Not only did the participants have an opportunity to enjoy music and poetry but a professional photographer and his cosmetology staff were there to give the participants a make-over and take professional pictures.
W.A.V.E. participants in the customized photo shoot
This event represented strength and empowerment to the women who plan to participate and carry the torch of healing back to their Bronx homes and Communities.
-- T.K. Singleton, Coordinator of Community Initiatives