In early 2002 or so a group of us Women of Color working in sexual and domestic drove down from Virginia to North Carolina to a two-day conference.
It was a Women of Color conference.
There weren’t many being held in the southern region. So at that time, nearby states drove to support one another just in case other people had “other things to do”. (Still that way in too many areas)
Anyway, this conference was different.
There weren’t going to be several speakers. Just a couple.
What? For two whole days?
Sigh……. Loud sigh…….
That is how this goes.
Behind the scenes at a person of color conference you have to fight for your right to have food, programs, a nice room, technical equipment (updated please), etc.……
Whom Shall I Fear
I had never heard of her, but ever since that day, I never forgot her.
She had been shot four times by her husband who then fatally shot himself.
I bought her book and read it overnight in the hotel room like it was a good homework assignment. I think I was one of the first ones back in the conference room the next day. Ready.
Yes, people survive multiple shootings. I’m telling you there is light coming through her wounds. She was filled with laughter and she invited others to laugh with her. Lavon is always giving someone something or inviting someone to do something.
In fact, in the telling of this story Lavon leaves her husband’s humanity in place. Yet, the reader/listener gets the sense that he isn’t being let off the hook for any of his actions. It takes a very big person to strike that balance. So rare in these times.
The benefit then is that people who have no understanding of domestic violence don’t have the opportunity to jump to their old standby.
“She was just stupid.”
“She didn’t see that coming? I saw that.”
“Why didn’t she just leave?”
In her telling, he was very human and so was she.
You feel a mix of sadness, surprise, and complete amazement. Therefore, you get to see the journey of a Survivor. But there is something about Lavon Morris-Grant.
She is a study in a way to forgive, a way to serve, a way to be inclusive, a way to pass on wisdom and lessons and a way to choose joy.
If you ever get the honor to see her in person, you know that you do not only see a medical miracle. You see a complete spiritual miracle. If that doesn’t make you believe in a Higher Power, I don’t have anything for you.
Who Will Speak for My Children
Over the years Lavon and I loosely stayed in touch by email and an occasional phone call. When social media got hot we connected again. By then she had raised the children that she fought so hard to live for.
She continues to speak about her pride in them often. She has authored other writings.
She continues to consult. Her work has expanded from national to global.
Lavon Morris Grant is a light in darkness. She is one of the people I think of when the going gets tough.
I have so much admiration for her because Lavon Morris Grant doesn’t give from the overflow. She just gives from the flow.
Lavon Morris-Grant is available for your next your next event. You may purchase her two dynamic books: Whom Shall I Fear: A Spiritual Journey of a Battered Woman and Who Will Speak for the Children: Healing Through Trauma at lavonmorrisgrant.com.
Tonya is a Social Justice Info Expert with over 23 years experience. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her cat MiaBelle is her co-writer.
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