William Kellibrew witnessed the most horrific scene he ever encountered, at 10-years old, when his family was gunned down and
murdered before his eyes. “I wanted to be here today to show, as a trauma survivor, [how] to focus on strength,” Kellibrew said Aug. 23 at the National Summit on Non-Violence at the Metropolitan AME Church in Northwest D.C. “The strength that’s needed to change the negative input, to channel it with hope in coping for strategies to succeed.”
Kellibrew is now an international advocate, trauma survivor and consultant with The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration located in Rockville, Md.
Using his experience, Kellibrew made a presentation on ways to eliminate the culture of violence; targeting subjects that included trauma, self-regulation, identifying triggers, and resilience.
He was one of many experts who shared advice, analysis, and forethought on ways to mitigate violence.
More than 100 people attended the all-day event, compromised of six panels on topics such as pathways that lead to violence, educating people on violence and prevention, and breaking the cycle of violence. Through social media and other communication tools, the summit opened discussions on incarceration, the code of silence that exists in the Black community, and how persons who commit crimes have more of a support system than witnesses and youth violence.
The summit was part of the National Week of Non-violence, held Aug. 16-23. U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), 12 governors, 20 mayors and two D.C. councilwomen endorsed the week of events. Sponsors included Black Women for Positive Change
(BW4PC) and the Summit Council for Non-Violence Advisory. “The National Summit on Non-Violence will focus on the problem
of violence in our families, communities, and in society-at-large,” Del. Duan S. Hester (D-Va.) and Dr. Stephanie Myers, national co-chairs of the organization said in a joint statement. “Adults, youth, faith leaders, rappers, educators, and elected officials will talk together about finding solutions.”
The Positive Change Harmony Jam concluded the summit with talented youth featuring poetry, rap, gospel, and step dancing. The session dedicated the program to Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed teenager recently gunned down by policeman
Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo.
Emma Ward, a Miss Senior D.C. 2011 said the event was a positive step to end violence. “I think this emphasizes all positive things that are going on. The media needs to focus on that,” she said.
For more information, or to view the summit, visit www.blackwomen forpositivechange.org.