More than 300 community members, FJC supporters, and friends came out on a crisp, sunny Friday in early June. They gathered at the Buffalo Convention Center to share a meal, share stories, and share hope, at the FJC’s annual Voices Ending Violence breakfast event, sponsored by Linde.
This year’s event theme of “reach out” was highlighted with a viewing of an introductory film to the campaign of the same name by WNED|WBFO, in partnership with the FJC. A stunning Reach Out website features videos, informational materials, and support resources to anyone who might need to talk with a teen in their life about relationship abuse. With content for parents, coaches, teachers, friends and family, this site can help with how to identify red flags and warning signs of abuse among teens and young adults, and how to have a conversation with a young person about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Following the video, Photographer Michelle Jones shared selections from her public art installation From the Inside Out with the audience. Sharing her personal story or survivorship, Michelle’s work creates a platform for those impacted by domestic violence, both directly and indirectly, to share their stories and messages of hope.
Next, survivor Maya M. took the stage to share her courageous story. Maya spoke of an ongoing “game of chess” with her abuser, where each of her moves were answered with more powerful and harmful counter-moves. With help from the Family Justice Center, and a strong team of friends, family, and co-workers, Maya has not only survived, but thrived! She closed out her powerful testimony by saying, “Stopping the cycle…is my new game of chess. Standing here before you and sharing my story is my checkmate. I am so proud to say that I’ve officially won!”
West Herr Automotive Group was a generous supporter once again in 2019, offering to match all pledges and donations that morning, up to $10,000. We are proud to say that we not only met, but surpassed that goal, thanks to the kind and generous donations from our guests!
Thank you to all who attended our Voices Ending Violence breakfast 2019, and offered their support!