By Alice Thomas-Tisdale
JA Publisher Emerita
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Butterflies By Grace Defined By Faith (BBGDF) is pulling out all the stops to ensure Jackson Metro residents are well informed. “We have several awareness and educational events planned for community members to take action, prevent domestic violence, and support survivors,” stated Eva Jones, BBGDF founder/executive director.
The events will include music, various tables with community resources, and featured speakers. “Through these events and activities, BBGDF aims to unite our community, encourage open conversations, and create a supportive environment where survivors can find hope and healing. Everyone has a role to play,” she said.
BBGDF kicked off the month with three consecutive nights of Purple Shine walks at Parham Bridges Park. “We walked in solidarity with those who fell victim to this senseless crime, those who survived, and those who’ve yet to find the strength to leave,” shared Jones. After each hour-long walk, a balloon release and candlelight vigil was held.
Next up is the Purple Heel Walk/Run Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol. Organizations, families, churches, businesses, and government agencies are encouraged to come as a group wearing purple to walk on behalf of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. A host of resource vendors and subject matter experts will be on hand to shed light on domestic violence and its impact on the community. Live music will be provided by DJ Walter Hurst. To register, visit www.bbgdf.org.
Purple Thursday will be held on Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Moor Event Space, 5620 I-55 South, Suite C, Byram, MS. Guest speaker is Diedra Thurmond. Purple Thursday is a nationally recognized awareness day in which individuals make a fashion statement by wearing something purple to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence.
BBGDF’s finale in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is the 13th annual Shero Fundraising Awards Gala on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Jackson, 1001 East County Line Rd. Speaking to the theme, “Embracing Hope, Healing & Resilience,” will be Rev. Kevin Ware, pastor of Collis Hill Church of Christ Holiness USA. Award winning news anchor and child advocate Maggie Wade will serve as mistress of ceremony.
This year’s Community Impact honorees are Chad Jones, Dr. Felix Anderson, Alexander Nazario, Sheldon Gooch, and Captain Jimmy Jefferson. A total of 16 other advocates will be presented with the SHERO award.