Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why I'm feeling S.A.F.E. and how you can too!

Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment (SAFE)

On July 30th, I had the pleasure of attending a very moving event at the Detroit Historical Museum.  It was the 4th annual Appreciation Event for Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment (SAFE). SAFE assists survivors of domestic violence with financial self-sufficiency.

Now I know the subject of domestic violence is not one that most folks want to talk about or even acknowledge happens, but it happens everyday and with the bad economy in our city, the number of domestic violence cases is increasing.  Can you imagine leaving your marriage or relationship on violent terms and not only is your physical body bruised, but also your financial life totally in shambles? Most people stay in an bad relationship for economic reasons. Everyone needs money - that is why most of you read this blog. SAFE is there to help women in metro Detroit gain the skills to earn a decent living and regain their lives by providing help with career mapping, resume writing, interviewing, employment rights, financial literacy, and entrepreneur skills.

Kalyn Risker
Meet Kalyn Risker
So amongst the backdrop of our Historical Museum, I got a little education on the history of SAFE and why it exists from the founder, Kalyn Risker.  Even though I have known Kalyn for almost a year, this was the first time I had met her in person. I was introduced to Kalyn on Twitter and she is one of my blog's kindest supporters. Always positive, always kind, her tweets are indicative of someone with a humble and warm spirit - and definitively not someone that was almost killed as a result of domestic violence. She is at a point in her life where she can tell her story without emotion or bitterness because her past has now helped to position her as the head of a powerful non-profit.  Kalyn  is now in a position to help women in the same situation that she was once a part and in October of 2009, Kalyn testified before congress in Washington DC on the plight of domestic violence in this country.

Kalyn and her daughters
It's a Family Affair
Not only did I get to meet Kalyn in person, but also her mother, sister and two daughters.  SAFE is run by Kalyn, her family and a host of volunteers.  This is definitely a family affair of women helping women.  I met a proud mother who is in awe of the unselfish work her daughter was chosen to undertake, a sister who it using her professional photography talents to document the amazing work of SAFE and two young daughters who will definitely grow up with a unique and real prospective on the importance of surviving and thriving.

Women Helping Women
The SAFE appreciation program showcased local metro Detroit women of distinction.  Tracey McCakill from Mix 92.3 radio fame was the MC for the evening.  Tracey really did not have to introduce herself because her distinctive voice and playful personality is one-of-a-kind.  The audience was full of some of the female movers and shakers of Detroit including financial guru Gail Perry-Mason.  The Keynote Speaker for the evening was Judge Linda Parker, from the Wayne County Circuit Court. In her speech, Judge Parker gave some sobering statics.

- Domestic abuse is three times more likely to occur when a family is under financial stress
- Domestic abuse is three times more likely to occur if a partner has been unemployed 2 or more times
- Every 9 seconds a woman is abused or beaten by her partner

Judge Parker remarked that she is making a commitment to get more involved with community issues like these and urged everyone to volunteer with organizations like SAFE.

A Call to Action
On Saturday, October 23, 2010, SAFE will hold a FREE Health & Wealth Expo at the Northwest Activities Center at 18100 Meyers Road in Detroit.  There will be FREE information and resources on healthy living on a budget, stress reduction, job seeking tips and personal finance.  This event includes lunch, giveaways, and sample packs from various vendors.  The event is totally  FREE and open to the public. Come on out and meet Kalyn and find out what SAFE is all about. 

If you are with a corporation that can provide grants and sponsorships to SAFE go to more information.

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