Monday, December 5, 2011

This Week's Spotlight~Renee P Goldsby-Ellis "Fighting For What's Right"

If she's not eradicating Domestic Violence as an Advocate; Renee P Goldsby-Ellis of Abingdon, Maryland is empowering youth through positive relationships and motivating them to make conscientious decision that will allow them to advance into womanhood with self confidence and a positive outlook on life.  Publicly speaking on issues related to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Teen Dating Violence, she continues to eradicate Domestic Violence from one generation to the next.
As a Domestic Violence Advocate, Renee inspire women on a daily basis rather it is through legally advocating for them to obtain protection from their abuser or if it’s crisis counseling and safety planning with a victim to ensure they remain safe within their relationship.  Everyone who walks through the threshold of her office door knows that it is a “judgment free zone”, her job is to give them the tools to get through the right now and give them tips for safety.  For repeat clients she lets them know although she was hoping to not see them again, she's glad they are there.  Renee will not pretend to know their struggle, willing admitting that she's never walked a mile in their shoes, she can only offer them word of encouragement etched on my office wall.  “You’re BRAVER than you believe and STRONGER than you seem and SMARTER than you think you are”… A.A. Milne
As the Founder of Black Women of Essence, Inc. (BWOE) in 1999; Renee bridges the gaps between Women of Color and the communities in which we live, work and socialize. Through programs such as the BWOE FREE Mentor Program that focus on Middle School young ladies during a period in their lives where all is changing and confusing.  Empowering them and promoting excellence in mind, body and spirit.
Meeting with these young ladies on a monthly basis for positive peer interaction and exposing them to various environmental factors they may never become familiar with.  She believes there is nothing more fulfilling than enhancing the lives of these young ladies as they “Focus on Respect, Excellence and Empowerment, after all there’s no feeling like being F.R.E.E.
Finally, because her plate is not full enough, she is also the Program Coordinator for the “Tell It Like It Is” Teen Pregnancy Prevention program ran by Teen Moms Fresh Start in Baltimore, Maryland.  This program provides an open conversation with teens that provides a financial literacy outlook on the cost of raising a child while attending school, in addition to providing a realistic view of teen parenthood by allowing teen parents to share their stories with the youth and interact with them through a question and answer session.  This program is designed to prevent Teen Pregnancy by providing youth with a realistic view that will hopefully deter them from making unsafe and unprotected sexual decisions.
My Greatest Accomplishment To Date
As a soon to be divorced, mother of two children, having the courage to walk away from my 10 year marriage and seek happiness.  Faced with the fear of the unknown, I moved from Florida to Maryland, without a job, but only faith that I would find a job in the Non-Profit Sector as an Advocate for Children or Women… Two months after my move, I began working as a Domestic Violence Advocate.  Finally living my dream, going against the odds that, “I would never make it without him”; I proved him wrong and I proudly proclaim that I am in my final year of studies as a Master’s of Nonprofit Management Candidate at the University of Central Florida.
Most Challenging Thing I Ever Experienced Has Been: 
The most challenging thing I have ever experienced was burying my mother who died at the hands of a violent ex-boyfriend.  Living in Florida some 990 miles away and being the one who was first given the news and then having to contact my family members and deliver the news, breaking hearts one by one.  
I was a new mother myself, 2 months to the day of my daughter’s birth, my mother was beaten to death, her hair was pulled from her scalp and her skull was cracked in half.  At the age of 22, standing in a funeral home picking out a casket for the woman who gave birth to me, not due to natural cause, but as a result of a heinous senseless hate filled crime.  As challenging as this time of my life was, I chose to turn tragedy into triumph.  Here is where the passion as a Domestic Violence Advocate stems, my vow to turn victims to survivors one person at a time in honor of my Mother, Cheryl Renee Goldsby.
Most Valuable Lesson Learned
Life is too short to live unhappily...My mother’s life was taken at the ripe age of 40; I grew up in a volatile home where physical abuse was used by my step father as a means to control my mother.  Verbal and emotional abuse was used as a means to control my brother and I.  My mother left my stepfather 9 months after I moved to D.C. for College; her exact words, “I only stayed so that you would have a good life and want for nothing”. 
Final Remarks
I thank you for the opportunity to share a piece of my life with other Women of Color in hopes it may inspire them to move past the negative and give birth to a resiliency inside that may have been hidden.  I end with a T.D. Jakes quote.
"Cry when you have to ...Laugh when you can. Pray, Meditate, Believe... The triumph comes in knowing that you can make it through”..... TD Jakes

BOND Inc Spotlight features ordinary African American women from all over who are doing extra-ordinary things.  If you or anyone you know would like to be featured, send a request for more information to

No comments:

Post a Comment