Domestic Violence Advocate, Social Activist, Consultant & Entertainment Producer

Author Archive

LASERS PSA – Domestic Violence Organization w/ Lyn Twyman

I Don’t Want to Grow Up. I Want to Stay a Kid.

“I don’t want to grow up. I want to stay a kid.” When baby bumblebee said this to me tonight, I was reminded of the Earth, Wind & Fire song whose lyrics read, ‘A child is born with a heart of gold. The way of the world makes his heart grow cold.’ For many of us the world almost did that or did just that. Poverty, neglect, abuse, abandonment, addiction, incarceration, if you came through any of those things or witnessed those things, if you SURVIVED those things or the effects thereof, you have so much to be thankful for, so much to praise over. You may have had your childhood taken from you or forced to grow up quickly, but you haven’t completely lost your childlike innocence if you’re still alive and reading this post. There is healing. There are second chances. ‘You will find peace of mind If you look way down in your heart and soul Don’t hesitate cause the world seems cold Stay young at heart cause you’re never, never, never old at heart’.”

Believe, Work, Love: You Are Capable!

The hardest thing for a survivor of domestic violence, women and men, to do is to walk away.  The desire to love and to be loved is such a driving force for all of us that many people are willing to sacrifice themselves at the hands of an abuser.  There are people who will love you and leave you, only be there temporarily and just long enough to get what they want whether it’s physically, emotion…ally, sexually, financially, with no real intention of trying to build a future, or who have a goal to simply control and destroy you, and not respect you.  Our society must wake up to this reality because we live in a time of casual hookups where one person is optimistically, positively hoping for/expecting more than what the other person is CAPABLE of giving because of poor upbringing, addictions, self hatred, self doubt.  Whatever thing or person is keeping you bound, let it go and BELIEVE in healthy possibilities.  BELIEVE that you can love yourself without the affirmation of another person and WORK on loving yourself.  Then, carefully search for that person who will LOVE you and love themselves too.” 

Thought: Just Because You Don’t Hit Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Abusive

Just because you don’t hit your intimate partner doesn’t mean you’re not abusive.  The mainstream perception of domestic violence, family violence is all wrong.  I’ve had plenty of men, for example, say I would never lift a hand to a woman but abuse begins in the most basic manner, psychologically.  We have to understand that our dealings with each other, the level of common courtesy, responsiveness, compassion, respect are the building blocks to relationships and most certainly healthy, intimate relationships.  Many women and men are holding on to that thread of hope that the person they love will change but if you’re with someone who is disrespectful early on in the relationship, that’s a clear warning sign to remove yourself from the relationship before you’re in too deep.   Breaking promises, convenient forgetfulness and excuses, neglect are all forms of psychological abuse.  Let’s stop looking at domestic violence as merely a physical manifestation.  It’s a problem that manifests mentally or begins in the mind.  #ChangeYourPerception

DVWMT Talkshow Present ” From Brokenness to Boldness Interviews” Hosted by QueenAfi

Lyn was a featured guest on Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags Talkshow

hosted by Queen Afi Gaston

Air date :  January 7, 2014

DVWMT Talkshow Present " From Brokenness to Boldness Interviews" Hosted by QueenAfi

Sydney Harrison’s “Soul Searcher”

Sydney Harrison’s “Soul Searcher” will definitely cause you to search your own soul!

Soul Searcher - a book by Sydney Harrison

Soul Searcher – a book by Sydney Harrison

Approximately 400,000 children are in foster care on any given day (1) and approximately only 120,000 children are adopted each year in the United States (2) .  How would you feel if you were one of these children?  Or perhaps you are or were.  Soul Searcher is the touching and resilient story of one man’s courage to unravel his humbling and, to most, devastating beginnings, and future.  Soul Searcher brings enlightening meaning to the saying ‘Love yourself’ and gives us an honest insight into personal transformation.

Readers who know the pains of displacement or have been infused in the race debate of stereotypes will find their own familiar, personal, inner thoughts penned in the pages of Soul Searcher.  Sydney’s story will also move you from tears to a sense of triumph as he takes the reader through his abandonment shortly after birth, his quest to fit into society as a bi-racial youth in a racist community, and witnessing the unbroken spirit of abused and HIV infected children in Africa.

Soul Searcher is a glimpse into the life of one man, a life that says it is possible to overcome the odds if you’re willing to search your own soul, and to open up to the world around you and to  the Creator.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants a deeper, more personal understanding of what it means to find purpose for one’s own life.

For more information about this book, visit or Amazon. You can also connect with Sydney Harrison on Facebook.

Sydney Harrison, Author and Community Activist

Sydney Harrison, Author and Community Activist

Heirlooms and Accessories: The Work of Kerry James Marshall


In what ways are we accessories to injustice and violence?

What are we passing on as heirlooms to the next generation?



09 Aug 1930, Marion, Indiana, USA --- After being accused of murdering Claude Deeter, 23 and assaulting his girlfriend Mary Ball, 19 two young African-American men are taken from the Grand County Jail and lynched in the public square. Photographed by Lawrence Beitler. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

09 Aug 1930, Marion, Indiana, USA — After being accused of murdering Claude Deeter, 23 and assaulting his girlfriend Mary Ball, 19 two young African-American men are taken from the Grand County Jail and lynched in the public square. Photographed by Lawrence Beitler. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Negro Lynching In Indiana

Negro Lynching In Indiana


The Murder of America’s Child



by Lyn Twyman

I had to take the past few days to contemplate the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, not just because Trayvon Martin was a black child who was murdered, but because he was America’s child, an unarmed child, just trying to get home on the night of February 26, 2012, just like so many other children who have become casualties of violence.  Trayvon was high school aged on the road to improving in his grades and academics.  He could have grown up to become a remarkably educated man of grace, character, and poise. Zimmerman, on the other hand, was armed that night and his entire adult life is infested with a documented history of aggression such as resisting arrest, domestic violence, and now murder.  Zimmerman will always be remembered in history as the man who shed the blood of an innocent child.

Zimmerman’s acquittal doesn’t make him beyond reproach and certainly not a hero. The argument that Zimmerman feared for his life doesn’t hold up and here’s why.  No person, especially a child, would fight an individual knowing they were armed, especially with a deadly weapon like a gun; Trayvon was certainly no exception.  So Zimmerman’s argument that he feared for his life is paranoid and quite frankly irrational.  What Zimmerman feared was Trayvon finding out he was armed because Zimmerman made it his intent to stalk the young man and didn’t expect to be stood up to (typical of the classic bully).  Let’s face it, Zimmerman is a troubled adult and because he has now murdered, he is very well capable of doing it again the next time he feels paranoid or threatened.  The Sanford, FL jury let a cold blooded, predatory, murderer go free.

Trayvon wasn’t committing a crime, no home invasion, no vandalism; he was walking home.  In the 911 call, Trayvon clearly tried to get away from this stranger, this weirdo who made it his point to follow him.  Remember in the call Zimmerman said, “Shit, he’s [Martin’s] running.” Zimmerman then confirmed to the operator he was following Trayvon.  If it’s true that Zimmerman, by use of a deadly weapon, had the “right to defend himself” once the confrontation ensued, then all Americans need to arm themselves, including children, for fear of individuals like Zimmerman, right?  There was no trace of Trayvon’s DNA on the grip of Zimmerman’s gun to prove that Trayvon was trying to take it from him in an effort to shoot.  It wasn’t a crime for Trayvon to be walking home at night, no civil violation, no matter what he looked like, what he wore, or how he carried himself.  Zimmerman should have acted like a responsible adult and left him alone.

So who are the real terrorists in our land?  It’s not my fellow Muslims who wear hijabs; it’s those with last names like Zimmerman and Anthony, metaphorically speaking.  So if you see a “Zimmerman” in your neighborhood and he starts asking you questions, be careful not to run away from him…he may just very well try to shoot you off delusional suspicion that you’re just up to no good and he’s the one in danger.  And for everyone still giving Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt, had Trayvon been a black or white girl fighting for her life, would you still side with Zimmerman?  Trust, there are young women out there who can kick ass in defense if some man starts questioning and following them in the dark. Meditate on that one.

The Two Elephants

So now post-ruling we have marchers, protesters, organizers, and advocates gathering and lobbying to usher change for two long standing issues.  See there’s been two elephants standing in America’s living room for far too long.  In this case they are the murder of our youth and racial profiling.  As a nation we’d rather glamorize drinking, drugs, and gambling (symbolic of self servitude and fleshly desire) before we give to our inner cities, rural schools, and community programs.  We would rather get glammed up, weaved up, Gucci’ed up, botoxed, and Rolexed out, buy the latest pair of high heel pumps or Nike sneaks, instead of donate to a scholarship fund.  And it’s American citizens, not just law enforcement,  who keep profiling each other for the amount of wealth or poverty, intellect or stupidity, whiteness or blackness that we appear to possess or have.

Americans have to stop supporting entertainment that glamorizes the violence of urban life as well.  This contributes to the ongoing profiling of Americans.  It’s not fair that black and white children who grow up poor are pigeon holed as Niggas and Crackas because of entertainers who get rich perpetuating  images of pimping, dealing, and naked-women-lewdness as cool.  See in our freedom to create “art and entertainment”, we’ve also failed to teach the right from wrong to both young and old.  The abandonment and ill regard for our children and constant profiling of each other doesn’t breath life; it results in death.

Had someone taught George Zimmerman about these “Two Elephants”, or gotten him some serious counseling for his anger problems, he would have handled himself better throughout his life and on that night of February 26th.  Our youth need some serious backup and it’s us, not gun toting vigilantes with emotional disorders.  America doesn’t need anymore George Zimmermans who have problems with themselves and lack conflict resolution, who have ongoing histories of violence and believe the solution is to carry a gun.  And to all of the people that helped contribute approximately $30,000 in weekly donations to Zimmerman for his trial, shame on you!  You wasted your money on a murderer instead of invest in the life of a child.


Victim Blaming and Stand Your Ground

Marissa Alexander fires a warning shot against her abusive husband who was about to kill her and gets a 20 year sentence.  Zimmerman kills an innocent child and goes free.  America has a problem with victim blaming.  We blame the victims if he/she gets raped.  We blame the victim if they get robbed in the street.  We blame the victim for looking too good and therefore deserving whatever they got in return.  And juror B37 needs to sit down and shut up because her ignorance, “ignor[e]-ance”, sounds more like a person who is obsessed with prison love (the kind that says I’m going to date someone I’ve never met before that’s locked-up) and infatuated with serial killers.  I’m glad the other 4 jurors, to paraphrase, said “Stay the hell away from us. You’re crazy!”

So we’re left with a looming question in the aftermath of all of this.  Will we take a serious approach to protecting the youth of all our communities?  Will we fight violence and get the little George Zimmermans in the making counseling before they shoot another child?  Will we stop profiling each other and realize that in doing this we weaken our country instead of strengthen it?  The dysfunction of American adults is killing our youth.  So rest in peace, Trayvon Martin, a.k.a. American’s son.  May in your death the inner consciousness of every American come to life that ensures all of our children will not be murdered in acts of violence disguised in the name of justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation  where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of  their character.

 Martin Luther King, Jr.


Take Heed In New Relationships

By Lyn Twyman

It’s relatively easy to make friends or develop a relationship with someone, to be charmed, to be wooed, especially in this era of online social networking.  During that “honey moon” stage, everyone is nice and friendly, seemingly putting their best foot forward into the relationship.  It’s only over time that the true nature of a person is revealed, as their character is tested by decision making or by adversity.  That’s why the best advice anyone can receive who is still in the dating game is to “take their time” and find out as much as they can about the character of that individual they’re dealing with.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you are friends with or dating someone who is an abuser.  Abusers look for that weakest link in the life of their victims.  The victim could lack self esteem, financial security, or a support system.  Abusers will focus on that one area or several and use it to their advantage.  For example, if the victim lacks self esteem, the abuser may work hard in the beginning to build their victim up with compliments but work to tear them down over time, or even tear them down drastically with an outburst of hateful words after the victim does something the abuser does not like.  If the victim lacks financial security or even has financial security, the abuser will  work to make the victim become more dependent upon them by showering them with money, or convincing them to give up a job or give up their ambition.  If the victim lacks a support system, the abuser will move in to further isolate the victim from the little family and friends they do have, in an attempt to draw them closer to themselves.  Abusers cunningly move into a person’s life to conquer and to destroy for their own personal gain or profit.  Their addiction to the power and control is an unquenchable force that will not die.

So here are some tips that I have learned over the years that can be helpful when forming a new relationship.

1.      Don’t be quick to hand over the keys – Keys to your car, keys to your home, keys to your office, keys to your post office box.  Keys are a symbol of trust giving people the ability to unlock areas of your life, literally.  Guard your keys well.

2.      Don’t share financial information – It’s not necessary to talk about where you bank or your investment portfolio.  Money is an area that abusers like to control early on if given the opportunity, even going as far as to tell you how you should spend your own money.

3.      Password protect your cell phone – In this technology age, abusers like to control their victims by looking at their call history, contacts list and text messages.  Don’t give anyone the opportunity to access this information.

4.      Protect the account information and passwords of all of your accounts – From email, to bank account, to your wireless service and cable, even electric, do not share your account, password nor password hints.

5.      Tell a friend or family member about your new acquaintance, someone the acquaintance will know nothing about – In case the person ends up becoming a stalker, you should always have someone that you can go to about people you meet who can be a part of your safety plan that no one will know about.

6.      Conduct your own back ground check – Utilize online keyword searches and resources such as public records searches, department of corrections websites both state and federal, and the National Domestic Violence Registry.  Sometimes critical information about a person’s past that can help you make an informed decision about the relationship is literally just one click away.

The thrill of a new relationship is just that, a thrill, and it won’t last forever; it’s a rush, a high triggered by chemicals in the brain called endorphins designed to make you feel good.  Utilize extra caution when forming new relationships of any kind.  New friendly and romantic relationships can be rewarding but with abuse and violence being a traumatizing, financially devastating and even deadly fate to many in society, it’s worth it to take extra heed and caution to protect yourself from an abuser.

Lyn Twyman and The National Domestic Violence Registry on Fox News

This morning, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Heather Childers of Fox News Live on the cost of domestic violence and about one of my organizations, the National Domestic Violence Registry (NDVR). The mission of NDVR is to be an on-line, national resource that will aid in the awareness and prevention of domestic and family violence by posting the convictions of domestic abuse perpetrators and those offenders who have long term criminal orders of protections placed against them, and to provide comprehensive education about technology based programs, prevention, safety, and intervention models relating to domestic violence.

With the team of partners and endorsements that we have from folks like Russel BlakeAshley Judd and New York State Women, Inc., we are seeing the public’s growing acknowledgement that something more must be done to prevent and intervene in this epidemic we call domestic violence.

Watch the video at

Domestic Violence in the African-American and Asian Communities

By Lyn Twyman

Written for a magazine debuting for Blasians

Domestic violence is a social pandemic that has no color barriers.  Every race, nation, society and culture experiences it.  No one is immune from knowing someone who has been affected by it.  Unfortunately, domestic violence is more prevalent in some cultures than others.  By comparison, U.S. statistics show that African-Americans have higher reported incidences of domestic violence than Asians.  According to a study released this year titled “Nearly Four Million California Adults Are Victims of Intimate Partner Violence“, in California alone, African Americans experienced the highest number of intimate partner violence since turning age 18 at a rate of 30.6 percent.  This number was recorded for a 12 month span from April 2010 and preceding.  In the same study, the Asian community had a reported rate of 23.4%.  According to these numbers, it does not mean that domestic violence occurs less necessarily, but what this does mean is Asians are less likely to report abuse and one reason for this is societal factors.

I am a bi-racial American; my mother is Filipino and my father is black.  Unfortunately, I grew up experiencing domestic violence in the home.  After years of research of my family history, background, understanding more about both cultures and a little bit of therapy, I came to the same conclusion that the way we view and treat domestic violence is often a culturally based experience.  How else could I explain that my mother, a young, college educated Filipina could subject herself to psychological and financial abuse by a man who only had a GED and a few years in the military?  Myths surrounding domestic violence say that people who are educated wouldn’t become victims of domestic violence but countless stories of people with plenty of education, fame, and money  have proved the opposite.

Understanding who you and I are as blacks, African-Americans, Africans or Asians and how we relate to domestic violence is extremely important because so much of how we naturally view the world around us, even when it comes to dealing with abuse, is rooted in our culture.  The culture of African-Americans is rooted in the days of slavery, in Africans and other African-American ancestors, as most do not know what tribes we descended from.  As painful as the past of our ancestors is, this is a part of our cultural history and it was a highly impactful one, even for Africans that endured colonization in their own homelands.  Historically, blacks have been stripped from their tribes, clans, their communities then molded into someone’s else culture only to be defamed, deprived,  stripped, beaten, raped or killed.  Families were broken apart and women and children were used as commodities.

Then our ancestors transcended into eras such as Civil Rights (1955 – 1968) and South African Apartheid (1948 -1994) and we see yet another generation of blacks, African-Americans and Africans who had yet to contend with more hostility and the breakdown of families and self worth, the core of any healthy society.  The end of both violent and degrading eras still did not quail the number of fatherless homes, or reverse the affects from governmental atrocities that frivolously imprisoned black men for looking at white women.  The end to these eras did not reverse the effects of those who were chastised for stepping foot in  “Whites Only” establishments or the harsh sentencing that was handed down for stealing something as simple as a loaf of bread to feed ones family.

So when we look at the alarmingly high number of domestic violence incidences within the Black community, we may often wonder ‘Why’, even though most Black communities are considered the minority around the world.  In part, it is due to the residual effects from the years of historical oppression from institutionalized racism, and note I said residual effects.  Low income, unemployment, inadequate education and urban over-crowding are all factors that correlate to higher incidences of domestic violence (Ref. Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence).  Lack of money, resources and education have all been contributing factors that has affected our communities for generations.  In other words, the generational hostility, aggression, lack of healthy support systems and limited access to mental health services resulting from years of injustice has lent to the violence and this cannot be ignored.

The Asian culture, on the other hand, has strong patriarchal values and emphasizes the obedience of girls and women which contributes to a different dynamic of domestic violence.  A sense of family honor is something taught from an early age and to speak ill of one’s family is often considered a disgrace.  Thus, we see less reported incidences of domestic violence in Asian communities.  Psychological abuse is heavily carried out.  Physical punishment is often viewed as deserved or warranted under most circumstances between husbands toward their wives.   It often seems that it takes severe and multiple counts of punishment before it is finally declared abuse in many Asian cultures.

Domestic violence isoften seen as a “family matter” in Asian culture.  Additionally, Asians have been very accustomed to strong religious influences like Confucius, Hinduism, Buddhism and even Catholicism that emphasizes emotional control and duty, thus resulting in little recognition of psychological abuse when it is present.  The factors mentioned all contribute to why Asians are less likely to report abuse.

Unlike the California report on African-Americans and domestic violence that looked at reports within the State,  41 – 61% of Asian women report experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime.1 This is higher than the rates in a national study reported by Whites (21.3%), African Americans (26.3%), Hispanics of any race (21.2%), people of mixed race (27.0%), and American Indians and Alaskan Natives (30.7%), and Asians and Pacific Islanders (12.8%).2   This goes back to my point that Asians are less likely to report abuse so numbers could very well be skewed in some instances.

In no way am I excusing domestic violence but I do believe that we must understand how blacks and Asians view domestic violence and the psychology behind those views in an effort to better help our communities.  More importantly, we must address this issue in a proper, tactful way with family and friends, perhaps even helping us gain more understanding if we are the ones being abused.  Understanding our culture is especially important if we are to properly advocate for immigrants who are new to our perspective countries.  If we fail to understand these historical and cultural factors of which we are as a society, why he/she hits or why he/she remains silent and stays in a relationship with abuse, then victims will continue to not receive the proper help they deserve and live safer, healthier lives.

If you find yourself in a situation where there is domestic violence, please contact your local domestic violence organization or call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY).  You can also visit the Hot Peach Pages at to find more information for your perspective country.


  1. The low end of the range is from a study by A. Raj and J. Silverman, Intimate partner violence against South-Asian women in Greater Boston Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association. 2002; 57(2): 111-114. The high end of the range is from a study by M. Yoshihama, Domestic violence against women of Japanese descent in Los Angeles: Two methods of estimating prevalence. Violence Against Women. 1999; 5(8):869-897.
  2. Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Research Report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2000.

Lyn Twyman is an advocate, activist, consultant, radio personality, entertainment producer and founder of, an online community and resource for domestic violence.  Lyn is also a first generation Asian and African-American.  She grew up with the many facets that come with being a bi-racial individual in America.  She also grew up watching all forms of abuse in the lives of her parents.  As a survivor of child abuse and intimate partner violence she chose to break the cycle of violence within her own family and families across the country.  Lyn is passionate about ending domestic violence, awareness for its root causes, prevention, family issues and diversity.  For more information about Lyn, please visit www.lyntwyman and also visit

Revised 9-9-2015

Part 2: A Look At Wrongful Convictions: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Johnnie Lee Savory


We heard from Johnnie in our Part 1 interview last week of Courage Empowerment Forum.  Get ready for Part 2 and learn more about the life of this survivor.

“Injustice is not about color, it’s about people who sit in office that don’t care.” – Johnnie Lee Savory


It was early 1977 when the life of a 14 year old was turned completely upside down. There was a double murder and investigators dragged the 14 year old Johnnie Lee Savory into an absolute nightmare. There were witnesses and evidence proving that Johnnie was not the murderer of his friend and friend’s sister but it was not enough to stop his 50 – 100 year original prison sentence. Johnnie would end up spending 30 years of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Furthermore, the State of Illinois has denied multiple requests for DNA testing of evidence that would exonerate Johnnie.

According to The Innocence Project, there have been 273 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States. According to the same organization, DNA tests prove that nine Chicago teenagers were convicted in the 1990s of murders they did not commit. Five of them are still behind bars but prosecutors are refusing to acknowledge their innocence.

Johnnie’s plight is the plight of thousands more across our country, lives held captive behind bars because of a criminal justice system that fails to be just. Out of his experience, Johnnie has taken his pain and dedicated his life to helping those who are wrongfully convicted.

Tune in Tuesday, August 23th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Johnnie Lee Savory, wrongful conviction advocate and information specialist to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

Visit Johnnie’s site at and also visit

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by,

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at

also on Twitter at

A Look At Wrongful Convictions: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Johnnie Lee Savory


It was early 1977 when the life of a 14 year old was turned completely upside down. There was a double murder and investigators dragged the 14 year old Johnnie Lee Savory into an absolute nightmare. There were witnesses and evidence proving that Johnnie was not the murderer of his friend and friend’s sister but it was not enough to stop his 50 – 100 year original prison sentence. Johnnie would end up spending 30 years of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Furthermore, the State of Illinois has denied multiple requests for DNA testing of evidence that would exonerate Johnnie.

According to The Innocence Project, there have been 273 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States. According to the same organization, DNA tests prove that nine Chicago teenagers were convicted in the 1990s of murders they did not commit. Five of them are still behind bars but prosecutors are refusing to acknowledge their innocence.

Johnnie’s plight is the plight of thousands more across our country, lives held captive behind bars because of a criminal justice system that fails to be just. Out of his experience, Johnnie has taken his pain and dedicated his life to helping those who are wrongfully convicted.

Tune in Tuesday, August 16th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Johnnie Lee Savory, wrongful conviction advocate and information specialist to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

Visit Johnnie’s site at and also visit

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by,

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at

also on Twitter at

The Victory of a Former Teenage Mom: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Author and Youth Mentor Summer Owens


About sixteen years ago, at the age of 15, Summer was just another “statistic”. Now sixteen years later, she is a woman who has beaten the odds. Teenage moms makes up about 11% of all births in the United States and many do not finish school. Summer Owens is the author of Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, a personal story of her journey surviving and triumphing as a young mother, with tons of lessons and practical applications.

Although Summer was a teenage mother, there was something about her pregnancy that was atypical, and the assault on her life that caused her pregnancy left her frightened, embarrassed, ashamed and immensely confused. But as an over comer, Summer has chosen to take her experience and candidly reveal her life successfully to help all teenage moms.

A busy mom and a college graduate with two degrees herself, Summer is unstoppable. She is also a young woman’s mentor in her local community and travels around the country speaking to crowds about how to affectively help teenage moms.

Tune in Tuesday, July 26th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Summer Owens, youth mentor and author of Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother .

Visit Sophia’s site at

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by,

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at

also on Twitter at

One Woman’s Triumph: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Sexual Assault Advocate and Author Sophia A. Strother


“By the age of sixteen I felt like a washed up rag. I felt like – what else!” Those are the words of Sophia A. Strother quoted from her book Sophia I’m Back! Her young life was not only hard, it was tragic, having to suffer indescribable torment by a sexually abusive father and subsequent rapes by three men. She later became pregnant at 15 but not withstanding other struggles. Sophia’s life appeared to be wrecked and ruined but through her faith, it never succumbed to that devastation.

Now she is the founder of Empowerment Driven by Knowledge Coalition, an organization whose mission is to empower others to survive and overcome. Sophia is also the CEO of Trustworthy Consulting. An inspirational and motivational speaker and consultant, Sophia works alongside Martin Luther King III and many other well known names for the embetterment of people through community based programs and events.

Tune in Tuesday, July 19th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear sexual assault advocate and author of Sophia I’m Back! Sophia A. Strother, and learn more about her amazing journey from survivor to thriver.

Visit Sophia’s site at

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by,

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at

also on Twitter at

The Danger of Those with a History of Violence: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Executive Director of the National Domestic Violence Registry Myra Spearman


Myra Spearman was in her early 20’s when she first got married. Like countless women and men around the country, what began as a fairy tale marriage turned into years of a nightmare filled with real abuse, terror and victimization. The relief Myra felt after breaking free from a relationship of abuse was a turning point as she embarked on a mission to save the lives of domestic violence victims and offer them hope. Her activism eventually led to the launching of the first ever National Domestic Violence Registry (NDVR). Now, Myra and a team of people across the country have created a movement to comprehensively tackle the domestic violence epidemic around the United States and work with legislatures and activists to draw the connection to those with a history of violence in their past through the efforts of NDVR.

In 2009, Myra also won the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center’s Award from the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana for her creation of NDVR and holds a lifetime membership with the Society of Innovators.

Tune in Tuesday, July 12th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear domestic violence activist Myra Spearman and learn more about the need for the comprehensive approach of NDVR toward the issue of domestic violence. the music of ELIANE AMHERD, singer, guitarist and songwriter, from her album Now and From Now On

Eliane is one of the hottest forces of the New York City Jazz, Brazilian and Latin scene. The Swiss-born singer, guitarist and songwriter graduated from New York’s New School University for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2000. Since then her original music and lyrics, a groovy mix of all her influences, has been creating quite a buzz.

Besides her performances as a leader or a featured artist in New York’s most famous clubs, like the Blue Note, Joe’s Pub, the Jazz Standard, Cornelia’s Street Cafe, Nuyorican Poets Cafe and major events like the Swiss Peak Festival, the reopening of the Silverstein Building at the World Trade Center (alongside Lou Reed, Susan Vega, and the Brazilian Girls), she also tours in North- and South America, Canada, Europe and Asia, where she performed at the Beijing Jazz Festival in China and the Giant Steppes of Jazz Festival in Mongolia.

Eliane worked with greats such as Randy Brecker, Marcus Strickland, Marc Ribot, Michael Carvin, Bill Ware, Jovino Santos Neto etc. She plays guitar in the Pacha Massive video “don’t let go” on MTV, her song “as If” can be heard in the award winning movie “Approaching Union Square” by filmmaker Marc Meyers and her voice is featured on Jeremy Mage’s song “Slippery Light” appearing on the NBC hit TV series “Lipstick Jungle”. Eliane also arranged and produced the Swiss Miss Sampler ÒheimwehÓ, featuring famous Swiss artists like Eliana Burki, Nubya, Gigi Moto, Mia Aegerter etc. This recording has earned her many great press reviews, several interviews on Swiss national radio stations and an appearance on the popular Swiss talk show “Aeschbacher”.

Her own band consists of the best musicians the city has to offer, like the two female bass players Jennifer Vincent and Hagar Ben Ari, bass player Gustavo Amarante and the drummers Willard Dyson and Abou Diarrassouba. Other accomplished musicians you can catch on stage with Eliane are: drummers or percussionists Ze Mauricio, Genji Siriasi, Sylvia Cuenca, bass players Ray Parker, Yoshi Waki, Itaiguara, pianists Rachel Z, Helen Sung, Chris Wiesendanger and many others.

For more information about Eliane, visit

The Call for More Men

by Lyn Twyman 

Recently I had the opportunity to co-present a workshop at the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) annual conference in Tampa, FL. The workshop was about how survivors of domestic violence could be resilient after experiencing abuse. I shared my own personal story of resiliency, what that means for me as a survivor of child abuse and intimate partner violence, and coping techniques. After my presentation, participants in the workshop shared their experiences and their own heartfelt stories of triumph over abuse.

During the entire NOW conference, hundreds of feminist women, and men, gathered during that weekend to discuss issues affecting women and families in this country and around the world. Men like Barry Goldstein, activist and battered mothers advocate, and Ben Atherton-Zeman, spokesperson of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, only to name a few, represented that segment of male society who fight for the equality of women, protection of children, and the declination of the age old, destructive misogynist ways of thinking. They were welcomed speakers among a sea of activist women.

Whether you agree with all that NOW as an organization represents, one thing I saw was their ability to engage men in the conversation of solutions to ensure a progressive future for both women. All movements start from one point but in order to be sustainable, they must be willing to adapt and grow into a progressive effort that meets the needs of society in modern times. Among many great initiatives, that is one initiative NOW is managing to do.

Often when we talk about social ills like domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, we speak in terms of how they affect women. And women are often the ones to carry the torch to create support and resources for survivors. There are more women representing these issues too like there are women flooding church pews. There is an overwhelming unleveled scale of women compared to men on these serious issues that require the participation of men, the imperative engagement of men both young and old.

If we want to see a drastic shift take place in the way society views domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, men can no longer be side line participants in the conversations and there must be an active recruitment to engage well intentioned men to ally alongside women who have taken these issues by the bridle to see effectual change take place.

We also need to pay closer attention to how misogyny has damaged men and has failed male victims. The misperception that as a man you should tough it up if you are assaulted, or that you can just take it and move on has drove countless men to live lives that are less than fulfilling, lives filled with denial, depression, addiction, abuse and yes, like many women re-victimization. We also do ourselves a disservice when we alienate men from our lives, when we fail to acknowledge their role in helping to create solutions. We also poison our posterity when we allow rhetoric and misogynist imagery to permeate our mainstream society, from both men and women, and do nothing about. I am talking about the men and women who portray both sexes like nothing more than sexual objects.

There are many men that want to get involved and fight alongside women to help bring change, despite what negative they have been taught by their fathers or society. Unfortunately some of them have been turned away by women who failed to recognize the need for change and allow men to take part in the solution with programs and services.

So take the time to look at your work and find ways to increase the engagement and participation of men. Men are a vital part of the equation to solving women’s issues and issues that are perceived to be just women’s issues. There are countless positive, inspiring, spirit filled men out there that are crusaders for protection and seekers of justice. The issues that often begin with female victims affect all of us. So be a part of that progressive change and embrace the men who raise their hands and ask, ‘How can I as a man help?’

Lyn Twyman is Founder of Courage Network and the host of the weekly radio show Courage Empowerment Forum. Lyn is also the Deputy Director of the National Domestic Violence Registry.

Archive Press Release: Lyn Twyman Takes Part in Annual National Organization of Women (NOW) Conference

Lyn Twyman Takes Part in Annual National Organization of Women (NOW) Conference

Posted by ⋅ 06/24/2011 ⋅ Leave a Comment

Building Resiliency and Economic Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence


Lyn Twyman, Founder of Courage Network and Deputy Director of the National Domestic Violence Registry was tapped to present a workshop at the annual National Organization of Women (NOW) Conference being held in Tampa, FL, June 24-26.  The theme of the 2011 conference is “Daring to Dream: Building a Feminist Future” and will be presenting attendees with many programs and workshops throughout the weekend. The workshop titled “Building Resiliency and Economic Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence” will be teaching attendees why economic security is a safety issue for survivors of intimate partner violence and the link between poverty and violence.

One out of three women experiences domestic abuse in their lifetimes, and their healing depends on having their emotional, mental and psychological needs met. Motivational techniques for healing will be shared. This workshop will explain how you can apply these tools when working with survivors. Also, learn how to assist survivors in career planning by providing them with resources on higher-paying nontraditional jobs and opportunities in the green economy.

Presenting along with Lyn Twyman is Allen Thomas.  Allen is a progressive advocate who works on issues related to domestic violence such as the affects of family violence on children,the role substance abuse plays in family violence, victims’ rights, crime reduction in communities, gang violence, juvenile violence and healthy relationships. Allen founded Operation Freedom NC, a grassroots volunteer organization that has grown into a community, state‐wide and national effort with a team of dedicated volunteers. The organization was founded after Allen chose to take his pain from the murder of his mother to help others avoid becoming victims of domestic violence. The mission of Operation Freedom NC is to raise awareness and prevention of domestic violence in local communities throughout the State of North Carolina and across the country. Allen is also the recipient of the 2010 Secretary’s Award of Excellence from North CarolinaDepartment of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the field of community service.

Lyn is an advocate, activist, consultant and entertainment producer. A survivor of child abuse and domestic violence, she founded, a progressive online community for domestic violence survivors and organizations. She is also the Deputy Director of the National Domestic Violence Registry, a model program founded in 2007 by Myra Spearman. Lyn is passionate about ending domestic violence, diversity issues, and the family. She is a talk radio personality on, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY, producing and directing her program called Courage Empowerment Forum where she discusses domestic violence, crime victimization and other social issues affecting communities, along with featured music. Lyn has lobbied for The International Violence Against Women Act on Capital Hill and has been a featured guest on several media outlets. Lyn has also worked on several independent film projects and is currently teamed with two award winning directors producing both a feature film and co‐producing a civil rights documentary about the life of Joan Mulholland.

For more information about the NOW Conference schedule, please visit their website:

The Role of Perception and Women: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Author, Educator and Musical Artist Russel Blake

Media plays a major role in the way people are perceived, especially Black Women. But long before modern media, the perception of Black Women, according to Russel Blake, has been “the long-standing root of our barometer of existence, and at the very least the heart of any discussion of constructive engagement for us to survive as a people.”

Russel Blake, Educator/Professional Musician/Concert
Soloist/Music Producer and now Author of Proverbs 31: The Virtuous Black Woman, addresses the value of Black Women in poetic pros, expressing the respect and dignity that men should have for Black Women and all women.

Russel is also a highly accomplished jazz soloist, having performed with Masakela, Cybil Shepherd, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte, El Gran Combo, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee, and many more. His latest musical work and CD is Fierce Solitude.

“Among his highest achievements was his appointment by the U.S. State Department to perform as an Ambassador of Goodwill to Eight West African Nation’s, and was also contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense to lecture on the symbiotic nature of Science and Music for DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Agency) Conference.” Additionally, Russel is a speaker of the reknown Smiley Group, Inc.

For more information about Russel, visit

Tune in Tuesday, June 28th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear this amazing pro-woman, spiritual author, educator, and jazz bassist Russel Blake.

We will be featuring the music of Russel Blake during the hour broadcast!

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A Voice for the Innocent: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes True Crime Author and Crime Novelist Diane Fanning

For some of us, the inspiration to do something comes from a motivation of a role model. In the case of Diane Fanning, a frightening and near abduction of herself at the age of 9 set a “lifelong interest in the psychology of the criminal mind.”

A winner of the University of Illinois’s Defenders of the Innocent Award for her book about a Texas serial killer that helped exonerate Julie Rea of Lawrenceville, Diane has become a highly accomplished and well respected crime author. The author of over a dozen books, Diane continues to draw readers not only interested in mystery and crime, but readers in search for real justice.

Her latest book MOMMY’S LITTLE GIRL recounts the life and death of 2 year old Caylee Anthony. It’s available at all online and local book retailers.  Diane has recently been featured on TruTv, Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro, The Joy Behar Show, and several talk radio shows around the country covering the Casey Anthony Trial.

For more information on Diane and her books, please visit her website:  Diane’s personal coverage of the Casey Anthony trial can be seen each day on her blog Writing is a Crime

Tune in Tuesday, June 21st at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear award-winning crime author Diane Fanning.

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The Defeatist Attitude of the Domestic Violence Movement: The Need for Prevention

Originally posted on Time’s Up

By Lyn Twyman

There’s a defeatist attitude in the domestic violence movement in this country.  There are several state coalitions and organizations that instead of coming together and finding solutions, they bicker, whine and complain about why things aren’t working.  They are keeling over in the wallow of despair and have become more concerned with the continuous band aid remedy instead of writing a prescription (words in part by Susan Murphy-Milano) for the domestic violence epidemic.  They lack the utilization of prevention, intervention and technology to keep victims and the public at large safe.  As a result, newer, more comprehensive methods like the Mosaic Method, The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit, and now the National Domestic Violence Registry are being embraced in growing numbers throughout the United States in response to the lack of prevention in this country.

Recently I spoke with the executive director of one of the largest state domestic violence coalitions in the country.  Within the first minute of phone introductions, the executive director was almost hollering at the top of her voice at this mild mannered, gracious advocate.  Her voice was filled with anger and a heaviness of breath as if she was about to explode.   I am a survivor of domestic violence and I made that very clear to her in our conversation, not some person who is far removed from this issue.  That didn’t matter to her, however.  Her words to me were, “Most of us are survivors so that’s neither here nor there.”  Ladies and gentlemen, these were the words of the leader of an organization whose mission is to help victims of domestic violence!  And what was she so upset about?  She was upset at the fact that she returned my call to discuss The National Domestic Violence Registry and desire to engage in a friendly dialogue of solutions to the problem of domestic violence.  After all, her organization came highly recommended from several sources.  Never did I think that she would become an angry individual over the phone in just a matter of seconds.

The executive director proceeded to make comments like a sex offender registry was better than a domestic violence registry, that victims will end up in the registry, that a registry will cost millions of dollars, that a domestic violence registry won’t work!  But I’d like to publicly rebut those comments here:

No. 1 For any domestic violence advocate to deny her own cause and minimize victims is appalling and a sick tragedy to the movement of helping crime victims especially, in this case, domestic violence.

No. 2 The National Domestic Violence Registry has created a model where we encourage the states to take a greater look at repeat offender records.

No. 3 Domestic violence is causing this country billions of dollars each year in just its aftermath alone.  Millions of dollars is nothing compared to the billions that are wasted on cleaning up the gruesome battlefield.  As the saying goes, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’  There’s no price tag that can be placed on any person’s life.

No. 4 A domestic violence registry, just like any program, will work if it’s run effectively.  There are many coalitions and organizations that have programs now that aren’t effective.  So to that executive director, her statement was one of a curious, eyebrow raising sort, not a resilient, hopeful one.  And aren’t we to be positive change makers if we are to continue to help victims survive this battlefield?

Why aren’t some of these coalitions focusing more on prevention with the funding and man power that they currently have? I believe it’s because many organizations, like the sounds of that executive director, are simply burned out, defeated by working in a system for 15 to 30 years.  Additionally, to that executive director, she mentioned carrying the frustration at going through domestic violence records, finding it hard to determine who the real victims are.  But frustration will get us NO WHERE.  What she has managed to do is to become so desensitized that to me the evidence of compassion burnout has dominated her speech and rationale. Change is not too much to ask for those who are living in the nightmare of domestic violence or for those who have lost a loved one to it.

Many people said the sex offender registry would not work but it does work, and it’s very telling when an executive director for one of the largest domestic violence coalitions says that a sex offender registry is better than a domestic violence registry, again denying her own cause.  Why are advocates like this ED giving up and even discriminating against the very people they’re paid to help.  Why are they choosing to fight against the legislatures that are trying to help them and others in the community?   We all know that help is hard to find these days and it seems that victim services are being stale mated in part by the very people who say they want to help.  So we are truly at a sad state right now in this country because of this unhealthy mentality.   Talk about unhealthy relationships, there are unhealthy mentalities within the domestic violence movement and it’s quite sickening.  According to Benjamin Lichtenwalner, founder of Modern Servant Leader, he writes, “frustration is a sign that you may be focused on yourself and not the needs of others. Therefore, as a leader in you[r] organization, frustration should be a warning sign to you as well. When you feel frustrated, remember your calling as a leader to serve those you lead, first.”  Leaders of domestic violence organizations should work extra hard to avoid letting frustration overtake them as to avoid lashing out at strangers and fellow advocates so solutions to helping victims can be created and more prevention takes place in this country.

Had the executive director not chosen to lash out at me, maybe she would have learned more about The National Domestic Violence Registry and all of the wonderful educational models and programs we promote, created by survivors, survivors of lost loved ones, and even leading experts.  Her assumptions were wrong and quite closed minded, a ‘Let’s cut her off at the chase because it’s either my way or the high way’ thought process, no respect for the person she chose to call back.  But as I told that executive director, domestic violence registries are not going away, and instead of working with the states, organizations, and survivors that want to see change in this way, organizations like hers are fighting against women and men that want more preventative solutions.  Like I said, it’s time to stop putting band aids on the problem and start writing prescriptions.

There are thousands and thousands of repeat offenders of domestic violence each year including misdemeanor and felonious civil and criminal offenders.   These are the ones who belong in the registry.  Yes, it’s a given that some state laws have to be changed, but the assumption on the part of some domestic violence coalitions and organizations who just continue to make excuses against prevention models, instead of saying ‘How can we make this work?’, is getting quite old and more and more people are dying to domestic violence.  And it’s not necessarily that all of those said orgs just don’t want change, it’s that they’re afraid and stuck on old ways of thinking.  And yes, some of them are afraid of losing funding.

The realities that victims face today include modern day complications that require modern day solutions.  The domestic violence movement has progressed but there are some that are stuck back in time 15 years ago, advocate organizations and law makers alike.  That’s why it’s important to work together, not go on the attack at survivors, organizations and legislatures who finally decide to speak up. This crabs in a barrel, defeatist attitude feeds the abusers and re-victimizes the victims.  It doesn’t empower the victims into becoming survivors nor help the families that have lost loved ones.  It doesn’t help in shattering the silence of domestic violence.  The sad thing about it is, this defeatist attitude will continue to keep all of us in a losing battle if we don’t create and implement more preventative solutions very soon.  There’s no more time for the domestic violence field to poke its mouth out and pout any longer.

So to the women and male survivors, to the children survivors, to the elderly survivors, to the disabled survivors, to the LGBT survivors, and to the families and friends that grieve everyday for lost loved ones, I say this to you, you are not forgotten.  The National Domestic Violence Registry and its partners will not bear a defeatist attitude.  We have a team of experts and supporters that want to see change and we welcome EVERYONE with an idea on how to make prevention stronger in this country.

They said ending slavery was a bad idea.  They said desegregation was a bad idea.  They said the feminist movement was a bad idea.  They said The National Sex Offender Registry was a bad idea.  So let’s end the slavery of domestic violence, the fear that causes even coalition executive directors to lash out at those they say they have committed to serve.  The National Domestic Violence Registry and public state registries aren’t bad; they are indeed good and to the benefit of the public at large.

Domestic violence is the number 1 killer of women in this country.  We all have the right to know if someone is a repeat domestic abuse offender.  It’s better to find out in order to prevent the assault from occurring again than to lie over a casket and cry aloud to the high heavens ‘I wish he/she had known’.  And yes, a registry will be a deterrent against repeat offenders.  The evidence won’t be in more deaths, it will be in people becoming more aware of repeat offenders, the seriousness of these offenses, and making more informed decisions. This will logically result in fewer deaths.  So the time is here; the time is now.  Don’t talk about why something can’t work; talk about why it will work and save lives.

And now I’d like to leave you with this.  The Japanese have a bond of unity, a tradition called “ittai,” which means to become one body.  In the midst of national crises, they have learned to organize themselves and support each other without little instruction from the government or outside interception.   Domestic violence is one of our country’s national crises.  The domestic violence field can take a big lesson from the Japanese and practice some “ittai”.


Knowing No Limits: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Award-Winning A Capella Vocal Band Duwende

Host Lyn Twyman is pleased to feature award-winning vocal band Duwende. The dynamic power and versatility of the human voice is demonstrated by this renown six-person a capella group comprised of J. Aaron Boykin, Derrick L. Hicks, Abbey Janes, Neal Mortimer, Edward Chung, and Ari Picker. Duwende “Whips up a crowd with their exuberant funk-pop tunes… but all six musicians perform empty-handed. Duwende is a band foremost and an a cappella show second. Their bubbly funk and hip-hop-fueled tunes draw fans more for their refreshing, expansive sound than their novelty,” according to The Boston Globe.

Their album Collective won the “2008 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards for Best Pop/Rock Album and Best Original Song”. Now Duwende has embarked on a new journey that’s well on it’s way to becoming another hit, their newly released Michael Jackson Tribute album.

Tune in Tuesday, June 14th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear the amazing vocals of Duwende.


We will be featuring the music of Duwende during the hour, our featured musical guests!

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The Queen of Jazzipino: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Charmaine Clamor

Charmaine Clamore is “celebrated by The New York Times as “a gifted vocalist” and by The Los Angeles Times as “one of the important and original new jazz singers of the decade,””. She is a riveting performer who not only captivates audiences with her sound, but also with a style that is unique, sophisticated and fun.

Charmaine is a musical pioneer, fusing Filipino music with the Jazz style, creating a blend that is soulful and a celebration of two cultures. She began her career at the tender age of 3 entertaining passengers on the bus traveling to Manila, and she’s been going ever since. From award winning and topping on the Jazz Week World Music Top-20 with three consecutive albums, Charmaine is a vibrant, unstoppable musical force.

Charmaine is also an activist. She won the V-Day “Vagina Warrior” Award for Championing Women’s Rights from the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.

Tune in Tuesday, June 7th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Charmaine Clamor, the Queen of Jazzipino.


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“…but can she play?”: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn

Jazz music was created in the early 20th Century, originating in Southern African American communities. As a male dominated genre that has delighted the hearts of billions throughout the world, it may leave you also wondering ‘…but where are the women?’. Janice Rhosalle Littlejohn explores this concept in her up and coming documentary called “…but can she play?”  Janice, an award-winning columnist, highlights the careers of at least 10, successful female horn players in the jazz world. Each of these women have a story to tell about not only their art, but how they are received by audiences around the world.

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn has had a diverse career as a journalist covering all facets of entertainment, arts, politics, community news and issues related to women, African Americans and the African Diaspora. She spent 12 years as a freelance writer and worked as a columnist for the Associated Press. She’s received numerous awards including a commendation from the National Association of Black Journalists. She is also co-authoring a book for Simon & Schuster and developing a limited series.

We will be playing some of the music from the talented artists of “…but can she play?”

Hailey Niswanger – Film’s featured performer, alto saxophonist , performing the title track to her debut, self-released CD Confeddie.

Claire Daly – Baritone saxophonist ‘s The Small But Evil Man, from her CD Heaven Help  All on her Daly Bread Records


The late Melba Liston (3/ 3/1926 – 8/3/2008) – Trombonist and composer with her tune Zagred from Melba and Her Bones.

Tune in Tuesday, May 24th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, director of “…but can she play?”, because “jazz is not a gender; it’s a groove”.

Visit …But Can She Play?

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