Over the last few weeks I’ve been in full creative mode. I’ve been writing poems, working on book manuscripts and creating visual art. The last part is the most surprising to me. I’ve never been one to draw. My creative outlet has usually been through speaking and creating and non fiction writing so creating the art you see was worth celebrating for me. I’ve actually painted five pieces over the last nine months. Though these pieces may never be in high end art galleries, they’ll hang somewhere in my home or office as a talking point for my creative ego self.
Recently I was invited to be a guest on the CJ Rhodes Show in Jackson, MS to discuss the black church history, heritage, its role in black community, and how the people in the church can contribute to preventing gun violence in their communities.
If you were not aware, I am a survivor of gun violence. In 1980, I lost my 25 year old mother Sharon Neal to an act of domestic violence that involved a gun and in 2016, my 18 year old nephew Kevin Neal, Jr was killed in a senseless act of gun violence. This week is National Survivors of Gun Violence week an as a Senior Fellow with the Everytown for Gun Safety Survivor Network, I share my story of how my family has been impacted by gun violence with the hopes of helping others and effecting change so that no more lives will be lost to acts of gun violence. Read my latest Op-Ed piece that helps to empower others to share their stories to prevent and eventually end gun violence in our country.