Hello, subscribers! Can you believe it’s 2018 already? The new year is a time when I love to check in with myself to reflect on the year that’s passed and get excited for the new year to come. Please take a look at what we’ve accomplished in 2017: -held holiday and event Meetups in Baltimore & Charlotte
-added a Meetup in New York City
-held 12 podcasts , with over 2K listeners for one of our most popular shows.
-added our BWWE podcast to iTunes
-held two Dinner, Heels and How-To’s: Dating While Widowed Events with a total of 40 attendees. One event was held in Baltimore and the other in Charlotte, NC with our guest speaker and moderator, Dr Stafford Sutton.
-blogged for Hope for Widows Foundation for the first two quarters of 2017, representing BWWE
-blogged for Blavity
-became published in the book, Widowed: Rants, Raves and Randoms by John Polo representing BWWE
-created a “You Stand Out” 7-Day devotional , which is a journey of scriptures from the Bible for the widowed woman as she navigates through grief.
-as a support group, provided donations to two widowed women in Kenya and Malawi. A donation was also provided to a nonprofit widowed organization
-held prayer calls for encouragement
-established a fundraiser for a widow in need in Malawi, as noted above. Additionally, our online support group donated to three women in need due to weather disasters as well as offering holiday assistance
-created Wounded But Resilient Sistas face-to-face support group of and held the first annual, Finding Resilience in November of 2017
-received a 2017 achievement award from Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh for widow events held in 2016 and 2017
-held free Facebook interactive online events for widows to become involved without having leave their own homes
-assisted Global Fund for Widows organization by: 1) becoming a part of their Make Widows Matter Global Alliance for Last Woman First initiative of over 30 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations who work to empower widows through economic empowerment initiatives, access to human rights and justice, access to education, healthcare, or shelter, and the alleviation of poverty and, 2) to be added as a signatory on the 8/1/17 communication the to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and UNWomen (held annually in New York) in hopes of inspiring the adoption of the issue of widowhood.
-revamped the BWWE website
-added the following 2017/2018 writers: Cheryl Barnes, Shawna James-Davis, Tryphenna C. Bastian
-partnered with Dr Beverly Wallace, co-author of African-American Grief
-traveled to and was interviewed by WBOCTV-16 Delmarva Life segment in Salisbury, Maryland
-partnered with: The Hamm Alert initiative, which seeks to add legislation to ensure cargo vessels and seamen are properly equipped during bad weather; partnered with ComeTogether Widows and Orphans in Kenya; partnered with Faith and Restoration Ministries (Jennifer Favor) in Kenya
-traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Congressional Black Caucus and met with potential sponsors/partners
-added 2018 Board of Directors: Sherry Bowman, Karen Braswell, Cheryl Barnes, Tamlyn Franklin, Kelley Trotter, Shawna James Davis
-created original product lines and established an online shop where many of the products are sold by other BWWE members. A portion of the proceeds will be given back to BWWE.
-added a secret Facebook group, “Black Love. Black Stories. Black Widows”, a group that discusses black love, sex, and everything in between.
-announced an upcoming online magazine for 2018
-held a Sip and Read of the book, Widowed, But Not Wounded. The Hustle & Flow of 13 Black Widowed Women
-and last but not least, published a book collaboration, Widowed, But Not Wounded with 12 other black widowed women, who include: myself, Kerry Phillips, Melody Brown, LaTisha Bowie, Rhonda Butler, Kimberly Holmes Wiggins, Beverly Kelly Jeter, Beverly Wallace, Cheryl Barnes, Angela Richardson Allen, Khadija Ali, and Danielle James. The book is now available on Amazon.com. So, can you still believe it? As amazing as 2017 was, I believe 2018 is going to be even better - God willing. When I look back at where we started, I can’t believe how much the group has grown and how many lives touched. We’ve more than doubled our (free) online group membership from humble beginnings to currently over 300 online participants. It may not be a huge number but think about it, over 300 Widowed women of color are now networking, providing support and empowering one another. Black Women Widows Empowered (BWWE) is changing lives around the world, so please keep sharing all your pictures and stories using the hashtag, #Blackwidowmagic. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for joining me on this journey Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe new year! Best, Sabra
*PS- don’t forget to share this note
*PPS-have fun this year; take a vacay!