Megan Kapri The Survivors Strategist: How I Found My Voice

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I was not a liar-but who believed me? Many didn’t believe me, I didn’t believe me. I questioned why I was born and I attempted to commit suicide many times because the pain was too great inside. At 5 years old I had to do strange things and was molested. I didn’t understand how I could be treated this way. Then at 8 nothing changed just a different human I was sexually abused by a religious family member. This experience made me question whether God truly loved me and if so how could he allow me to be abused? At 10, the pain still didn’t end, I was raped by a family friend; when would this betrayal of trust end. “I was a liar”, he said. I learned to be silent because although I could speak- I had no voice. That same day I was seen by a physician who used ultra-violet light to shed light on my story. The light revealed the semen & other body fluids was still left on me. It was on that day I was given my voice. 
Megan Kapri Manigault is an Amazon Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Mentor, and Advocate. Raised in Charleston, SC. She had always been a forerunner, paving the way for others and showing her love for her community by sharing her talents and gifts.  
In 2004, Megan became a founding member of the Students Can Really Use Bedside Skills (S.C.R.U.B.S.) – a mentoring program at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. Megan continued to shine as a poet, being one of the first students to participate in “Gear Up” – Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Megan was the founding member of the “In the Spirit of Giving Fund” – a program started at Garrett Academy for students and family members experiencing traumatic life events. As an actress with the “Charleston Street Vendors”, she performed in plays and skits about the history of Charleston and its enslaved people. These performances included the Mojo Arts Festival and the North Charleston Arts Festival.  
Megan graduated from Trident Technical College and the University of South Carolina, focusing on project management, healthcare, and psychology. Megan has worked in the medical field in various positions for over 10 years. She has spent countless hours volunteering at hospitals, nursing homes, and various faith-based organizations. In 2017, Megan was recognized by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc (North Charleston Bethune-Leonard Section) as a 2017 Innovator and received an award for her awesome works in the community. Megan co-authored a book that same year entitled “Unveiled, Unmasking The Pain”, in this book she shares with the world her rape experience. She wanted to help the world understand the experience of sexual assault and encourage others to take off the mask, speak up, and use their voices. As a survivor of childhood sexual assault, she decided to found I AM VOICES, Inc. – a non-profit organization, which now has a Chapter in Nigeria, both with a mission to transform the lives of survivors of sexual abuse while educating the community through awareness and prevention tactics. Megan has also created a mentorship summer program “Infinite Voices”, in this program she mentors young girls ages 4-17 on Body Safety, Self-Love, Boundaries, Financial Responsibility, and Entrepreneurship.  Late 2018, Megan self-published “Wilted Flowers, Still Bloom, this book goes over many of her steps and strategies to help others understand Trauma Survivors or even to help survivors learn coping mechanisms. She created in this book, activities for readers to use in self-discovery; the book has been used in book clubs and female support groups. As “The Survivors Strategist”, Megan has used what she learned, to help other survivors develop their strategy to overcome mental obstacles to reach their peace. Early 2019, Megan co-authored another book “Body Talk: Finding the Beauty In You”, Megan expresses in this book the freedom in loving herself. She discusses how she once struggled with even thinking her body or physical appearance was worthy of love. She explains that Finding the Beauty means shes still learning, still discovering, and still working on ways to love herself over and over again. She ends her chapter by telling her readers, “With every lesson I learn, I’m willing to share with you, because by helping you, I’m still helping me, sis.” Megan is known in her community and internationally by her heart and willingness to spread love and speak on Finding Purpose and Overcoming Life’s Obstacles. She lives by her Motto “To Find Who You Are, You Must Acknowledge Where You’ve Been.” 
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14TH ANNUAL JAZZ IN THE GARDENS MUSIC FEST GETS READY FOR THE BIGGEST BREAKOUT YEAR YET WITH SENSATIONAL 2019 LINE-UP!

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It’s “the fastest growing jazz and R&B festival in the U.S.”, the 14th Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival (JITG) is ushering in the 2019 festival season with the announcement of yet another “top notch” lineup. On March 9-10, 2019 the highly anticipated festival event will immerse fans in the best of R&B, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and funk genres. JITG will produce this celebrated event for an anticipated 70,000 attendees at the world-class Hard Rock Stadium located at 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens, FL 33056.

Headlining the JITG festival stage will be the much-loved voice of R&B royalty Lionel Richie, sassy songstress Brandy, Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Teddy Riley & Friends featuring Blackstreet with Teddy Riley and Dave Hollister, Bobby Brown, and Doug E. Fresh with special guests En Vogue and Jagged Edge, the legendary smooth trio The O’Jays, the soul-stirring Stephanie Mills, eclectic violinists Black Violin and gospel sensation Tye Tribbett. Back by popular demand, this year’s Jazz in the Gardens All-Stars will feature Maysa, Chieli Minucci, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, and Nelson Rangell. More artists will be announced soon.

 

 

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert comments “it’s JITG 2019 and we are excited about the talented artists who will be gracing the stage. The diversity in the music and talent offers something for everyone, from the most requested artist for the JITG stage, Lionel Richie, to gospel and of course jazz. The City is extremely pleased with the growth of the festival and the opportunity to showcase our home, Miami Gardens, to the thousands of patrons it attracts.”

Other JITG related events include:

THURSDAY MARCH 7, 2019
3rd Annual Film, Music, Art & Culture Conference (FMAC) is an exciting one-day multi-genre experience that will educate and showcase celebrated, diverse art forms and locally and nationally based artists. The FMAC will be held at the FIU Kovens Center- 3000 NE 151st St, North Miami, FL 33181.

3rd Annual Poetry in the Gardens- The national poetry contest is an exciting addition to Jazz in the Gardens that explores the best in spoken word. Poets and spoken word artists age 18 and over are encouraged to enter the competition for a chance to participate in the final rounds of competition during the FMAC. Prize money is $10,000 1st place, $5000 2nd place, $1500 3rd place.

FRIDAY MARCH 8, 2019
8 TH Annual Women’s Impact Luncheon is back by popular demand in honor of Women’s History Month. This exciting event is an action-packed experience curated to inspire women to live centered, active, fulfilled and balanced lives. The WIL will be held at the FIU Kovens Center- 3000 NE 151st St, North Miami, FL 33181.

Official Opening Night Party – All roads lead to the Jazz in the Gardens opening night party with The Sugarhill Gang performing their wildly popular brand of old school hip hop. This party is an opportunity for Jazz in the Gardens attendees to kick off the “fun-filled” weekend of music, dancing, and great weather!

How To Discover Your Gifts

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This week we are going to talk about understanding your gifts and callings. Many people are sitting on the isle of uncertainty because they don’t understand who they are. Understanding who you are helps you to gain clarity on why you are here. We have all been given gifts and abilities that were designed to assist, dismantle and build up ourselves and others.

So, how can I identify my gifts?

Get in touch with the child in you.

When we were kids we had great faith. We believed we could do anything and most times we are more in touch with who we really are. Because of the limited experiences, children gravitate to those things that come easiest to them. When I was a child I said that I wanted to become a Best Selling Author and Fashion Designer. However, as life would have it, I was told that those professions were merely hobbies and that I needed to find something more grounded and serious. I became a Police Officer and it was liberating at the beginning but soon it felt like bondage because my gifts were fighting to come out but as a Police Officer, I wasn’t able to embrace it.  Fast forward, 14 years later I have written 5 books and I am a 3x Amazon Best Selling Author. I am also working on my clothing line. I am no longer a Police Officer and I’m finally doing what I said I wanted to do in the fifth grade.

Funny how childhood me seemed to be smarter than adulthood me and I believe it’s because children live in the arena of possible – they just believe. They have faith that makes no sense and it doesn’t matter how many times they fall they continue to try and try again.

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Pay attention to the thing that makes you angry!

We all dislike something, whether you hate seeing injustice or children hungry, use that anger as a navigation device to point you in the direction of your gift. Your gift is the answer to a problem, so you naturally become angry at the thing you were designed to change.

You do it effortlessly.

It’s the thing that others find difficult to do, that you do so effortlessly. Because you do it so easily you believe that everyone else should find it easy to do but they don’t. It’s that thing that you take for granted. You don’t think it can truly make you rich, because it seems so simple. But that’s the thing that God wants to use to elevate your life, but obedience is the vehicle that will get you there.

Many people dismiss their gifts because they lack the educational background in that area, not understanding that the person who was taught to do it can not contend with someone who was gifted to do it. You don’t learn your gift, you perfect your gift. If you are going to school to learn a gift its not your gift. You can learn a skill- you cannot learn a gift because a gift is freely given.

Now write down all the things you said you wanted to become as a child. Then write all the things that make you angry. Finally, write down the things that you do effortlessly and find the nexus between everything that you’ve written down. What are the things that are recurring in all three areas?

Many of you may have multiple gifts so leave nothing out. After you’ve narrowed down your list take it to God in prayer and ask him to confirm what your gifts are and he will answer you.

 

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Mothering Nations Through Education w/ Dr. Moneshia Dashiell

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I am too busy mothering nations through education!

 

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Dr. Moneshia Dashiell; D.Ed continues to transform today’s young minds through books. Her latest book, ‘Hello Alphabet’ was designed for children in Pre-K through fifth grade. This book will allow children to understand letter sound, letter recognition and strengthens the child’s language skills. The alphabet is simply a collection of letters and sounds. The alphabet is the building blocks of literacy; so children must learn to recognize, name the letter both in and out of order and learn the sounds associated with each letter. Purchase this book and others here.

Denise Major: Mother, Author & Activist Grace the Cover Of I AM QUEEN Magazine February​ 2019 Issue

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We are the sum of all our experiences, hence they are priceless. Who and what I am today is due to what I have experienced and how I decided to shape that.

 

Mother of 3 beautiful children, Denise Major made it her life’s mission to be the adult that she needed when she was a child and the sister and friend we all need as women. As an advocate for women and youth, Denise M. Major sees first hand just how important it is to encourage individuals to support each other as they go through life’s challenges and to celebrate each other’s successes.

 

Having become a teen mom at the age of 16 she is no stranger to hard work and has been working since the age of 17 first starting out as a graphic artist at the Nassau Guardian and within a few short months, she pressed her way into the newsroom. Her career in journalism and marketing/public relations lasted eight years before she transitioned into the world nonprofits. But her passion for media did not completely fade away as she continued on as the creator and host of the Youth By Youth Radio Show and is a regular talk show guest and host appearing on several radio shows throughout the Bahamas.

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It was during one of the darkest periods of her life that she found her purpose in helping those in need. She began her work in nonprofits as a rape victim’s advocate and volunteer at the Bahamas Crisis Center and eventually began working fulltime at the Bahamas Urban Youth Development Center as the Program Coordinator. This opportunity opened many doors within many other reputable organizations including Field Officer at the Bahamas Red Cross, Assistant Director at Bain Grants Town Advancement Association, Program Development Consultant for the Bahamas Against Crime and the Coalition to Save Clifton, Community Outreach Worker for the PEPFAR Program.  ( Presidents Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief ) and The Bahamas National HIV/AIDS Program and most recently the Executive Director for Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association formerly known as Bahamas Family Planning. In addition, she is the CEO of The Empowerment Group, a company whose aims it is to empower individuals so that they can be their best selves and in doing so empower others.

 

She has received numerous certifications through her work such as Trusted Adult Youth Communicator and Sex Educator by the American Red Cross, certified Youth Leader by the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, she has completed several courses in Disaster Relief, and Community Building and numerous other certifications related to HIV/ STI’s and NGO Program Development. She continuously pursues new ideas and learning best practices in these fields.

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Throughout her tenure, while working with nonprofit organizations serving as a Youth Specialist, Denise has started and directed multiple mentorship programs and projects aimed at empowering young people and assisting at-risk youth and young women. In 2018 she decided to put pen to paper and share her story in an effort to reach young people she may not have gotten a chance to reach. She authored Purposefully Broken and collaborated with 4 other inspirational women from the Caribbean and USA on Rebranding My Life. Denise is passionate about her purpose and hopes to one day operate a transitional home for at-risk youth and women.

 

Valentine’s Day Survival Kit For Singles w/ Trish McDermott (Match.com)

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Valentine’s Day can be an uncomfortable reminder to many singles that they are missing out on an important part of life–romantic love. Online dating services often see the most traffic in the period just after January’s New Year’s Resolutions have kicked in and leading up to Valentine’s Day.

I got the chance to speak with Trish McDermott. Trish was apart of the team that launched Match.com back in 1995-basically she created online dating. Today she’s a dating coach at Meetopolis (www.meetopolis.net). Meetopolis is like the Kayak of online dating, allowing singles to see the dating profiles of potential matches from many different sites, all in one place.

Here Trish shares The Valentine’s Day Survival Kit For Singles…

For singles, staking your own claim to a piece of Valentine’s Day is a great way to move past any sadness or awkwardness you may feel. You do this by making February 14th about giving, rather than receiving, love, affection, and attention. Giving makes you feel good. It’s a reminder that with small, kind gestures you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Look around. It’s likely that there are many ways you can give a little love and attention to others on February 14th.

  • Send your mom flowers.
  • Bake cookies, or buy chocolates, and bring them to a local nursing home.
  • Volunteer to help out at your child’s school Valentine’s Day party.
  • Pass out chocolates at your office.
  • Put Valentine’s Day cards in your friends’ mailboxes.
  • Call your father, just to say hello.
  • Give your bank teller, or bus driver, or someone who provides a service to you a gift card from your local coffee shop.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen and help feed people hungry for so much more than romance this Valentine’s Day.
  • Post a fun, appreciative or inspirational message to your friends and family who follow you on Facebook.
  • Call someone you know is struggling and invite them over for a home-cooked meal.

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If you approach Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to give a little love to your community, friends, family, and even total strangers, you won’t need to focus on the fact that you are without a significant other over the holiday.

It’s also good to understand the numbers because when we struggle without dating lives, especially around Valentine’s Day, it sometimes feels like we’re the only person not getting dating and romance right.

It can be almost impossible to avoid the barrage of Valentine’s season media reminders that while you are dateless, so many others have deeply loving romantic relationships. There are 98 million single adults in the US. If you’re dateless on Valentine’s Day, you’re in some very good company. You are not a romantic anomaly.

Much of the coveted romantic moments we are bombarded with in February, like the look of adoration in her eyes as she opens the diamond necklace he so lovingly hands her, are really just media-manufactured images of romantic love.  These might seem unattainable for some, even for those who do have a romantic relationship but never get that adoring look. It’s important to remember that these images exist to sell products.

Real love happens in life’s trenches, the day-to-day moments in the lives of ordinary people, and single people experience it too.  Kids don’t see Valentine’s Day as a holiday that excludes them because they don’t have romantic love in their lives. For them Valentine’s Day is about acknowledging friendships by exchanging cards or candy. They’re thrilled and excited and don’t use the holiday to beat up on themselves for lack of true love.  We should follow their lead.

I’ve watched millions and millions of singles search for love. This search can often be a long, tough, discouraging experience. Finding romantic love is often a process of failing one’s way to success. The trick is to stay in the game, even after an awkward, discouraging or disappointing experience. When it comes to finding love, you have to be in it win it. A good way to be in it on February 14th is to stop looking for love and to start giving some love away.

Have fun on Valentine’s Day. Play. Laugh. Feel good. Spend the evening with dear friends, Play with babies. Help out some elderly people in your town. Have dinner with your family.  Then, on February 15, ask someone out, put your profile on a dating site, take a risk and swipe right on someone.

And buy your chocolates on the 15th too – they’re half price!