Ruth Rollins

Wednesday, May 2nd


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Good morning and welcome to exceptional women on magic when a six point seven times and attacks and excited to have roots Rollins in studio with us today. Ruth is a tireless advocate for stopping the cycle of nonviolent working to educate and support families. On both sides as a mother who herself lost child to gun violence in 2007. Ruth founded team we are better together project in honor of her late son. Warren Daniel. She also works at Elizabeth stone house to help victims of domestic violence. Fruits personal and professional experience make her a powerful force for peace good morning groups. The mornings it. So let's start with your background you're born and raised in Roxbury. And hear all your life so. A failure and second hearing. Deals. Charles street background. So you know I've grown up from Georgia says to Roxbury a pretty much anxiety yeah it's. And tell me I wanna talk about the incredible work you do but I wanna talk about deep tragedy that your family suffered. Your own personal loss I wanna begin their because I think that that. Tells a lot about you and and sort of where your life has gone since. Your son Danny you lost about a decade ago to gun violence talk a little bit about. That incident what led to that incident and how you've cult. Yeah. So say for the last twenty years I've been in Africa's team grow. I was supporting my friends whose domestic violence substance abuse. Gun violence. There was a lot of killing back and Soros putting my friends that. The church in my intervene. Killed due to homicide and or they cherish in my undergoing their fender. And I'll support him in court as well. Just really China's support of the mothers and other families never thinking that maybe you would one day know how they felt he had so. I and every year and haven't started tragedy that he might do. In 2007. I have to reach your origin to live in science. My San Marin Darius and at age 21. We're sharing and care vote his this case is still on soft. I went to a severe severe depression you know it's kind of makes sense of this and how the guns ending up in our community how we were losing our babies. No mother should have to bury the picture now. And yeah I checked reform majesty and know what my purpose was as still wanted to be part of a solution. But I didn't know with a solution that from me. I'm my assignment only grand on a day left behind. That only darted that he left mine is my grandparents is at its age story Dana she goes the Wellesley and I. I'm issue was my inspiration. How special. Is that bond that that he had missed an offspring that he could leave almost as a gift to you don't care. So that was my funerals purpose or inspiration to move forward. You know now. Do that in in on and this is just my story you know I have a strong faith back street background you know and a strong family. You know as a survivor I was stores and a practice some type of forgiveness as still wanted to be proud as a solution yeah but I didn't know what that meant. And you know I want it says are my sense legacy continues to you know he'll whine and make a difference in the community. So you started. The Warren Daniel Hairston we are better together project. Tell us about that puts its mission and and where is it today. So the warrant seeing you here since the mission is to educate and support and serve families some Bozo has a gun violence in order to. Break the cycle of violence and victim and victimization. And I like what you say both sides you're addressing the family of perhaps somebody. Who had a son who murdered somebody or who. Who was violent against somebody and and that's an important piece of the equation I would imagine because that family suffers. Just as much right so. I tip my work from stone house says domestic violence work and what I realize as a community. We were suffering on both sides. You know like when I talked about this I don't know if you're aware. That I was affected them both engines. That I have a sense that was incarcerated due to lose and in line and I'm OK with saying Matt yeah by Aaron. Away capitalize. You know and I can speak to this you know all my son pass away as a survivor. I got so much support. You know working operation listed working at stone owls. I guess so much support as survive but I suffer in silence for denying you listen. And it wasn't until I bring my actual into the world every gas and numbness and those incarcerated due to gun violence. That actually the static you know my emailing. You know bring in my chill into the role because of what I realized the only one that was working when offenders mom's was at peace institute. You know we mean change in language is no longer per richer it is it's different it's been so I realize what we do the one side. We have to do to another cigarette erupt a cycle of violence. And you have the unique situation. Of having experienced both sides right which I imagine I mean I'm sure he didn't want to be in the position. But that is a position that is unique TO and I'm sure that that. You can really put yourself in these other people's issues you've lived you've walked the walk talk about lipstick what is that it's a funny name serious issue for. So ladies. It's a program citizen for safety. It's ladies involved in putting a stop in the city can impact and what it passes it house warming. Keep guns are wrong and disrupting and does that consist right. They get workshops is education and really empowering. That to her women not to hide our store fire. Do research we found out that one of the ways how guns in urban communities the sharp line. Someone who buys counts someone as not to leave that. And we found out that. A lot of this behavior that when we're doing. And housing to dues this program. It may say instantly because of the work that is doing its own miles who's seen some of these skis and in terms like yours. You know in a name. You know and it wasn't just she element we're starting tomorrow. You know grandmothers and mothers every guy that's known about the guns in the home. So talk a little bit about when did that organizations start and weird is today and and how much progress you've made it may be where EC going. So the programs that it arm myself and a woman named Nancy garments and she is actually. The founder. It was a campaign they did that come from as we its. He and for me. And now our guns and an open our community. In my son's case my understanding it was a fourteen year old boy into sixth in the points. And I wanted to know how does that mean gated and an ambulance left his house to go. So I you know. The campaign really. You know interest me and I wanted to know because most often in the is killing or shooting in our community. We tend to focus on the victim. All of the issued and we never look at how these guns Indian opener community. So that was really my my barring. And then Alice in changes to the instinct and you know. Recognized as being co-founder of operations. All we status to campaign we were in domestic violence program Aziz and substance abuse we ticket nationally. I was a people's magazine. I saw you were in the Boston Globe magazine world. It must be nice to get that recognition not that that's why you do it right but it gives awareness. Two year mission it gives people a look at you know this is what's going on that you're somebody that's really trying to get the source of the problem brain you know. So you must be pretty proud of that. I am I am you know it's it's not really me it's like you know they say pay it forward yes. I mean you know that the reward for me as an enemy was to touch a one man or fail we tell empower them it's to stop deputies. If you're just waking up and tuning in you're listening to exceptional women. I'm magic when a six point seven we've been chatting with you Ruth Rollins she lost her own son to gun violence a decade ago. And has been a tireless advocate for stopping the cycle of violence she is the founder of the Warren Daniel Hairston we are better together foundation and a longtime employee. Of the Elizabeth stone house let's continue I wanna talk a little bit about the Elizabeth stone house. I know a lot about it but maybe some people listening don't. It's an amazing organization. Whose mission is to partner with survivors of domestic violence and related trauma and I know you work. As a outreach and support. Coordinator you you you help with groups support groups talk a little bit even their fourteen years who you were their long before you suffered your own personal tragedies. You've been involved in this work talk about what you do who Wear the people that you actually help. So I am I am more in a leadership role very tied to his community coordinator how reached domestic support groups and so what does that consist of I oversee our. Anger management. Substance abuse we also provide advocacy. So what we do in our community department we are three programs we have a non confidential domestic violence Yeltsin ahead of a transitional housing program. We are for the same services have families that. Live in the community. That these services. So you know we hope we're back grant we will bus passes we do abacus C. And Celanese how will we use with this is straining order. If things don't want to support them through the legal system. And the other part of my job is going out into the community. And promoting opposite us this week do I always say with the best kept secret and I have a lot of people don't really know all the great work that we do it right in where expanding. I want to talk about that you guys are currently running at capitol campaign to build a new and much bigger stone house. Tell us a little bit about that what you're hoping to accomplish with that new building. The new dosing or non business stone house not just six explaining space. But prior receiver client's case managers but the opportunity to grow services that matched the needs. A working with sobriety is and Irvin whom I. So will the building be near where it is now where it will where you're located you it's only like two blocks away how pray he had two blocks away. And now or be able to Serb tripled the amount of crying it's. League offices us wow that's amazing. I am I wanna talk a little bit about the donations 'cause there of course critically important to find the work of Elizabeth stone house. And you gotta get the shovels in the ground start building that bigger building how can listeners make donations or get involved if they go to Elizabeth. Is it just Elizabeth stone house dot org year has so monetary donations can be made on our web page. And Elizabeth stone house star or all they can leave me out so our PO box. 300039. Jamaica Plain old to want more. You've spending for fourteen years I wanna ask you this have you seen a change in the way people. Think about and talk about domestic violence issues. Most definitely. I think you know fortunately by losing my sang it really made me. Pay more attention to the gun violence in the community. And now we say all the schools domestic violence in those schools domestic violence and what do I mean are there. I'm a little older. So my generation of domestic violence books much different than what we're seeing now in hand we see a lot of cases where young woman. Com we also servicemen as well as long as Jennifer as a survivor. That pitcher erosion are being removed due to Denver. That there involved with these unhealthy relationship. A lot of gang balance in this comparison to the speed. And they may have a criminal racket they may have a sketchy background. And name is judged by the time they come top office give victims of domestic violence they view as a restraining orders you as police report. And that's some of these challenges. Because we're so used to looking at domestic violence in a certain way yeah but it's changing I think it's change specially for the in his city. I mean domestic violence is really and that's one of the great things as stone house too we meet women where there. We meet and we there you know we empower them we educate to my best today is Iran attain weak domestic violence acts. And I am I am a woman it comes the area. I don't have domestic violence on the media it's not as serious and halfway to the workshop maybe the fifth week. Daylight this group the rate ago could you define us please. If so at that point house our safety planning. You know we never force any survivors to leave our job is just educate and empower them so they can have the tunes in the armor. But it's amazing that you get to see that transformation. And that must feel I mean. There's not many jobs for you get to see and feel and touch and talk to. The people that you're making an impact on and for you to bring them from a point where they say this is an existing in my life to saying yeah I acknowledge I. That I'm a victim and then beyond that. Now I'm gonna do something about it. Is quite a process so in the fourteen years. You must've met some incredible people who have made some amazing transformations. We are so many we have our event every year you matter awards that we're able to. Bring some our success stories back and speak. You know us when our fund raisers and when are trying to raise as. And where it was to hear how they transform their life based on come have to come to Elizabeth's own house. Syria in being a person you are told of the community I'm always running into people yeah if they didn't stay they like thank you this Ruthie for believing in me. Thank you in on still wedeman thanks to pitch information yeah so you know arm. Is it's definitely. One of the reasons why I give him every day to do work to. I wanna talk a little bit about. What your personal experience has brought to your job. It do you feel like what you've gone through has changed like prior to. Your son losing your son do you feel like you relate to people differently than before. A sampling more compassion. Yes. More compassion I think when I went through that depression like I say this is just my stereo nine known as journey. As a survivor were on different places and I'm just so great for its own as dishonest as they were primer journey as well. Well like a family be in a at a family and I kept the support I need it. After my son passed away anything goes on like a month. And it really helped me understand. Because you have to understand with survivors are coming from like a lot of people who just think it's easy just leave. Get over it. But it helps you understand the complexity. Bright every guides to what is dealing and you know what I'm seeing moreover it's not physical. What I'm seeing more odd is that emotional and psychological. And you know we're able to. You know created an environment that they are able to take only share a car taking ownership. Every guy's Seth Howard has affected them so they can break the cycle for the future. And I like the word stabilize some time some ice on some of the literature and on your website that you say you helped people sort of stabilize. Their life and there are many fat. Facet to that is it's not just safe housing right it's not just this it's. You know how are they gonna having come and how are they gonna get places you know transportation and how are they gonna feed their family and how are they gonna get health care those are all things. That Elizabeth stone house does and that's a huge job. A huge job. I wanna talk to about just you had and and and what all of this has taught you. Being a mom losing a child this mother's worst nightmare and the mother I mean. How would you changed over the years you say you're more compassionate do you feel that. Losing Danny has helped you'd understand your commission. Yeah our. In terms of the cycle of violence because what tends to have bring her people or people wars learned behavior now. Elmore and how we understand that every once in terms ailing. It's not just as TV. It's not just the substance abuse is a cycle of violence that we have to have compassion for all you have to be able to truly do this work. Because domestic violence is changing gun violence is changing so witty you feeding. It's not worn outside you can't do this work on just I'm gonna stay on my safe side. No I have to embrace all sides to interrupt that cycle of violence. So that's where it did for me you know because as a domestic violence African community organizer you know it was real good Jewish showing now for doing safety plans. But when I realize you have to adjust the whole issue. And we're almost running out of time here but what what would you say you're most proud of in terms of your professional career Donald. And perseverance. And not giving. Yet a lot of people would have you say you were out for a month after sound that's really long time it does seem like long time you. But for that kind of a tragedy. You can go up you stood back up a lot of people would have crumbled and maybe said. I can't do this anymore I can't face the risk is you're sort of living everyday in in your reality. And yet you faced. Which is pretty amazing. And how we integrate the cycle of violence once. And that's no animals yeah. Let's just give out the website again if people want to help the donate to Elizabeth stone house it's Elizabeth stone house dot org here. That's correct and they carry a monetary donation. Bureau barks. 303039. Jamaica Plain mass 0211. It's such a pleasure talking to this time flew by. But it was nice thank you so much for sharing such in your your your personal story with us your professional story. And the great work of the Elizabeth stone house it's been a great it's been a great time chatting with you think you think you'd ever thrown intervene. In the spotlight today on exceptional women are we so enjoyed talking with her about her work. Both personally and professionally I'm sixth avenue been missing two exceptional women on magic when a six point seven remember the exceptional women. Are everywhere we talk to celebrities and authors and CEOs but we are also interested. In your neighbors your coworkers and friends work quietly making an impact in their communities email us you know summing like suggest. We'd love to hear from you. Thanks to my producer tender Tony and to all of you for listening. He should join us every Sunday morning at 730 for another edition of exceptional women have a great day everyone. We.