Alumni uses experiences to start non-profitcsudhbulletin March 7, 2018 0 COMMENTS
By Bria Overs
Dressed in all white, with purple streaks in her hair, she stands on the stage with a big logo behind her. It’s a purple heart with a shimmering gold crown, and the words, “Converting victims into survivors.”
It is the slogan for Majestic Hearts, a new non-profit organization created by Kanishia Jackson, a California State University, Dominguez Hills’, for women, men and families subjected to domestic violence and sexual assault. Jackson officially launched the organization Feb. 24 with a party in the Loker Student Union, introducing it as a resource for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“As a survivor, I just felt like it was my duty to give back to the community and help other victims convert into survivors,” Jackson said.
Jackson graduated in 2009 from CSUDH with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications. However, she made sure to leave her story behind. In April 2009, Jackson shared her story as a writer for this very newspaper, The Bulletin.
At the age of 19, she chose to leave her life in Los Angeles, Jackson attended Bennett College located in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“What I wasn’t expecting was to become a victim of domestic violence,” Jackson wrote.
In her time at Bennett College, her boyfriend, whom she met at a party, began to abuse her not only physically, but also emotionally. He would ask for her class schedule, demand she cut off her friends, scream and throw things at her.
“I had no voice,” Jackson wrote. “I became anorexic from depression. My body was bruised.”
It wasn’t until her boyfriend, high on an illegal substance, held a gun to her back, that she realized how far things had gone. Fearing for her life, she left North Carolina and landed back in Los Angeles. However, she would never forget what she endured—and is now trying to help others in similar situations.
Catering to women, men and children, the organization’s mission is to provide victims with resources such as counseling, mentoring, shelter and education.
“[We want to] rebuild people’s self-esteem and allow them to return back to their original selves before the abuse,” Jackson said.
Her parents, Janice and Charles Henderson, lent themselves as support as they recognized her difficult journey while they were away from her.
“I’m so proud of her,” said Janice Henderson. “A lot of people keep [their experience with domestic violence] hidden.”
During the launch party, her friends and family were there to show their support for her and her new journey in helping others.
“For me, I was in a relationship that was emotionally abusive,” said Estee Nsek, a poet, also known as E Dot Marie. “What she’s doing is close to my heart. Being a part of this launch is an honor and being able to see people getting help brings me joy.”
Others close to Jackson, such as Zipporah Patton, Jackson’s mother-in-law, believe Jackson’s organization will be beneficial to those in need of help.
“[Majestic Hearts] will make an impact because of the resources,” Patton said. “Everyone knows someone who’s been abused.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner.”
“It’s still there,” Jackson said. “Those memories never go away. However, there is a brighter side.”
With a rough start to her young adulthood, she currently works as the director of marketing for the I Am organization, started her own public relations firm, Underground PR, and now, Majestic Hearts.
She found her abuse hard to deal with, but also found it to be a humbling experience that allowed her to create something that she hopes will bring about a change in other people’s lives.
“It birthed Majestic Hearts and now I can help people become survivors,” Jackson said.