Contact: Andrea Cale, firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said honorees are examples of
“selflessly working to better their neighborhoods”
BOSTON — Winthrop resident Ebony LePenn, a practitioner of Reiki and mindfulness healing for those who have experienced trauma, has been named one of four recipients of Mothers for Justice and Equality’s “Courage and Conviction Award,” an honor given to those whose extraordinary community work has come after standing firm in the presence of pain or tragedy to become positive change agents within their Boston and Greater Boston neighborhoods, organizers said.
LePenn said that when she lost her husband — a man who had been her best friend for 20 years and the father of their two young children and LePenn’s step-daughter — to senseless violence two years ago, she found comfort in participating in a “Mastering Energy Awareness for Self Healing” workshop featuring sound healing, a relaxing technique that has been used by various cultures for thousands of years that is said to shift the brainwave state through use of sound.
“The workshop helped me stop being so angry, hurt and sad all of the time,” said LePenn. “No one wants to feel like that all of the time, no matter how appropriate the feelings are. It helped me so much, so I went to the workshop every week like going to church. Seven months later, I realized I want to do this for people. I want to relieve the stress.”
Today, LePenn does just that through an initiative she has created in her husband’s name, The Anthony P. Clay Healing Project, “Where Trauma meets Wholistic Healing.” LePenn has conducted wholistic healing, sound healing and guided mindfulness workshop for groups of up to 50 people at events for organizations including Peace Institute and We Are Better Together Project, organizations created by Boston mothers who lost sons to gun violence to empower mothers on both sides of gun violence through the peacemaking process. LePenn, who is also a Reiki practitioner and a licensed massage therapist, often conducts the workshops with use of a “singing bowl,” or quartz crystal bowl. She said that goals for her participants range from helping someone relax to providing education about the human energetic field and self care tools for use in dealing with unresolved traumas — tragedies that may have happened recently or during a participant’s childhood.
“Ebony is an extraordinary example of the untold story of the powerful work that comes from women after losing someone so precious,” said Monalisa Smith, Founder and President of Mother’s for Justice and Equality. “MJE is honored to name Ebony a recipient of the 2018 Courage and Conviction Award for her commitment to healing others through her mindfulness work.”
As part of this recognition, LePenn joined three other Courage and Conviction awardees, two Community Excellence awardees and approximately 200 guests aboard the Spirit of Boston on June 9, 2018 for dining, dancing and celebration. The event is a catalyst for the annual Mother’s Against Violence National Leadership Conference that is held every fall in Boston.
“This year's award winners represent the impact one individual can have in creating a profound and positive change within their communities,” said City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “The Courage and Conviction Award and Community Excellence recipients have gone above and beyond, selflessly working to better their neighborhoods. I applaud them for their efforts, and thank Mothers for Justice and Equality for recognizing these individuals for their important contributions to our city.”
LePenn said she regularly offers workshops in Cambridge, MA for $10 or $20 donations at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, a location that offers a variety of innovative holistic programs for more than 4,000 people each year. She said she dreams of one day having a physical space dedicated to The Anthony P. Clay Healing Project’s work.
“I envision expanding into a non-profit organization that brings relief and healing holistically to all underserved community members who have been held captive by their traumas in silence for fear of death, imprisonment, or further isolation from people and whole communities in which they’ve known and grown up in all of their lives,” she said. “I would like to make The Anthony P. Clay Healing Project an actual safe space for trauma victims. We need more meditation instead of medication because it’s so helpful to heal the disconnection that exists within ourselves and our communities, and I feel we’ve sedated our traumas for far too long. I want to be a part of helping shift consciousness to create more peace, connection and community in our neighborhoods.”
For more information on The Anthony P. Clay Healing Project, please call Ebony LePenn at 781-241-5804 or visit https://www.theanthonypclayhealingproject.org/. More information on her sessions at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House can be found here: http://meetu.ps/e/FgJG3/ky5y0/a
For more information on Mothers for Justice and Equality, please visit mothersforjusticeandequality.org.
About Mothers for Justice and Equality
Mothers for Justice and Equality was founded in Boston in 2010 by Smith and other mothers who had lost family members to community violence. Today, more than 500 members come to MJE’s “kitchen table,” an office space in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where neighborhood mothers receive tools to become community leaders. In the last several years, the organization has provided a variety of innovative initiatives to work toward ending community violence, including:
Events and discussions that have featured political leaders ranging from former Governor Deval Patrick to most recently, a 3rd annual mothers against violence national conference that featured City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh;
“You Matter: Personal Leadership Training,” a youth peer leadership program and a workforce readiness initiative;
Financial literacy curriculum to inmates at the Suffolk County House of Corrections to address the needs of young adult inmates coming back into the community;
Training to new Boston Police Cadets and Boston EMTs to prepare them when facing individuals dealing with trauma;
Voter engagement drives;
Parent/Police Partnership advisory group;
Being recognized as a Department of Transitional Assistance work service site;
Becoming an approved provider of services for the Boston Public Schools;
Receiving a $30,000 grant from The Boston Foundation’s StreetSafe Program, allowing the organization to make changes including the passage of an ordinance to restrict selling knives to minors; and
Running dozens of billboards across Boston in an awareness campaign that depicted young victims of homicide with the group’s motto: “It’s not OK.”
Note: These interviews and press releases were created in partnership with Mothers for Justice and Equality in the spirit of The Good News Experiment, an initiative that highlights individuals’ extraordinary community work.