This week on Here After with Megan Devine:
Resilience, Resources, and Grieving in the Public Eye With Gun Violence Survivor and Advocate, Nelba Márquez-Greene
“I’m for survivors surviving.” – Nelba Márquez-Greene
Nelba Márquez-Greene is a marriage and family therapist, and she’s an advocate for survivors of tragedy. What her official bio doesn’t say is that her child was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Each time there’s a new act of public gun violence, the media erupts with sound bites and headlines: survivors of past acts of violence tell us what the newest survivors are thinking and feeling. Not only do those interviews come at a cost, they don’t tell the whole story of what it’s like to live on after people you love have been killed by gunfire.
On this week’s show, Nelba and I discuss what it’s like to live such a public grief, and what it means to find joy – and hope – in an often violent world.
Do you care about #GunViolence? Do you care about survivors? I know you do. Many of you here are survivors yourselves. Most of you want a better world, and are ferocious in making it happen.
Please please please listen to this episode. A lot of the ways we try to make a safer world actually do harm to survivors of violence. Nelba Márquez-Greene describes this all so beautifully AND tells you exactly what to do if you truly want to help.
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In this episode we cover:
- Supporting each other: the difference between an “inside the house” friend and an “on the porch” friend.
- Why no single form of advocacy for survivors is right for all survivors
- What’s missing from our ideas about “resilience”
- Where your money goes when you donate funds in the wake of a tragedy
- The importance of telling your own story in the ways you want to tell it (no matter who demands a soundbite)
- What to do when the next act of gun violence happens
About our guest: Nelba Márquez-Greene is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in grief, loss, trauma and their impact on individuals and systems.She founded the CTAMFT (Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy) Diversity Committee and served on the CTAMFT Board of Directors.
In 2018, she was profiled as one of “100 Women of Color” and a YWCA (CT) Women’s Leadership Award recipient. She was featured in People Magazine’s October 2019 issue as one of Ten Women Changing the World and also recognized by Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton in their Book of Gutsy Women.
Nelba has testified and advocated at the state and federal levels on many different mental health initiatives, hosted TEDx talks, and is a nationally sought after speaker. In the many years that have followed, stints in advocacy, public policy, community care, etc. have affirmed her core belief that in order to change the world we must take care of people. First – that grief, trauma and loss must be allowed in the room. Second – that tools, language, skills, resources and acceptance should be available to live a full, grieving life.
Find Nelba at thisgrievinglife.com
Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @anagraceproject
Follow her on Twitter at @Nelba_MG and @anagraceproject
There are many organizations fighting to end gun violence. Here are just a few:
Moms Demand Action, Change the Ref, and Brady United. As Nelba suggested, if you want to support survivors of gun violence, find ways to support survivors in underserved communities, especially if their tragedy didn’t make the national news.
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