The Troy University chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is hosting an event on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. titled “Shattered But Not Broken” featuring Bridgett Blakely, Troy alumna and CEO of Mee Two Corp., as its keynote speaker.
Blakely will share her experience as a domestic violence victim, hoping to inspire students to never stop following their dreams.
The event is named after Blakely’s book, “Shattered But Not Broken,” that speaks of her struggles through the years of her abuse and the inspiration that gave her the strength to remove herself from the situation.
“NAACP was looking to get, not necessarily a target audience, but what we wanted to do was make the campus more knowledgeable, so even though it’s going through NAACP, it’s for the whole campus,” said Shantel Barginere, the faculty adviser of Troy’s chapter of the NAACP. “It’s just an event we thought needed to take place, especially now during Black History Month, to make everybody more knowledgeable and see what we can do to help.”
Barginere and Blakely are both members of Sigma Gamma Rho, and Barginere knew Blakely during the time of her abuse.
“Be more knowledgeable, especially about those with you on a college campus … sometimes you can see the signs, but we tend to ignore them,” said Barginere.
Blakely now works to help others trapped in similar situations through her nonprofit corporation Mee Two, which encourages victims of domestic violence to “drop the mask, stand up and speak out.”
After years of abuse, Blakely started her movement in helping other women to find their voices and be heard.
“Let’s just talk about it,” she said. “Let’s encourage one another because if we don’t, who will?”
Blakely said one of her biggest inspirations was her role as a mother to her son.
“Moving forward despite the things we went through was tough, but I still didn’t give up … looking at him lets me know that my strength and my continuing steps to get out, to persevere, paid off,” she said.
Jessica Edwards, a junior social work major from Tuscaloosa and NAACP vice president, has high hopes for the event.
“I hope that students will be more aware of how serious domestic violence is,” Edwards said. “If they are victims, I hope they will be more comfortable to not just speak out about it, but to realize how their stories could help somebody else.”
Blakely’s main hope for the event is to empower victims and students to never give up.
“I really just think that the fact that this woman who graduated from here, how she’s been through so much and how she still succeeded and excelled is amazing … her story is beautiful,” Edwards said.
The NAACP hopes to continue having speakers of this magnitude monthly to help students learn more about various problems that surround everyday life.
The event is free of charge and open to all students. It will be held in Patterson Hall Room 103.