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P7 Builds a Network of Selfless Women Helping Others

Despite the fact that her company focuses on team building, sensitivity training and corporate events for some very public organizations, Lisa Jones personally shuns the limelight. After a heart-to-heart with this extraordinarily determined, artistic producer, we think we have an inkling why this is so. 

Lisa is a survivor. She broke away from domestic abuse, emerging possessed of a kind of resilience over obstacles that could have held her back. Never in acknowledging this difficult history does she use the word “victim” as it applies to herself. Rather, as she spearheads the Silence No More Movement locally, partnering with survivors of domestic abuse and those who advocate, support and ally with them to rebuild their lives, the word she uses most often to describe her efforts is “powerful.”

Power 7, or P7 for short, refers to a network of strong women with servant hearts who are committed to helping other women rise above their circumstances. She says, “P stands for Powerful not in status but in nature. It means showing up and sacrificing when there are no cameras in sight, putting yourself second and being okay with that. The number seven means harmony, peace, synergy and completion,” Lisa explains.

Together the term refers to a movement of community members who are committed to helping women who are suffering exigent circumstances find their own voice, and take control of their own and their children’s futures. Members are diverse in age, nationality and personality and serve as a support structure for each other as well as those they serve. “I'm an army vet who understands a strong unit when I see one and this one is special,” Lisa adds.

Silence No More, as one link in that support system, calls attention to what it says is a growing epidemic of domestic abuse.. Says Lisa, “The idea behind giving victims a voice is not to normalize the existence of domestic violence in our community, but to sensitize us to the fact that it impacts so many of the people we know.” By partnering with and creating dialogue among organizations, agencies, community members, elected officials, and real-time victims and survivors, SNM build a system that sustains victims for a minimum of two years.

Lisa recently partnered with Walmart and Women Giving Back to produce “XITBACK PACKs”  complete with clothing, hygiene products, school supplies and even cell phones that can be distributed to women in any situation where they’ve been forced to flee abuse at home, often with just the clothes on their backs.

Women Giving Back, https://womengivingback.org/, for its part serves more than 14,000 women and children every year with needed hygiene supplies, clothes, shoes and other essentials to return to the workforce and to school. (Read more about this amazing group in our story “Clothed in Dignity” https://citylifestyle.com/washington-dc/articles/beauty/clothed-in-dignity.)

Finally, One Sparrow (https://www.onesparrowdc.org/) provides educational programs to help reduce poverty and homelessness, supplying, for example, training in financial literacy to move women from dependence on aid to self-sufficiency.

In September, Lisa produced the third annual “P7 Walk With Purpose Fashion Show” at the Reston offices of Carasoft Technology Corporation to benefit Silence No More and Women Giving Back. Eight women, many of them with their own extensive community followings for one reason or another, served as models for the bold and colorful designs of Afua Sam. The Ghanaian fashion designer is the founder of Studio D’Maxsi” and “The A Concept by Afua Sam” https://theaconceptbyafuasam.com/. Her target client is someone who “want(s) to wear beautiful statement pieces that shine with spectacular colors.”

P7 members and models Gift Wyatt, Karla Allen, Amy Crescimanno-Ward, Erica Peart-Rowe, Kindra Dionne, Katie McGrath Schneider, Sehr Khan and Fatema Kolia brought positive energy to the fashion and a strong sense of collective support to the event, surrounding the designer in a group embrace after the runway portion of the show.

The evening also was graced by a stirring performance by Tulani (http://iamtulani.com/), an R&B harpist and singer who brought her full-throated baritone to stirring anthems like Beyonce’s Halo and Prince’s Purple Rain. The contrast of her soulful electric harp playing and powerhouse vocals evoked shouting, clapping and even tears. Tulani, originally a local who now calls Atlanta home, has toured internationally with Lady Gaga and opened for Chaka Khan, Andra Day, Ceelo Green, Wyclef Jean, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu, and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. In keeping with the empowering script for the evening, she told us she is now focusing on her own solo career and will have an album coming out early in the new year.

Still, it was the words of Jennifer Haas, a former client of Women Giving Back that likely made the deepest impression with the diverse audience. Recalling her own experience she says, “I left a very toxic and abusive relationship with three children and nothing but the clothes on my back,” when she was referred to the charity. After she received assistance by volunteers with the group, she began volunteering. “I can 110% tell you that without the community of women here today and Women Giving Back’s support, I would not be in existence right now.... I wouldn't know my own worth, really; I didn't realize how deserving I was because of the abusive relationship I was in. I can’t express what I feel without crying today. It's more than just clothing; it’s a really big community of women and it’s their support that have made the difference.”

We’d love to tell you how you could support Lisa’s XITBACK PACK initiative, but those details were still being worked out at our deadline.  We suggest connecting with Lisa Jones at https://www.99percentcomplete.com and keeping an eye on our Facebook page for details.

Lisa offers this encouragement: “I think that where you can be the most successful is if you can leverage your own individual passion. You have things that you can do that nobody else can do, and that could help someone. My favorite quote is, ‘It doesn't matter to me if you've stood with the great, it matters to me if you've sat with the broken.’’

Now, that’s powerful.

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