Monday, June 6, 2011

Fighting Back

Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.
-Robert Kennedy

This month marks an anniversary.
One that isn't meant to be celebrated.
In fact, it's one I wish I never had to acknowledge.
10 years ago this month, I lost a friend.

In college, like most girls on the brink of independence, I was oblivious. I lived in a bubble. And in that bubble was me, my friends & family. I only concerned myself with really important issues. Like what to wear and what to do that night.

Carefree.That's what college should be right?
I mean that and all the school work stuff of course.
But then the real world comes and smacks you right in the face.
It shakes you.
And sometimes in the cruelest way.

On June 12th 2001 my beautiful friend Shannon McNamara was murdered.
Horribly. Horrifically.
I still feel shaken when I think about it.
I won't go into details here. Truthfully, I try and keep those thoughts tucked away.
I prefer not to let those moments cloud my memories of Shannon.
But there is one detail of that tragedy that I will never forget...

She Fought.
She fought so hard for her life that she was able to tell the police who murdered her.

She fought so hard that she inspired a fellow sorority sister to keep fighting in her name.

This week I am honoring my friend Shannon by introducing you all to the cause she inspired...

Girls Fight Back

Girls Fight Back was founded by Erin Weed and is an incredible resource for women of all ages. GFB burst bubbles. But in a good way. They say,  "Hey, there are bad people out there...but you don't have to be a victim".

Since it's inception in 2001, Erin has traveled the country speaking to women about self defense and fighting back. Girls Fight Back has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN and Erin was even awarded the Hometown Hero Award on the John Walsh show. She and her team of amazing speakers hold seminars and visit colleges, high schools and corporations all over the country. The educate. They empower. They give hope.

I encourage you to head on over to and browse around. There is a wealth of information about their mission as well as links to programs in your area. Watch a video about how to use Pepper Spray or browse the store and pick up the Girls Fight Back DVD or Book. They make perfect graduation gifts for girls going off to college in the fall!

And please link up with Girls Fight Back and help spread the word!

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