We were happy to introduce Nyeesha Williams, founder of Sacrit Devahood through our my B.O.B. campaign on Instagram! This campaign is to bring awareness to Black businesses in general from the owner's perspective. We want to know the vision and purpose behind the business. Through our blog, we can dig even deeper into the stories and get a fuller perspective to share with you!
Nyeesha was a victim of rape and molestation and even contemplated suicide. However, the power of performing arts helped her stay away from the idea of ending it all and allowed her to have life and give life to others. She founded Sacrit Devahood to help others understand the importance of living their truth. She is a testament that sharing one's story can transform many lives and it starts with our own village.
It is so inspiring to hear how you turned your past and pain into something glorious to help other girls. What was your thought process when determining how you were going to make a difference?
In the beginning there wasn't really a concrete plan. I started noticing a lot of changes within myself and so many situations that I avoided to tackle started to reappear. Issues that I've never dealt with started forcing me to deal with them. I became a little girl again without self-control. I knew I needed to deal with her, like tenderly deal with her. The more I helped myself the more I wanted to help others like me. That's when I went searching for the obvious broken black girl in my community and befriending her. My need to help others change went off the roof from there.
What specifically caused your breakdown in 2008 that made you launch your business?
In 2008, my now husband and I broke up because he cheated on me. The therapist in me would have probably tried to dig deep and find out why and attempt to help him, but this was different. He was cheating right after we just buried our son. On June 20, 2008 I went into pre-term labor (keep in mind this is my birthday) and was told that I would have to deliver a child that was not going to come home with me. Fast forward 3 weeks later after making funeral plans and saying my last goodbye; my husband's phone went off and it was another women asking what time they were meeting up. I lost it! I kicked him out, his niece I was raising had to leave too. My mother who I barely spoke to denied helping me heal and I already had a daughter who was acting out in school due to the death of her brother.
I needed a positive outlet. Everyone else was worried about self. I had to ask myself "what had to start happening in life that would bring me true joy"? What needed to change in order for me to start seeing the light in such a dark space? This is where Sacrit Devahood Incorporation was created.
How did you start your school, Sacrit Arts Academy?
Sacrit Arts Academy began 3 years ago when my organization's chapters in Africa started expanding beyond my wildest dreams. There was more that I could give them, there was more I was capable of offering besides a few little donations and pen-pal opportunities. In addition, I knew I no longer wanted my biological children to attend public/private school, so I crafted up a plan and made it all happen.
What is one of your favorite testimonies from one of the girls you have helped?
I can not go into great detail, but one for sure went from daily admissions in the psyche ward and attempting suicide to now receiving her masters as a social worker. Being able to see someone find purpose in life all over again is a testimony. Witnessing the rebirth of anyone or anything is godsend.
What advice would you give to other women with a tragic past in order to move forward with life?
Be honest with everything that has happened. Write it all down and face your truth. Call me or find someone else you can trust to help your through it all. I currently have two self-published books that will help with transitioning: 'Herstorys' & '90 Days'... order them as soon as you can. You have access to me while you're reading them.
Make sure you read more about Nyeesha, Sacrit Devahood and her work here. It was such a pleasure learning more about how Nyeesha used her past to positively impact her life and most importantly, the lives of others. Wishing her continued success with her work and Sacrit Devahood organization.
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