Maggiano’s Little Italy Sponsors Domestic Violence Awareness Jazz Brunch & Fundraiser in Atlanta

On Sunday, October 24, 2021, Sponsored by Maggiano’s Little Italy in Cumberland Mall, Atlanta, 501(c)3 Urban Not Average teamed up with 501(c)3 Dear Deanndra for an unforgettable Jazz Brunch.

As we entered the room there was a sea of purple, hugs, smiles, kisses, and laughter. Not what you would expect for such a touchy subject like domestic violence, but as we walked around to meet these ladies, the smiles and laughter became clear that these were smiles and laughter of survival, testimonies of strength, courage, and making it out so that they could find their true love. THEMSELVES!

This was no ordinary brunch, and the experience was one for the books! We got so much just from listening to these ladies speak about overcoming. It was powerful and groundbreaking to say the least.

As WOC our stories tend to go unnoticed, but this place was a haven and it felt good. The atmosphere was so inviting. From the speakers to the MC, all the way down to the saxophonist, BK Jackson, who completely turned this into a house party! We were here for it!

There was not a dry eye in the room as the survivors spoke on their experiences. This matter is something that we can never overlook and that was made very clear at this brunch, and I tip my hat to those ladies for having the strength to fight and make it out. You never know what someone is going through or what lies behind a smile because just from first glance these ladies didn’t resemble what they have gone through, and it takes courage to fight through this and still smile.

These ladies were stunning; the entire party was stunning. We were all here for the glitz and glam of it all. The food was amazing, and I recommend Maggiano’s just for a good time and feel-good fun. As each lady got up to speak you could hear a pen drop that’s how intrigued everyone was when it came to hearing about their stories. There was spoken word as well and she didn’t disappoint. Her words brought tears to the audience. The never-ending mimosa’s gave the room a settled and relaxed feel while we all enjoyed each other’s presence. Networking and fellowshipping all at the same time.

This is what joy after the storm looks like. What we got from this event was trouble doesn’t last always and to never stop fighting. Domestic violence in our community is at an all-time high, but no one takes our numbers seriously, but at this event we were all bonded through tears and testimonies. Even if you haven’t gone through it or just knew someone who has this subject touched everyone in the room. There were giveaways from spa days to credit restoration. They made sure we left feeling good about ourselves and with the knowledge of what prevailing looks like.

The icing on the cake was watching Mrs. Anita Hawkins come up to get her award for Best Female Urban Philanthropist there was a glow about her that was taken as I have overcome, I have made it through, and I can tell you that you can too. It was a warm and welcoming feeling and kudos to her for sharing her story.

Honoree Anita Hawkins

As WOC we need more events like this to show support because again you never know what lies behind a smile. To sum up this event it was so many different emotions that filled the room along with good food, music, and people, but the one emotion we all left with was joy. The future for each of these ladies is a bright one and well deserved. Truly a pleasure to be in their presence and hear them share their stories.

Shandrea Moody-Wilson, Urban Not Average
Davida Roach, Dear Deanndra

The event included special guests such as Ms. Basketball, Professor Honey (Nerissa Reaves), Brittney Sherell, Boss Lady J The Storyteller, and more!

Please also find additional sponsors displayed below!