To Whom It May Concern,
As founding principal of Transition HS (MPS), over the past seven years I have welcomed into our learning community a plethora of community educators and workshop presenters who have offered their time and talents to the "at-risk" youth we serve. Without reservation I can make the claim that My Sista's KeepHer has arguably been one of the most valuable and well received elements of programming our alternative school has ever received.
Tina "Jazzi" Nixon and Shelly Conley are both gifted communicators with an innate ability to connect organically with young women, particularly those from oppressed and marginalized populations. Their approaches are refreshingly infused with culturally responsive methodology that speaks directly to the complex cultural make up of children of color. Clearly they have done their homework in the areas of psycho-social development of adolescents, understanding the impact of trauma, and unpacking the effects of systematic obstructions such as racism and capitalism on the value formation of our young ladies. Their presentations and workshops are both provocative and evocative, helping our girls to purge, think critically, and challenge themselves to evolve to greater heights.
In addition, the aura of My Sista's KeepHer overflows with love, compassion, and empathy that is in solidarity with the struggles our girls encounter personally and within their families and broader context of the communities they live in. Jazzi and Shelly strike a beautiful synergy between motherly wit, consummate professionalism, and "down home, grind it out" realism that is unmatched in educational circles in the Milwaukee area.
It is truly a blessing to be in working relationship with such a transformative vessel as My Sista's KeepHer. I look forward to our continued work together and to witnessing their being an ongoing blessing to the young women in our community.
Derrick "Baba" Rogers
"My Sista's KeepHer" (MSK) workshop proved to be a transformative experience for the middle school young women of 81st Street School. The messages given, so eloquently delivered in spoken word and conversation, supported all of the interventions that I was conducting in the PBIS tiers. Through spoken word, journaling and Circle time, the participants heard and accepted into their hearts, that their Truths may be difficult and hard to accept but by sharing and honoring them, they can bask in the support of their Sisters as they work to heal, learn to survive and thrive. The MSK experience impacted us all and may prove to be a life changing event for the students. At the school level, the impact was immediate as the bonds created and the support for one another overtook the drama and conflict that previously dominated. I highly recommend the MSK experience for young women. Actually, I recommend it for all!
Cathleen Pollock, MSW School Social Worker with Milwaukee Public Schools & UWM Graduate Field Liaison
"When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else." Iyanla Vanzant
"I was totally blown away Thursday Night at My Sista's KeepHer Workshop. I am praising God that Shelly and Tina are working together in this ministry. And trust me, IT IS A MINISTRY. The rawness of emotions shared, and the depth of love and support shown, was overwhelmingly phenomenal! I needed to see this on so many levels! And I am praising God that this oasis is available for the healing of the soul of those who are held hostage by circumstances of life. My hat is off to both Shelly and Tina for allowing God to use them in this manner. Love to both of you and to those who work with, and support you, in such a much needed program! Ladies, wherever I can help, i'm there." Brenda Banks
AFTER LAST NIGHTS MY SISTAS KEEPHER EVENT. I WAS OVERWHELMED WITH THE POWER AND FREEING OF OUR TRUTH. SO I FIGURED FOR THOSE THAT MISSED IT MAYBE WE CAN LET A LITTLE BIT OUT THIS MORNING NO MATTER IF ITS BIG OR SMALL LETS START SPEAKING TO OUR TRUTH.. I'LL START.
TRUTH IS IM OVERWHELMED
~Adisa Simone Gray
Cultural Awareness. Academic Excellence. Community Activism.
November 4, 2014
To Whom It May Concern:
We are writing today to express our support for My Sista’s KeepHer being founded and implemented
by Tina Nixon and Shelly Davis. This invaluable organization is an essential part of the Milwaukee
community and the larger community of individuals concerned with the psychological and
emotional well being of young girls. We posit that this organization offers a unique approach to
increasing the self esteem of young girls and women throughout the community.
Having had the opportunity to work closely with these talented and inspirational women during the
planning and implementation of the UW-Milwaukee My Sista’s KeepHer: Girls Empowerment Summit
this past October, we had the chance to witness firsthand not only the unique use of self expression
and writing to deal with challenging issues and experiences, but the passion these ladies have for
girls empowerment and healing. Throughout the workshops, Tina, Shelly, and their My Sista’s
KeepHer Team quickly connected with the 100+ middle school and high school girls in attendance
and assisted them to work through—or write through—a myriad of challenging experiences,
emotions, and truths. What many deem to be a difficult and challenging task was done effortlessly
by these ladies.
Our firsthand experience and subjective evaluation of the effect My Sista’s KeepHer had on the
young ladies in attendance was confirmed upon receipt of the formal evaluations received at the
conclusion of the event in which the young girls expressed that they “loved everything” about the
summit and that they learned about the importance of sisterhood, love, respect, and honesty—to
name a few. Candidly, reading the evaluations submitted by the girls is, to us, the greatest testimony
to the amazing work My Sista’s KeepHer is doing in the community.
Overall, this organization is truly invaluable and life changing for those who have the opportunity to
take part in any capacity. In our role as co-organizers, we had the opportunity to attend several of
the sessions and from that experience alone we are forever positively changed. The passion,
positivity, and commitment of both Tina and Shelly is undeniable. We fully support this
organization and we are certain that My Sista’s KeepHer will continue to serve as an innovative and
essential addition to the struggle to assert that young girls matter too.
Crystal Edwards and Anastacia Scott