Speeches and songs filled the air on Detroit’s northwest side on Saturday as parents, children and activists gathered for child abuse prevention.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Awareness Meeting at the Detroit Service Learning Academy was co-hosted by Motherhood Matters and Nicole Massey, who teaches at the Academy.
Massey, who is involved in an issue of child custody and an issue related to medication prescribed to her child, said the meeting is one of many she has hosted and held at the Academy to address issues and topics that the engage in community, to illuminate.
“I am here to oppose child abuse as a teacher,” Massey said Saturday at the academy on West Seven Mile near Evergreen. “My message is to keep speaking and save lives day by day.”
Event co-host Alana Dillard told those in attendance to stand up and be a “strong advocate” for children.
“It’s not fair that the little people can’t talk,” Dillard said. “Spiritual, physical abuse and injustice will not be tolerated. It is time for you to get out there and make a difference. Make a case against these things.”
Dawn Floyd, who has survived breast cancer and founded a foundation to help struggling women undergoing breast cancer treatment, said both children and parents are sometimes afraid to speak up when abuse occurs.
“Events like these are important because people don’t know about (the abuse) and the events are happening around here,” Floyd said.
Well-known businesswoman and education adviser Gwendolyn Thomas, who is Massey’s aunt, told those attending the meeting, “I want to make sure that women and children are treated fairly” by court officials and others.
Ten-year-old Franklin Thomas IV attended the meeting with his father on Saturday.
“I am here to protest against the mental abuse of children,” said Thomas as he listened to songs and speakers. “Little children cannot protect themselves.”