Symposium on surviving and preventing domestic violence planned

Published 11:42 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Propel Power into Your Purpose Symposium will be held Sunday, March 6, and Monday, March 7, in Albemarle to educate people about domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse survivors, violence prevention advocates, leadership experts and many who have experienced tragedy will gather for the two-day symposium. The event will address domestic violence and trauma.

Two years ago, Andrea Merriman’s life changed forever. It was Saturday night when her daughter’s estranged husband showed up at their home, broke in and began shooting.

She had recently filed a domestic violence order against him and their case was due in court. Her daughter hid in a closet. Jennifer Merriman, 17, her younger sister, was murdered.

The tragedy was the catalyst for Andrea Merriman’s passion to redirect her pain for purpose. She wrote a book and, in honor of her daughter, set up the Jennifer Y. Merriman H.E.L.P. Program, to offer Hope, Empowerment, Life skills and Prevention methods to teens, adolescents and women ages 13 and up who are at risk or are survivors of domestic and dating violence.

The Propel Power into Your Purpose Symposium features speakers and trainers from across the country include: Domestic abuse survivor and trainer Dr. Nichole Sherrill-Corry; human resources consultant and business coach Paula Farmer; speaker and insurance expert Lillie Hancock, EFT practitioner, nutritionist hypnotherapist and life coach Ruthi Cohen-Joyner; domestic violence advocate, survivor Joyce Donna Miller; speaker, domestic violence advocate, survivor; author, speaker, talk show host, Joyce Kyles; Transformational Success Expert, personal development coach, domestic violence advocate, Lori Pelzer; and host/founder Andrea Merriman.

They will cover such topics as how to let purpose, not tragedy, define you; addressing the aftermath of leaving a violent relationship; finding power in a tribe; learning to lead, giving support through service to others, finding clarity, and moving past procrastination to power up your purpose.

VIP Mastermind sessions will offer small group interactions to help attendees tap into their own power. Dr. Nadia Brown, a leadership development expert, will lead one of the sessions. The founder of a leadership development firm in Phoenix, Brown is passionate about helping women become more authentic, confident leaders.

Sherre Miller Bishop, a dramatist and motivational speaker, will be the keynote speaker. Bishop will talk about the power of telling your story to make positive change. Bishop tours the U.S. sharing her award-winning, one-woman show, “From the Motherland to the Promised Land,” a musical chronology of enslavement and overcoming. The performance will be presented at the symposium’s kick-off banquet, March 6 at 6 p.m.

The event will be held at Tiffany’s on First & Main, 103 N. First St., Albemarle.

Proceeds from the symposium will benefit the Jennifer Y. Merriman H.E.L.P. Program. Visit to donate, register for the conference, or sponsor a deserving woman. The group urges local churches to sponsor facilitators from  to attend and take back information to help stop domestic violence.