Celebrating Diversity & Honoring Racial Equality
Celebrating diversity and honoring racial equality are beautiful concepts. Unfortunately, many people are negatively impacted by the fact that racial injustices occur every day. Many people experience aggressions that let them know that they are “other” or “outside of” instead of “a part of” society’s norms. This experience causes trauma and makes it difficult to fully recognize one’s worth and wholeness. While society enjoys catch phrases like, “We’re all the same,” many people are pushed outside. They can’t experience the opportunities that would remind them that they deserve the same freedoms, freedoms that claim our sameness.
Erricka Bridgeford was born in a body that looks “broken” and experiences racial and gender inequalities. In this interactive workshop, she will talk about how she’s been impacted by society’s norms and the importance of finding one’s wholeness while looking and feeling broken.
This is a free seminar, but registration is required. There is also an option to purchase dinner prior to the seminar. Please see the dinner option, listed separately, and register there instead if you would like to have dinner at the Center.
Erricka Bridgeford was trained as a mediator in September of 2001. By 2005, she became the Director of Training for Community Mediation Maryland. In this capacity, she continues to provide training to the 17 community mediation centers in Maryland, as well as to state agencies and organizations, and for national conferences. Her most proud achievement is the fact that she, through CMM, was the first trainer to go into prison (Jessup Correctional Institution & Maryland Correctional Training Center) to provide inmates with the same, full 40-hour Basic Mediation Training that is given to mediators in communities all over MD.
In January of 2007, Erricka’s foundation was shaken when her brother, David, was murdered. In response to her pain, she adopted the motto, “Live out loud….regardless, despite, and because…” In the months that followed her brother’s death, she began doing stand-up comedy to address society’s reaction to her being born with only one hand. As she excelled in the Baltimore comedy scene, she realized and accepted that her purpose was not a joking matter. In 2009, Erricka took her public persona to a deeper level, and became an Inspirational Speaker. Her speaking engagements have ranged from providing inspiration at community festivals, to serving as the keynote speaker for the MD Bar Association’s Youth Leadership Conference.
Because of her continuous commitment to healing violence, in 2015, Erricka was one of two people in Maryland to be given the award for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution to Victim’s Services, by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Erricka has also been on the leadership team of the 300 Men March Movement (2013-2015); coordinates community activism for Baltimore Girls, a multi-media art movement that uplifts and unifies Baltimore females; was recognized as “Best Baltimorean, 2017” by the City Paper; and in May of 2017, birthed and co-organized the Baltimore Ceasefire. Erricka was also awarded the 2017 Marylander of the Year by The Baltimore Sun!
She understands that although she was born with a birth injury, she’s not alone in questioning labels, learning from hardships, and laughing and crying through this ride we call life. Erricka is not defined by society’s perceptions, nor by her own fears. She isn’t defined by her nub, her rape experience, nor the murder of her brother. She understands that when you are free to be yourself, you defy oppression, and heal your experiences.