The Goddess Foundation was launched on Sunday, 28th February 2016. An afternoon of collaboration, celebration and cocktails created a space for people who have overcome adversity to come together as a formidable force for positivity. Founder Andrea Smith presented one of these women with the first ever Goddess Award in recognition of their achievements. Each award nominee was recognised for their strength and talent, each speaking with passion about their experiences.
Laura Elisabeth Clowson is a poet who has survived an abusive relationship and gone on to help others through difficult times. Nervous and emotional, Laura delivered a beautiful first ever public reading of her poetry, clearly demonstrating exactly why she was an award finalist.
Shannon Iero is an artist who has overcome struggles with mental illness. Speaking of her personal battles, she explained how art therapy became her life saver. Although only 18 years old, Shannon has started her own business, My Scruffy Art, which exemplifies her strength and determination.
Megan Key is the only visible transgender person to be working in the National Probation Service. As well as working in a demanding day job, Megan explained how she does vital work in ensuring that true representations of transgender people are given in the media: she uses her experiences to inform, for example, soap operas in which transgender characters are introduced to ensure they truthfully and fairly represent the transgender community. In 2015 Megan won the National Diversity Award for LGBT role model and was listed in the top 101 most influential LGBT people in The Independent on Sunday.
The winner of the first Goddess Award is Kaveeta Mattu. Kaveeta is a writer and spoken word poet who encapsulated the difficulties women experience when trying to leave abusive relationships. Often women struggle to recognise the signs: imbibing abuse into their normality, blaming themselves for emotional or physical injuries, and feeling terrified that a future without their abuser would be a mistake. Kaveeta nominated herself for the award – a huge step forward in self-validation – and told the Goddess Foundation how “bits of me kept falling off”, how she had tried to keep pasting herself back together, and how she finally found the strength to see, and accept, a much bigger picture.
The first ever Goddess Awards afternoon was a stunningly affirming experience, bringing together a tribe of women determined to support and celebrate one another in the quest for a world that does the same.
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