757 Metal Community Rocks for Local YWCA
Adam Flores | Senior Writer
Bearded Bird Brewing played host Saturday to an evening of metal music by local bands. Dubbed as The Mighty and The Metal, the event, presented by The Association of the Wicked Virginia United Branch, helped benefit the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) South Hampton Roads.
“Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women” is the current mission and story of the national YWCA organization. Locally, the YWCA South Hampton Roads carries the battle cry as a source of strength, courage and empowerment for women and families along with promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Before the benefit concert started, Kathryn Cooke, volunteer and outreach coordinator for YWCA South Hampton Roads, spoke briefly to an enthusiastic audience of headbangers about standing up for social justice, helping families and strengthening our communities through the many programs offered.
“We are working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking in South Hampton Roads,” Cooke said.
Among the myriad of services and outreach programs, YWCA SHR offers to include 24-hour crisis response services, providing transportation to and serving those in hospitals, helping with protective orders, counseling services, support groups and providing affordable childcare.
Cooke provided a table with brochures on topics ranging from facts about gender-based violence, veterans and gender-based violence, LGBTQ survivors of gender-based violence and coordinated crisis response. She was eager to answer questions and offered assistance and insight to those interested in the various services YWCA SHR offers.
“We offer free counseling services to all ODU students, faculty and anyone connected with ODU. We are here with our information to tell people about domestic violence and sexual assault, specifically as it pertains to our community. We are letting people know we are here and at ODU working with the Women’s Center,” Cooke said.
YWCA SHR also provides respite childcare for those in crisis situations seeking counseling or meeting with their advocate. They also have a Child Development Center on TCC campuses offering affordable childcare based on income. Within the next few weeks, the organization is implementing a new Racial Injustice Taskforce led by YWCA SHR CEO and president, Mary Kate Andris, Ed.D.
Compassionate Entrepreneur (CE) Sara McIntire displayed beautiful works of jewelry for sale representing Trades of Hope, an organization creating jobs for women around the world. Empowering women to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty, these artisans, through their ethically produced jewelry and accessories are creating products while providing for their families.
The program has had a great impact as women in Uganda are now sending their children to school. Artisans in Haiti have beds for the first time in their lives. Mothers are able to keep their children out of orphanages. Women are coming out of the sex trade.
Overall, Cooke was passionate in conveying YWCA SHR’s commitment to serving the community.
“The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. A lot of our programs are specifically geared towards victims of gendered violence. Most of what we see are female victims, although we actually serve anybody who has experienced any domestic or sexual violence, so we serve male victims as well,” said Cooke.
The Association of the Wicked Virginia United Branch presented their support and recognition of YWCA SHR. Humanitarian enthusiast and professional drummer Jeremiah Stratton founded the AoW national association.
According to the association’s Facebook page, the AoW is a swiftly growing volunteer organization of friends and families uniting around the U.S. and beyond to better their local communities.
Bearded Bird Brewing’s Granby Street taproom converted into a concert venue in hosting The Mighty and The Metal’s mega-decibel-inducing event for YWCA SHR. Opening in May and making its mark as the NEON District’s own brewery, BBB also supports local artists by displaying their work for sale.
With each pint sold during the metal show, BBB donated $1 to YWCA SHR.
Virginia Beach metal trio One Day Fire started the three-hour set inciting their raw and energetic musical prowess. Newport News-based Southern Joint Committee continued the metal onslaught delivering their polished brand of groove metal. Tidewater’s veteran act, FALLOUT OF FEAR, closed the set with a range of material from their three current album releases delivering a lethal dose of progressive rock and metal.
In support of YWCA SHR, each band also donated $1 from each piece of merchandise sold ranging from CDs to T-shirts.
For more information on YWCA SHR, you reach Kathryn Cooke at 757-625-4248, ext. 33.
If you or anyone is in need of assistance in times of crisis, call the YWCA 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 757-251-0144. You can also visit the university Women’s Center office located in Webb Center or call 757-683-4109.