KODIE BROWN FUNDRAISER
Kodie after a successful surgery
Kodie mad at grand-daddy
Roshonn, Sandra, Derrick, Mertine, Roach, Kodie and Pooda
Roshann, Sandra, Derrick, Mertine, Roach, Kodie and Kodie's brother
Kodie's beautiful mother; Selina
Kodie in the Hospital
Kodie getting love from Grandpa
Kodie and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton
Kodie and Congresswoman Eleanor
Ready to go to LA
Kodie ready for the train ride.
Jabbouri, Kodie and Mr. Ferguson at B.J.'s
Princess Kodie before incident
Kodie Brown before incident
Princess Kodie after incident
As grandparents juggle care of girl grazed by bullet, one less worry: Operations will be free
It’s midnight, and D.C. police officer Derrick Ferguson and his wife, RoShann, are exhausted. He spent the day patrolling neighborhood streets, while she had a tough afternoon working as a home health aide.
Even though it’s late, rest will have to wait. Their two sons are playing loudly in the next room, and sitting up in the middle of the couple’s bed is Kodie Brown their 3-year-old granddaughter, who is crying and saying, “I miss my mommy.”
Hectic evenings like this one have unfolded any number of times over the past 17 months for the Fergusons. Ever sinceKodie’s mother was killed by the girl’s father in a brazen mid-afternoon shooting in December 2012, they have been her primary caregivers, raising her and their boys in their cramped two-bedroom apartment in Northeast Washington. Kodie was injured that day, too, when a bullet ripped across her face.
It’s been a strain on the family of modest means, who say they’ve exhausted their savings and find it hard to take on extra overtime shifts at their jobs because they have to juggle child care. But in a city where gun violence continues to disrupt hundreds of lives each year, their home offers a glimpse behind the scene of survivors and the routines that make them whole.
“She demands so much love,” Derrick Ferguson, 49, said recently. “Even when I am upset with her, all she has to do is look at me with those big puppy-dog eyes and I break down.”
The couple’s adoption of Kodie was the culmination of a flood of support that the girl received in the weeks and months after the shooting. Kodie was in her mother’s arms at a bus stop in Southeast Washington, listening to her parents argue, when a bullet changed her life forever. Her father pulled a handgun from under his shirt and opened fire. Kodie’s mother, 20-year-old Selina Brown, was killed. The father fled to New York and killed himself.
Selina Brown and her mother, RoShann Ferguson. Brown was murdered in 2012.
At the time, local leaders east of the Anacostia River rallied to help the family, and Kodie, who was nearly 2 at the time of the shooting, was showered with presents: teddy bears, clothes and her favorite — princess dolls. A walk-a-thon was held in her honor, and radio host Roach Brown, of WPFW (89.3 FM), invited the family to be on his show.
Meanwhile, a trust fund was established to raise money for Kodie, and the shooting incident led to a broader conversation about domestic violence and its youngest victims.
And now, a new set of benefactors is helping Kodie and the Fergusons with the next phase of her recovery. Some of the bones behind Kodie’s face were fractured when the bullet grazed her face, and in March, at the Face Forward clinic in Los Angeles, she had the first of several operations to remove scar tissue that begins under her left eye.
“No baby should have to go through what she has gone through,” said Deborah Alessi, who has helped set up a foundation that pays for victims of domestic violence to have plastic surgery. “She has amazing grandparents, but I can see the sadness. The only thing that we can do is help her on her way.”
RoShann Ferguson said that Kodie will have several other operations in Los Angeles so more scar tissue can be removed and bones in her face can be reset. The clinic will do the procedures for free.
But in Washington, the family continues to struggle with the weight of their daily routine. Each day is a constant jigsaw puzzle — trying to match schedules and budgets, babysitting hours and the rigors of raising two other children. Derrick Ferguson works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, with Wednesday and Thursday off, and RoShann Ferguson works Monday to Friday, with Saturday and Sunday off. “Often, when I am walking in the door, she is walking out. If we are lucky, we will have time after midnight, but often, Kodie is up with us at night because she has abandonment issues.”
One of the main concerns for the Fergusons is ensuring that Kodie’s early years have a sense of normalcy. That’s why they fight hard to make happy memories close and far: to Kings Dominion during Easter week or a playground at RFK Stadium on a spring day. Both grandparents work hard at filling Kodie’s shelves with dolls and storybooks.
Despite the long days and nights, Ferguson, who is 6-feet-4, said that nothing has humbled him like taking care of the little girl who wants, needs and loves so much.
“Daddy! This is a princess!” Kodie said as she blew a bubble on a recent afternoon at a local library.
“Who is that? A princess?” asked Ferguson. “You are beautiful! Give poppa a kiss. I love you.”
“I love you, too, pappa,” she said.
Kodie at the Library blowing bubbles
Kodie blowing bubbles at the library
Mr. Ferguson reading Kodie a story
Mr. Ferguson reading Kodie a story
Granddaddy out at the playground with Kodie
Kodie and Mr. Furguson having a day at the playground
SKBF Contact List
STAFF CONTACT LIST
Staff: Board of Directors:
RoShann Brown Ferguson – Founder
Mr. Roach Brown & Mrs. Mertine Brown
Raynell Redd – Co Founder
Derrick Ferguson – Director of Community Affairs
Tina Cunningham- Director of Outreach
August Article On Kodie Brown DV Awareness Day
Domestic Violence Awareness Community Fun Day
August 11, 2014
Selina and Kodie Brown Foundation
The Washington, D.C. community will remember a toddler whose life was changed forever in 2012 when her father killed her mother, Selina. Kodie Brown was in her mother’s arms during the incident and was injured, but survived. Kodie's grandparents are now taking care of her.
A Domestic Violence Awareness Community Fun Day will take place August 21 at the Kennedy Recreation Center at 1401 7th St. NW in Washington, DC to educate the public about the issue. The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and feature guest speakers, teen workshops, music and refreshments, according to the Selina and Kodie Brown Foundation, also known as SKB Foundation. Free backpacks will be handed out.
The foundation wants people to be fully aware of domestic violence, according to Kodie's grandfather. "One if every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime," said Derrick Ferguson. "An estimate 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner," Ferguson said. "Eighty-five percent of victims of domestic violence are women."
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has advocates available at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) all day, every day. All calls are confidential and anonymous and advocates speak a collective 170 languages.
The event is sponsored in part by Inner Voices, Help Meet Associates and Freddi House. For more information or to make a donation, visithttp://www.selinaandkodiebrownfoundation.org.
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Washington Post Article: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
The Washington Post
March 18, 2016
Memorial service to be held for celebrated, controversial Frances Cress Welsing.
Psychiatrist and author Frances Cress Welsing was known for her controversial views on race. (Elvert Barnes/elvertbarnes.com)
By Hamil R. Harris
March 17 at 10:32 PM
When family members, friends, and colleagues of Frances Cress Welsing began planning a memorial service for the psychiatrist and author who devoted her life to studying racism and its root causes, they knew they would have a tall order trying to capture her impact.
She was both celebrated and controversial, but never wavering in her belief that the persistent struggles of people of color were the results of the racism they had endured. Welsing died Jan. 2, a few hours after suffering a stroke. She was 80.
Welsing provided psychiatric services to D.C. government agencies and institutions for 27 years. She also maintained a private practice in the District beginning in 1967, counseling patients until days before her death.
Several of those she helped, such as motivational speaker and radio host Roach Brown, say they owe her their lives.
In 1965, Brown was a 21-year-old inmate at the D.C. Department of Correction’s prison in Lorton, Va. A year earlier, he and two other men had been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a “local fence in a dispute over the price of hot jewelry,” Brown said.
[The price of redemption]
No weapon was ever recovered, and Brown, now 72, has always maintained that he was not the triggerman.
Welsing testified during his trial that his actions were consistent with someone whose environment had led to mental-health problems.
“They ended up giving me life in prison because Dr. Welsing spoke up on my behalf,” said Brown, who went on to start the prison theatrical group Inner Voices. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”
Brown, who had his sentenced commuted in 1975, will be among those in attendance at the memorial service for Welsing on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Metropolitan AME Church in the District. “Dr. Welsing turned me and other guys around,” Brown said. “She was our Harriet Tubman to get out of mental slavery.”
Welsing first gained notoriety in 1969 after she wrote an essay, “The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy).” In it she theorized that racism was rooted in the varying degrees of melanin and the “color inferiority” of white people. She argued that the lack of melanin led white people to develop “hostility and aggression” toward people darker than themselves.
“She had a theory about race and why white people do what they do and I dealt with the what,” said Neely Fuller, author of “The United Independent Compensatory Code System Concept: a textbook/workbook for thought speech and/or action for victims of racism (white supremacy).”
In her 1991 book, “The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors,” Welsing again looked at the origins of white supremacy and its impact. She wrote that “black males must help one another to understand that they are being led by the dynamic of white supremacy to inflict extreme damage upon themselves and each other.”
[Welsing’s work provokes different reactions]
“Dr. Welsing’s major contribution as it relates to black mental health was that she had the capacity to challenge the dominant prevailing thought of our society and she gave it the name global white supremacy,” said Kevin Washington, president of the Association of Black Psychologists.
Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University and former director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, said Welsing drew heavy criticism for her views, which she expected. She frequently engaged her detractors.
In 1974, she and Stanford University physicist William Shockley, who had argued that blacks were genetically inferior to whites, engaged in debate on the syndicated television show “Tony Brown’s Journal.”
Welsing was born in Chicago in 1935.Her father, Henry N. Cress was a physician, and her mother, Ida Mae Griffen, was a school teacher, and there were high expectations.
“We were taught that we were special,” said Welsing’s older sister, Lorne Cress-Love. “We were encouraged to read and discuss all types of issues.”
Cress-Love said their father and their grandfather, who also was a physician, were passionate about fighting for equality. “My father told us that our grandfather spent more time fighting for the race than practicing medicine.”
In 1957, Welsing earned a bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and in 1962 she earned a medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine. After graduation, Welsing completed a residency at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington. From 1968 to 1975, she taught in the pediatric department of Howard University’s Medical School.
Motivational Speaker/Criminal Justice Consultant
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Kodie Brown Before Incident
Kodie in the Hospital
Kodie and her beautiful mother; Salina
Kodie getting her laugh on
Kodie getting her laugh on
Kodide growing fast
Grandma's Little Angel
Kodie as Bat Girl
Kodie and her supporters
Kodie and some of her supporters
Kodie and Grandma breaking bread
Kodie and Grandma
Kodie and Sam Ford
Kodie and her grand father, Derrick
Kodie Brown leans on Jabbouri Brown;her uncle turned brother
Kodie and her uncle; Jabbouri
Kodie Brown, being held by her grandfather, Derrick Ferguson
Kodie and Mr. Ferguson share a moment
Kodie at JFK Stadium Playground
Ms. RoShann and Kodie sharing a smile
Kodie and Grandma sharing a smile
Selina Brown and her mother, RoShann
Selina and her mother, Ms. RoShann
Derrick Ferguson kisses Kodie Brown while at a District play
Kodie getting kisses from granddaddy