By Cherisse Eatmon
Wow! So what an amazing couple of events that I’ve had the pleasure of attending. I recently attended the Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Columbia with hundreds of others including our SWARM Council. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has organized more than 250 walks nationwide to support suicide prevention research and local programs. It was touching and inspiring to see a group of strangers who were, if only for a moment, bonded. There didn’t need to be a physical connection we all knew and understood the depth of our reasoning for being together as one.
I also had the pleasure of accompanying the SWARM Council on their trip to Washington DC for the annual Urban Retreat. It was here that I watched a group of students from colleges across South Carolina grow together as a family and share their work plans with advocates from across our country and internationally. We were all fighting the vicious battle for equality, inclusion, rights, respect, and responsibility. I couldn’t be more proud of them and their resiliency!
If it wasn’t for the loss of a friend and colleague I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet and learn with such an amazing group of people. Tim, you are missed and remembered each day. The SWARM Council is a spectacular group of young game changers. I’ve watched them grow and they are more motivated than ever to continue the work and improve policies surrounding sexual health-with each mind, person, and policy we strive to continue to be the change set before us. Go SWARM!