Howard University Grad On A Mission to Stop the Gun Violence In DC

Washington, DC (September 26, 2018) –  Ryane Nickens knows all too well the pain of what gun violence can do to a family and a community. Her sister, brother, and uncle were murdered in two separate incidents in the District of Columbia.  Her pain doesn’t stop there.  Her mother and another sister nearly lost their lives from gun violence too.  Thankfully, they survived.

Now, this recent Howard University School of Divinity graduate wants to turn her pain into a mission of love for others.  “You feel like you’ve been dropped into the ocean, this big ocean of grief,” she has said, describing her emotions after the shootings. “And you are trying to find your way to a peaceful time of your life when they were still there.”

Ultimately, Nickens found some peace, the heard the call, enrolled in divinity school and was steered toward founding the TraRon Center. Part of the push came from the words of Howard divinity school professor, Howard Thurman. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” All of the shootings impacting Nickens’ family happened in or near her home in Anacostia. It’s a southeast community that has seen far too many families torn apart because of bullets.

The TraRon Center in Ward 8 made her come alive by helping the survivors of gun violence. The center helps clients heal through the use of art. So it seems appropriate that Saturday, September 29th at7:30pm, five faith congregations will host a musical benefit to further Nickens’ cause.

“The Concert Across America.  Silence the Violence Concert” will be held at the National United Methodist Church at 3401 Nebraska Avenue, NW Washington, DC.  Tickets are available at the door or online at www.nationalchurch.org/concerts.  Tickets are $20 general admission and children 12 and under get in free.

Renee Nash


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Renee Nash, Director of Information and Public Affairs for WHUR, is a well-respected journalist who has covered a range of issues from local and national politics, to healthcare reform and civil rights. She has also spearheaded numerous award-winning projects including radiothons, town hall meetings and food and clothing drives. Over her 25-year career at WHUR, she has been a writer, reporter, producer and anchor. Renee serves on the boards of many organizations including the Edith P. Wright Breast Cancer Foundation and Sisters of Hope. She is the proud mom of Dominique and Delante.

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