LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Living your new normal: what does that mean?
At an event held Sunday at the Lyric Theatre, the new normal was a chance for victims of gun violence to come together. Many of these victims share something in common: the crimes they’ve endured happened in Lexington’s east end.
The Live Your New Normal (L.Y.N.N.) Summit was created by victims, for victims. Many do not understand how much life changes when you lose someone you love to a violent crime, and so the day was about helping these victims cope with trauma and build resilience.
“I have to learn how to live a new normal,” Tonya Lindsey said.
Lindsey is just one of many mothers who have lost their children to gun violence. As the founder of Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence (SWAG), she’s not only hosted the event, but she’s also dedicated to helping others who share her pain figure out how to live a new normal.
“My motto is there is no growth with no healing. There’s no healing without help. So, this is what this event is about: to be able to help families like mine to be able to start to be resilient, grow, and have hope and opportunities,” Lindsey said.
Through the event, the community learned how to cope with trauma and build resilience with the help of certain services and resources that formed as a result of gun violence.
“A lot of people are dealing with these traumatic situations,” Christian Adair, Lyric Theatre’s interim director, said. “A lot of people don’t know how to deal with them, and this is an opportunity to share resources to let people know that there are people that have life experiences that are willing to help to support them.”
A butterfly is a symbol of rebirth, and that’s why L.Y.N.N. used the butterfly as its symbol of new beginnings: from purpose to hope to resilience.
“We need to put the guns down and find a solution,” Alisa Michelle Hairston, CEO of It Really Does Matter, said. “That’s why we’re coming together with the L.Y.N.N. Summit to educate, come together, and stop losing our youth. The only way that we’re going to come together is numbers, because we have to change laws. If you don’t change the laws, we’re never going to move forward.”
Adair wants to see change, especially in the first district of Lexington, which has been known to have been hit the hardest by gun violence.
“It starts with each individual. Every movement has started with one step, one walk. The civil rights movement started with 20 people in the basement, and it changed the world. It was a milestone. So, everything starts with somebody, but this is just a start,” Adair said.
As a group, they believe they can end violence and help restore hope for others who may need it.
“You really have to learn how to live again with the resources that we’re providing in order to move forward,” Lindsey said. “I can go on and on for hours about my son. Do I miss him? Absolutely, every day, but through him, and everything I do is always for him and through him.”
Sunday’s collaboration and partnership included Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence, “It Really Does Matter,” and Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.
To learn more about Sunday’s event and if you are in need of any services, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 859-382-0053.