Michelle Kenney, a prominent advocate for social justice and community empowerment, has created an annual engagement dedicated to providing moments of respite for mothers in the Pittsburgh area who have been impacted by community or police violence, resulting in the tragic loss of a loved one. The 7th Day Retreat took place June 9 -11, 2023 and served 12 mothers. This retreat focuses on creating a supportive environment where attendees find solace, healing, community and resources to navigate the challenges they face daily. Ms. Kenney is the inaugural 1Hood Media Fellow, which requires having a commitment to identifying the community concerns and drafting a policy agenda to address the issues unearthed during the appointment.
The primary objectives of 7th Day are:
Moments of Connection: Prior to the 7th Day Retreat, attendees experienced a meal together, connecting as Black women with a shared experience. Though the dinner honored their loss, it also highlighted their collective resilience and hopes for the future. Shortly thereafter, attendees had a photoshoot with Emmy award winning photographer Emmai Alaquiva, which served as a striking reminder of who they were, are and will always be – themselves.
The 7th Day: Offers twelve mothers in the Pittsburgh community a much-needed three day break from the environments in which they have experienced the traumatic loss of their loved ones. By providing a safe and peaceful space away from their daily struggles, attendees can find a moment of respite and rejuvenation.
Coping Resources: Recognizing the ongoing challenges faced by these mothers upon returning to their communities, the event ensured that attendees receive valuable coping resources. The hope is that resources will ignite each mother to navigate grief, promote self-care, and develop resilience as they continue their healing journey.
Fostering a Strong Supportive Community: By bringing together mothers who have experienced similar loss, the event created a sense of sisterhood and support. Attendees (names available upon request) have access to healing resources, camaraderie, and opportunities for rest.
Michelle Kenney, driven by her personal experience and deep compassion for others, is dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by mothers impacted by community violence. Her vision for this annual event reflects her commitment to empowering these mothers and providing them with the support they need to heal and thrive. This experience represents the first programming of the Antwon Rose II Foundation, by his mother in memory of his life, the mission of the foundation is to provide youth the opportunity to participate in educational, athletic, and social activities that normally may not be afforded to them.