We had the good fortune of connecting with Symone Fairchild and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Symone, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Simply put, risk-taking has saved my life and that of my son. Without risk, I wouldn’t be here today. Without risk, my organization, EyeOnDV, would not exist. Risk equals reward. Risk equals blessings. Spiritually speaking, risk equals faith. Only by stepping out on God (faith) will I have every began to reap the benefits (blessings) that He has for my life. Only by stepping out on faith (risk) will I become my greatest self. This is a lifelong process though. It isn’t just one move. I did’t realize that in the beginning of my journey after domestic violence. Thinking back about my life though, it didn’t begin after domestic violence, that was just the chapter of my life where I began to become a butterfly, and I’m not quite there yet.
Taking risk began for me as a child. I was a quiet and reserved girl but I always went “against the grain”. I always had my own mind, my own thoughts, my own strong identity. When something just wasn’t right, I knew it in my gut, and I didn’t associate with it or that person. I had a very strong central core and I made decisions based on that core. I was raised in martial arts and its spiritual, mental, and physical teachings and discipline set in stone my very centered core. My dad would tease me about “bringing stray cats home”! What he meant was that, I would always bring kids home who were solitary kids themselves. They were either being bullied at school or had issues at home…they needed love. I always stuck up for the “little guy”. I couldn’t stand seeing someone or something being hurt. This central core has only intensified as I have grown into adulthood.
Now…is fighting for others a good thing? Yes, absolutely. But fighting for others also translates into fighting for truth. The truth is not a very popular concept if we look at human history. Fighting for truth has become more difficult and complicated as I have gotten older. It is now called taking risk. Being a “grown-up” now, and taking steps everyday toward becoming my greatest self, I am now tasked with taking risk for a major injustice: domestic violence. This is an institutional injustice that has its birth at the center of human nature and at THE birth of our country. It is engrained in us and is based in the human need to have and maintain power and control at all cost. I only know one person who hasn’t been personally touched by domestic violence. It is an occurrence that is the exact anti-thesis of why human beings were created to begin with: to love one another. By inflicting violence on one another, we are doing the exact opposite of what we were created to do. It is senseless and I am honored to be tasked with the responsibility to fight it…not matter how much risk it takes.
Am I afraid? You freakin’ bet!! I am scared everyday that I will come up against an adversary that could take everything and everyone away from me. But, if I were to let that fear win, I would no longer be believing in God…I would be letting fear prevail. Fighting for truth, fighting for others, fighting against domestic violence and the institution that perpetuates it, means taking the risk every moment of every day to have faith. And He knows it! Taking risk in my life means that I am showing God that I have the faith in Him to do the following: to protect my son and I and provide everything we need, to lead me through the dark, to provide me with the resources that the people who I am fighting for need. Honestly speaking…I have absolutely no idea what I am doing on my own! I am living a destiny based on personal experience, not years and years of education. I am learning as I am going and I am stepping into God’s footsteps and holding His hand every step of the way. If I didn’t, I would be lost in a very dark place. I am fighting domestic violence with His Spirit roaring inside of me. This is the greatest weapon of all and it beats all fear and overrides any risk. I am His warrior and His partner. With that strength, love and truth WILL WIN!
So, you see, I must take risk. I must. My life/my career/my destiny depends on it. I cannot let Him down. Mahatma Ghandi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. This concept was chiseled into me as child as if into stone and I cannot yield from it. I can’t. If I want my son to have the foundation to bounce from to become and live his greatest self and if I am going to leave this world better than I found it, I must make the conscious decision everyday to take risk. Risk IS life.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
EyeOnDV’s mission is to eradicate domestic violence. We pursue this tirelessly through study, research, and interviews to bring awareness of ALL things domestic violence from cause and effect within the womb, to how it affects anyone throughout each stage of life. Some of our greatest goals is to effectively and profoundly change legislation so no victim is ever shamed or ignored again, no abuser is ever able to manipulate the system, and to reinstate faith in the justice system to fight for those who need it.
I am the Founder & CEO of EyeOnDV, THE movement to eradicate domestic violence. We move to do so, if need be, one soul at a time. We do everything from provide resources to survivors and victims of domestic violence, to providing a safe space for survivors/victims/reformed abusers to tell their truths, to getting actively involved with changing and creating new legislation to benefit DV survivors and victims. Through our research and interviews we explore and expose all effects of DV from neurological, emotional, physical, etc. We dive into each industry/agency that has any involvement with or influence over DV. We reveal the effects of DV on all aspects of society from the individual to the family unit, to the workplace, to school environments, and beyond and reveal the ramifications: broken homes, adverse health, addiction, homicide, suicide, the fact that DV is generational, etc.
What I am most proud of to date is providing the safe space for survivors to tell their truths. I didn’t realize just how important and impactful that would be until just recently. It has come to my attention that the survivor’s voice and truth is THE guiding light to both getting major changes made legislatively and societally AND to encouraging more to come forward to tell their truths. Afterall, domestic violence has been allowed to perpetuate throughout generations by surviving behind closed doors. The more brave individuals that come forward, the smaller the space becomes behind closed doors. Without a safe space to come to, survivors won’t speak up. EyeOnDV is consistently providing that safe space and I am so overjoyed to see and be an active part of providing it!! It is so wonderful to be the other half of an organic conversation where a survivor is so comfortable that she/he/they can bravely tell their story, sometimes sharing experiences that they have never shared before, allowing themselves the space to be triggered and bravely share through those triggers because they are finally in a space of safety, support, and love. It is so heart-warming to sit with the survivor at the end of the conversation and we are both laughing and crying and happy!!
Was it easy? Absolutely not. It began with my own domestic violence experience. It was one of the two worst things that has ever happened to me BUT it has had a silver lining. Without it, I wouldn’t have met God, I wouldn’t have my son, and I wouldn’t know what my greater purpose is. So, in hindsight, I wouldn’t change the experience. In fact, given how EyeOnDV was birthed, it gives me the continued strength to keep moving forward everyday, despite the giant adversary I continue to face. Afterall, if I have been able to not only overcome, but also use what I have experienced already, I can overcome anything as far as I’m concerned! I have no excuse but to keep going.
I have learned quite a bit along they way, especially within the last 6 years. I think one of the most important things is that one must have balance. Balance looks different to everyone. Balance has many levels. What I have always been searching for is balance in my life. That can only be established with experience, with living life, with losing, with trials and tribulations, and having very solid boundaries. The greatest balance in my life is understanding that it is really the connection between my plans and God’s blessings. You know how they say that God laughs in the face of your plans? Well…yes and no. I must have plans because God has to know where to place His blessings. Human beings miss their blessings all the time because they don’t know how to identify them. If I have my focus on God and on certain things and areas in my life according to what my destiny is, God knows that I will see the blessing in these things or areas, embrace it, act upon it, and most importantly, thank Him for it. This builds confidence, self-esteem, strength, wisdom, awareness…all of what it takes to continue to move forward. This is where He and I work as partners…hand-in-hand.
What I want people to know about EyeOnDV is this: the point of all of what EyeOnDV does is to show that surviving DV is a must and once you survive it, THRIVING is the horizon we are ALL meant for. Our vision is to show the world ALL of what domestic violence is, that it not only can but WILL be stopped, and there is absolutely life after DV. EyeOnDV shows the way. We are…Your Light In The Darkness. This not only applies to domestic violence, it also applies to life. Learn from my life. God gave me the gift of acting and writing, not so that I can be famous and pretentious, but so that I can use the greatest platform there is on the planet to show people the path back to the greater purpose that all of humankind has: loving one another.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, at some point during the week, she and I would definitely be going to church! We would spend a day at the beach. We would drive up the coast along the PCH with all the windows down and eat at Pacific Cove Cafe!! We would park somewhere at the intersection of La Brea Ave and Hollywood Blvd and we would walk along Hollywood Blvd going in and out of stores, shopping, taking pictures, going to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, getting pizza at Greco’s New York Pizzeria, go to Grauman’s Chinese Theater. We would go horseback riding so she could get as close-up as she could to the Hollywood Sign. We would definitely go to Disneyland and Magic Mountain. We would walk along Venice Beach, eat at Mao’s Kitchen, and go to the Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd Street Promenade. We would go to Mel’s Diner on Sunset, the Beverly Center. We would walk along Rodeo drive. I might take her on some studio tours.
There is so much diversity here in LA that virtually anywhere I take her, she would have a great time :)!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First of all, I must thank God because without Him, none of what I am thankful for would ever exist. I must thank my parents for making martial arts our way of life. I must also thank Ms. Anita Seto for ALWAYS being there since I was a very young girl! Also, Colleen Wong (who has since gone Home), Dr. Enrico Melson, Leah Childers, Jermaine Johnson, Christie Cox, Darienne Ruiz, and Jeremy Cort for their unyielding spiritual guidance. I must thank The Church at Rocky Peak. This is where I first met God and where I could go knowing my son and I would always be surrounded by Him. I must also thank the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission for taking us in after my domestic violence experience and providing us with indispensable opportunities to better our lives and future. Also, Pepperdine University for helping me realize my entrepreneurial power. To Jay Bienstock, Nick DeRuve, Franco Sama, Mark Ridley, and Antonio Thomas for their leadership in Entertainment and believing in me as a writer and all-around creator. To Rachel Brown of ABC7 for treating me like a peer. To Kandee Lewis and The Positive Results Center, so many at The People Concern, Eve Sheedy and the LA County Domestic Violence Council, Nason Buchanan of DMTL, Jenesse Center, and Bernita Walker and Kelie Sturgis of Project Peacemakers, Inc. for so much organizational support and leadership in the fight against domestic violence. Last but certainly not least, I must absolutely thank my friends!! My friends, who I feel I shouldn’t mention by name because, in case I miss someone, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings…have been true blessings and I couldn’t have gotten through some of my darkest moments without them AND, without them, I wouldn’t have had anyone to share my many small wins, great wins, and blessings with! I would like to round out this list by thanking Andrew Zaragoza who is one of the purest and kindest souls that I have ever met. He is endlessly supportive and positive and I am truly grateful to call him a friend.
Linkedin: Symone Fairchild
Symone Fairchild, Andrew Zaragoza, HDJMediaSpotlight.