about julie banks lewis

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Hi, I’m Julie Banks Lewis. I am an author, a speaker, and an advocate, but before any of that, I am a single mother to three wonderful daughters, my raison de vivre (reason for living). My lived experience is one of trauma, survival, and struggle, but also of shared humanity, overcoming adversity, resilience, and love. I spent most of my childhood in poverty and suffered years of sexual, physical, and emotional/ psychological abuse. As an adult, the years of trauma that were embedded in my mind, heart, and body manifested in far too many short-term relationships, jobs, and attempts at school. I struggled with depression, anxiety, and promiscuity. I flitted from relationship to relationship believing sex was love. Even those with my children’s fathers were marred by either me being cheated on, violence toward me or my children from my partner, or just simple neglect or abandonment, including no child support of the children. At thirty-eight years old, I was determined to be permanently physically disabled by the Social Security Administration and was dismissed from my position as an Eligibility Worker for Social Services. My second husband and I separated and eventually divorced, because rather than allow my children to be physically and emotionally abused by a grown man-child, I chose to quit law school and leave our 3-bedroom home and all I had contributed to establishing my dream of the “white picket fence” and “happily ever-after.” The three of us, myself and two daughters aged 8 and 11, moved into a tiny 14' pull-behind trailer and started over, again, there had been many moves and would be many more. After regaining my bearings, I returned to post-secondary education in a bid to become self-supporting and a contributing member of society. I majored and received an AS in Human Services in 2007, a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies in 2009, and a MA in an Interdisciplinary Studies self-designed program: Power Dynamics and Structural Inequalities in 2016. The focus of my research over ten years was the people—women, Blacks, the Poor, POC, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and all others marginalized or excluded by current power systems in America. I have learned much over the course of my life, both in and out of an educational institution. I am resilient and strong, generous and kind. I have faced adversity over and over, again, and I have survived. More than this, like the phoenix, I don’t simply survive, I rise. And, I will continue to rise because I cannot remain still and silent while others* struggle to survive. Like the phoenix, I will bring fire and light—hope and love, and we will rise together.

My goals are to educate and inform the world on the information I accessed, the life I’ve lived, and the wisdom I’ve obtained from it. Ultimately, my intentions are to encourage empathy, understanding, and compassion, and inspire people everywhere to question what they know and believe about others* and challenge privilege, prejudice, power, and paradigms for new ways of thinking and feeling toward and living with each other.

*others:  Any individual or group outside of your normal scope of interaction with family and friends, especially those you believe, expect, or understand to be different in race, gender, religion, sexuality, age, ability, etc., etc.