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&Me: Spotlighting Gail Perry-Mason

March 13, 2018

Inspired by our “Feminists&Me” tee, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) continues its “Spotlight on Feminists” series by highlighting and honoring individuals who work to make a difference every day through our “&Me” series of interviews. NNEDV previously honored the women featured in this design: Sojourner Truth & Susan B. Anthony bell hooks Gloria Steinem & Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Read the rest of our &Me series here.

NNEDV: First, tell us about yourself – who are you and what do you do?

Gail Perry-Mason: It’s a difference in what I do for a living versus what I do for a life… For a living I work at an investment firm and for a life I invest in others.

NNEDV: What are you currently working on related to nonviolence and/or gender equality?

GPM: I am currently working on several projects related to nonviolence and gender equality… AA490 in Detroit is a movement that I am proud of be part of and we have a goal to pay for all the rape kits that have been sitting on the shelves for so many years. Personally, I have hosted house parties, serve in a leadership role to reach out and get others involved and raise funds. Denim Day is another project that I am working on getting corporate America to participate in and raise funds for this important movement, but also bring awareness to this problem. We are hosting a fashion show in Detroit and raising funds for AA40 on Denim Day. I also speak on a regular basis at Salvation Army and many other women’s shelters to teach economic empowerment, but first we talk about the value in each other and themselves before we talk about the value in the dollar. I also give each of the women pearls and ask them to hold on to them and remember we must stick together like a strand of pearls, but pearls are always wounded before they shine.

NNEDV: What inspired you to do this work? What inspires you to continue it?

GPM: I was in foster care, and that is one of my inspirations to do this work, but also I work in an industry with all men and had to overcome so much… I also have abuse in my past, but going forward my passion to help others wakes me up daily. It is a blessing to be different and make a difference.

NNEDV: Let’s say you woke up this morning and gender-based violence had been completely eradicated. What are you going to do now?

GPM: If I woke up and found out that gender-based violence has been completely eradicated… What would I do? Build from that foundation and have women turn their story into their glory. Write books and wear pearls, but help others and give back to another cause.

NNEDV: If you could sit down over your beverage of choice with any person – living or dead – who would it be and why?

GPM: Princess Diana is my shero… She has a legacy of giving that will always live on. I would love to talk to her because I knew she loved her sons so much and loved the world with all of her heart.