Sojourner’s mission is to transform lives impacted by domestic violence. I can’t think of a more transformative example of our mission in practice than a group of survivors performing one-of-a-kind lullabies alongside the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
We walk with our clients during some of the worst times in their lives, so we seek opportunities to provide even small moments where they can be the authors of their own love and joy. And the Lullaby Project did just that. The performances were nothing short of magical. To witness the children of these courageous and resilient women cheer for and sing along with their moms was indescribably powerful.
I feel so lucky that I got to be involved in this Milwaukee pilot from the start. To witness such deserving survivors experience joy and grow closer to their children in the process was such a gift.
When children witness or experience violence in the home, it changes who they are at their core. So we are always looking for opportunities that provide families with a sense of safety and security. These can begin to repair and heal both mom and child while strengthening their bond.
I think the most important thing I do in my job is create spaces for survivors to feel safe enough to dream again. So when one participant shared that her lifelong dream was to play with the Symphony but never imagined it would come true, I saw the power of that transformation in her. Her belief about what is possible in her life expanded. Another participant is a cancer survivor, and shared her gratitude for this gift she can give her children that will live on, even if she doesn’t. Another survivor described music as a personal escape, and shared that her mom would sing to soothe and calm her, which she now does for her own children.
The Lullaby Project reminded us that music is a universal connector, and has the power to heal.
Julie Yeado is Supervisor of Life Skills and Strategic Partnerships at Sojourner Family Peace Center. We're sharing stories from participants in our 2018 Lullaby Project, launched in partnership with Sojourner Family Peace Center last season, as we gear up for #GivingTuesday, November 27. Learn how you can support our community programs like this initiative at mso.org/giving.