MONTVILLE, NJ - OneMontville launches OneMontville Unites, an on-going speaker series to raise awareness for Acceptance, Respect and Kindness in the Montville Township, New Jersey community. The first panel, scheduled for Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 6:00 p.m., is entitled OneMontville Unites: Dare to Be Diverse – How to Stand Out and Fit In at the Same Time.
OneMontville Unites panels will provide a forum on diversity, action, perspective and what it takes to bring it all together to build a community.
Four area speakers will comprise the first OneMontville Unites. They will share their experiences, challenges, resources and community support ideas regarding topics such as: addiction, substance abuse, ethnicity, faith, teen suicide, gender, gender identity and more. All four speakers have roots in Montville Township. The evening will be moderated by former Montville Township Board of Education member and Montville Township High School alumnus Michael D. Johnson. Johnson is the founder of MSLstories.com with a mission to “shape the world through shared stories,” and is the author of From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Memoirs of a Student Leader.
The featured panelists include:
- Jamie Bruesehoff. A writer, speaker and advocate. The mother of three young children, including an 11-year-old transgender daughter, Bruesehoff tells her family’s story in order to educate and provide a catalyst for positive change. She holds a Masters in Arts and Religion from Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, and has been featured on GOOD MORNING BRITAIN, GOOD DAY PHILADELPHIA, HUFFINGTON POST, TEEN VOGUE, LGBTQ NATION and THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN.
- Kristin Canella. An area business owner, Canella empowers others and fosters change by sharing her own stories of recovery. She seeks to break the stigma of addiction and shed light on the barriers that form between addicts, their friends and loved ones. In weaving together personal anecdotes and scientific data, her presentations help go beyond perceptions to reach into the heart of this growing issue.
- Jenan Matari. An MTHS alumna, Matari is the founder and Editor-In-Chief of MISS MUSLIM. The 27-year-old American Muslim with Palestinian and Brazilian roots founded MISS MUSLIM to provide a forum for discussing topics such as faith, female/sexual health and dating. She prides herself on exploring topics deemed as too taboo or controversial for women in many communities to speak of. With a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies from Rutgers, Matari is a marketing guru based in New York City. She hopes to inspire more women to speak out and demand that their voices be heard. She also strives to highlight the global accomplishments of Muslim women.
- Wendy Sefcik. An active member of the community, Sefcik’s 16-year-old son, T.J., died by suicide on December 1, 2010. Since then she and her family have immersed themselves in educating themselves and others on the topic of teen depression and other mental health disorders in teens. By providing insight and resources, she strives to help others avoid the pain of suicide and mental illness. Sefcik sits on the Youth Suicide Prevention Council, The Morris County Stigma Free Task Force, The Philadelphia Suicide Prevention Task Force, and is a board member of the NJ Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She received the 2017 Suicide Prevention Award from the Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth and the 2015 Courage Award for Outstanding Commitment to Mental Health from the CarePlus Foundation.
OneMontville is a volunteer driven organization that launched in September of 2015 to help raise awareness of kindness and to encourage mindfulness of self and others.
The OneMontville mission is:
“To create and promote a climate of acceptance, inclusion and kindness which teaches and celebrates respect for one another by embracing and being enriched by the diversity that comprises the Montville Township Community. The mission can only be fully accomplished through the involvement and commitment of community leaders, religious leaders, business leaders, and residents of all ages, races, religions, ethnicities, abilities, gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The interactive OneMontville Unites panel discussions are designed for ages 13 to 113. OneMontville Unites: Dare to be Diverse - How to Stand Out and Fit in at the Same Time will be held Sunday, June 3 at 6:00 p.m. at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 70 River Road, Montville, NJ. The discussion also includes a lite fare. Tickets to the event are only $5 in advance and $7 at the door. To order tickets visit OneMontville.org.