Victims of homicide speak out to help others find their reason to stand.
NORTH OGDEN – There is no promise of a perfect life, but at A Reason to Stand, many have found healing, and—despite their horrific pain— the drive to keep writing a new story full of hope.
A Reason to Stand is a non-profit organization founded by Ashlee (Birk) Boyson—and now teaming up with fellow homicide victim Allicia Johnson and business expert Diana Pyper— their mission is to help victims of traumatic experiences become part of a tribe and community where brave survivors are born.
On Friday, March 1st A Reason to Stand will be partnering with the Weber High Hope Squad, to bring survivors from all walks of life to unite for a conference at the Weber High School Auditorium from 6-10 p.m. to listen to this weeks golden buzzer winner Kechi Okwuchi from America’s Got Talent, Jennie Taylor, the widow of fallen North Ogden City Mayor Brent Taylor, and other survivors share tools and inspiration about how to heal from traumatic events that have happened in their lives.
Attendees will also be entertained with special musical numbers by Kechi and Ashley Hess, a member of the nonprofit board, who will be making her debut two days later performing on American Idol.
A Reason to Stand began as Boyson told her story of trauma and how she was able to persevere after the murder of her husband.
As told on Dateline NBC, on March 11, 2011 detectives told Boyson that her husband was having an affair and had been shot two times—once in the forehead and once in the heart—just hours before by his secret mistresses’ husband. She was now a widow and single mother of five children.
After years of waiting for the murder trial, Ashlee found herself stuck in a dark, fearful world. As the trial came to an end, nothing changed. She began to find peace in words, writing on a blog she called The Moments We Stand (www.themomentswestand.com) She shared her fears, insecurities, and faith for anyone who also felt broken. Through her readers, an online family was formed.
“I wish I would have known all that time that I wasn’t alone—that there were others who had walked dark roads and we could do it together,” Boyson said.
She began to be driven to help those stuck in the fear and grief of losing a life they once knew, to feel brave enough to start again and know they weren’t alone. After her story aired on Dateline NBC, Dr. Phil, and many other murder mystery series Boyson found friendships from all over the world forming. After a call from Allicia Johnson sharing the story of her father’s murder, they began to realize that though no two stories were the same, the PTSD and crippling trauma they had lived— were almost identical.
As more stories were shared, the common thread of fear and pain united survivors from all walks of life living a story they did not choose to become apart of the family A Reason to Stand—which is quickly turning into a global movement as they collaborate with communities, businesses and other non-profits working to spread light.
For more information, please visit aReasonToStand.org.