Javonne Kirby: meet the board
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born and raised in New Jersey and then moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia about 18 years ago. I moved here with my daughter and mother and we have enjoyed the Fredericksburg community quite immensely since we got here and now I have been affiliated with Downtown Greens for some time and have been chosen for this interview for Meet the Board!
Tell us more about your family and the work they’ve done!
Finding Fredericksburg wasn’t so hard for my family because my mother actually grew up in King George and went to Montfort Academy. Her father, Robert Eugene Harvey, was a Principal, and her mother, Ester Harvey, was one of the first African American teachers. My grandfather fought long and hard for desegregation of the schools which ended up making them not the most popular people in the community, so they eventually relocated to New Jersey and it all happened from there.
What was it that made you come back?
We were originally looking at houses in King George, which is lovely and great, but just a little far away from some of the things I enjoy, like the artsy community, and community in general. For me and my family personally we wanted to be a bit closer to the city, but not right in the middle.
You have a passion for helping individuals with struggling with addiction and fostering safe spaces for people in the margins. Can you tell us a little more about that?
I do have a passion for helping people who are struggling with addiction. Addiction was a large part of my family background and I am surrounded by a lot of people that struggle with it. So providing a safe space or just learning more about it and teaching people about it is something that I enjoy being a part of. Going towards the future, it is something that I would seek employment in.
What made you want to be on the board here?
What made me want to be a part of the board was why not if I could bring something positive to the table and help things grow. This is a space that I really enjoy being in. My daughter and I have come here on and off for four years or maybe more. It was always a safe space for us and promoted family and unity and was a great atmosphere to work together. So that was something I came to enjoy and admire about Downtown Greens. So when I took a spot on the board I thought if I could be a part of that and help it grow and reach more people outside of my family, how great could that be?
You have some amazing projects that you have been working on!
Needles to say, I don’t like being still. So anything I can do to occupy my time, like learning and creating. I like getting my hands dirty so anything where I can take something apart and put it back together, I will sign up for. I like taking things that most people would consider a lost cause and turning it into something that is beautiful. I was in my backyard and one project turned into two, then three. I realized my hands were just creating, and at the end all the emotion and healing had morphed itself into a really healing space that continues to grow. Another thing that I love about it is that everything I have done back there, I have the potential to see it grow in the future.
What is your favorite plant?
My favorite plant is a flower, and I know this is basic, but I love daylilies! They are so versatile and beautiful! They’re wild and come as they please and show up anywhere.
You can find the full video interview here!
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