I am God’s daughter, and a voice for Him. My calling is to be a Force for Good, on the cutting edge of the fight to end oppression, stop the violence and change the world.
- Carissa Daniels
Carissa Daniels is a survivor, but much more…
Because of her faith, she survived an abusive home as a child, and overcame that to become a successful contemporary Christian singer and song-writer. A classically trained lyric soprano, she has sung everything from opera to music theatre, to pop and religious music. When a nearly-fatal car crash ended her music career, she regrouped and found that her communication skills were the underlying gift. Carissa graduated Cum Laude from Bailie School of Broadcast, and worked as a radio news anchor, producer and news director until undergoing an anthrax scare, and spending a week on cipro in 2001. Nothing is wasted in our lives, and God can use our experiences to guide us in the direction we are meant to go long-term. Today Carissa works on the other side of the mic, being interviewed by the media and legislators as she works for change. Music is still an outlet for her when she gets the chance, and a way to express her faith.
One of the reasons for Carissa’s expertise in domestic violence related issues is that she is a survivor. Eighteen years ago, after leaving a domestic violence relationship (along with her then 3-year-old daughter) Carissa started over from nothing, in a place she knew no one. She knows what victims face, because she lived it, and understands the intricacies of abuse, including the spiritual component. Healing for her was a process of years, and a journey that led her down the path to a deeper faith than she had before the abuse. Carissa has also been through other adversity, including surviving a house fire sixteen months after leaving the abuse, and losing nearly all material possessions for the second time. Despite all this, Carissa started over again, and built her new life, then was given the vision to use her knowledge and experiences to help others to build new lives. In 2007, she used her personal experience and basic advocate training to invent a whole new form of “domestic violence advocacy without borders.” Carissa says that the work that she does had deepened and widened her prayer life, because she knows that in herself, she doesn’t have the knowledge or abilities to fix many of the complex problems faced by those she works with. It is in prayer that she connects with God who guides and directs her, as she supports and encourages those she serves. Part of the vision Carissa was given means helping people to heal and become successful after leaving abuse and other major life crisis. She has personally overseen or worked with 9,000 plus survivors online over the last nine years, in addition to the people she supports and mentors “in the real world.”
Carissa’s advocacy experiences, and her heart to create change and stop abuse encouraged her to go back to school so she could better help fix the broken system. At the time she returned to school, she was over 50, and most people would be thinking about retirement. Instead, she is a senior in college, working toward her bachelors in Communications with a minor in film studies, focused on film production, with the desire to share her message with many more people, and making a lasting positive difference. She also works with the media and state and national legislators to create positive change and fix the system for those who need it most. Carissa’s faith is core to her life, and she has no doubt that is what enabled her to survive circumstances that others have not. It is also central to true healing. Carissa is passionate about educating, mentoring, and enlightening those going through life challenges and crisis. She also works to help survivors uncover their unique gifts, use them to help others, heal and become successful.
"I’m Ms. Alberts Goddaughter, my Grandmother and Mrs. Albert were best friends and neighbors. I met my Godsister Roberta after my Godmother passed away and because of the video the two of them made, I went on to be a first responder for the flood victims in Atlanta. My Sis, as I fondly call Roberta is the REAL THING, thank you"
- Marcina Lanee Gilliam