We had the good fortune of connecting with Yoshiko Burney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yoshiko, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
The answer is honestly the same for both. When it hurts. But the pain is different for each option. Ever heard of growing pains? These are the things you MUST do to grow to the other side. These things hurt but eventually the pain will go away. They don’t take root and poison you. It’s similar to working out. When you initially start your muscles may hurt. You may become sore in the beginning because you are working muscles and limbs you haven’t in a while or ever. The more you do it the more you’ve gotten use to it and you see the results it no longer hurts or if it does, it’s good pain. That means keep going. When it’s time to give up that pain is poisonous, cancerous even. It takes root and it sets up infections. It doesn’t get better or doesn’t get stonier. It gets weaker and begins to kill other organs or things around it. When the relationship isn’t getting better no matter how hard you try. The job is increasingly wear thin on your mental stability. This pain is a clear sign it’s time to give up with dignity and grace.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a domestic violence survivor advocate. There are so many organizations who advocate but I differ from those. I focus on survivors of domestic violence. There is a difference win victims and survivors. So many organizations and people focus on victims (as they should because 1 in 3 women fall victim to abuse and they really need the support) but not enough people support survivors. Many feel alone, commit suicide, fall in depression and more because once they have left their abuse and don’t have proper support they consider going back (most will). I want to fight that. Survivors deserve a fair chance at life to NOT feel like they have to go back. This is NOT easy. Mainly because this niche is untapped so there is always an overwhelming response in the request of the services and events we provide. In addition to that many well-meaning people don’t understand the difference and they expect me, us, to go get their friends, co-workers and family members out of abusive relationships. Which we don’t do because that is dangerous. Survivor’s matter. I want people to know survivor’s matter. We celebrate them for leaving but we need to rally around them and support them when they have left. A survivor may not want to talk but leave the lines of communication open for when they do. I know only speak for them I am them. I’m a survivor.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I love Houston! Everywhere is hotspot but there are some places that stick out to me that I just have to visit. We gotta stop at Buzzles! It’s a snow cone spot and you literally can get any flavor (They have a pickle favor, try at your own risk, lol). It’s amazing and it has life sized games! I’ve had some great encounters at that place. Krab Queenz is an amazing crawfish spot by Influencer, @blameitonkway. It’s worth standing in that line for. They have delicious daiquiris and they have this delicious potato dish that is just *chef’s kiss* magnificent. If you’re looking for black creatives and a spot for good vibes and inspiration check out Cafeza. I went for a book launch event and they have live music that is generally original songs from young, black creatives and delicious meals. It’s in a quaint spot but has big vibes. ChaCho’s is a go to spot. Because if you come to Houston, TX you have to stop by ChaCho’s. You can get wings, Mexican food, hamburgers.. anything! We have to flick it up and take some good photos and the best photographer in the city is Tre’voy Kelly of Tre’voy Kelly Photography and stop by one of two of their amazing studios, North Houston Studio 106 and 300, which is also owned by his wife Dannie Kelly. You can have a good kick back there, take amazing photos. The whole venue is a vibe and so many influential people for the culture have walked through those doors. Last but far from least, we worship. Worship is a way of life. There’s no way you can come to Houston and not stop by Harvest Time Church in Greenspoint! Bishop Shelton Bady is the pastor and on any Sunday you can catch him preaching an amazing, tangible word. You can worship with all generations and see black excellence from ages of 15 to 70. Couldn’t ask for a better worship experience.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is dedicated to every woman who is a survivor. Keep on surviving!

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