The daughter of famed gospel jazz musician Ben Tankard and vivacious “Thicker than Water” cast member, has revealed many of her hardships on screen.
However, upon witnessing the recent rash of rapes, sexual assaults and suicides affecting people nationwide, she decided to do something, launching a powerful national tour – the I AM Free Concert & Convo, beginning on April 8th.
The I Am Free Concert & Convo will travel to over 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 2019 to empower students, alumni, faculty and the community with knowledge to eliminate physical, sexual and psychological violence.
“I couldn’t sleep because I was seeing all of the violence on social media and on TV. I experienced a lot of violence as a young girl and nearly died as a result of a rape,” Tankard said. “I almost internally bled to death. After I pitched the reality show on Bravo and it was picked up and broke ratings, I told God that I promise to use my platform to empower others and provide solutions to violence. I wanted to help others to walk in their purpose. That is what the tour is about.”
The tour is supported by the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the non-profit Bridge DA Gap, and various national celebrities and speakers. Among participants are family members Ben and Jewel Tankard from BRAVO’s “Thicker Than Water”, Grammy nominated producer and artist Khao, international motivational speaker William Hollis and many other special guests. Panels will address depression, domestic violence, low self-esteem, finances and other ailments that afflict students nationwide; to educate them on solutions and to empower them to make important life decisions that will place them on a trajectory of success and purpose.
Tankard stressed that while many leaders talk about these issues, very little is done to truly address them on a wide scale.
“How can we really solve the issues if we are not really dealing with the core issue,” she said. “It really comes down to learning how to have a mental paradigm shift and self-love. Love is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. I want to bring that on this tour. We are dealing with the entire person. The mind, the emotions, all of the above.”
The tour will kick off at Livingstone College in Salisbury, MD on April 8th and 9th. Additional dates and locations are listed on the website. Portions of the proceeds from each event will go towards providing resources to people who have been victims of violence.