Sticks And Stones
Jerondia Conley was born March 15,1960 in Clayton, NJ. The fourth child born to Louis and Berta Conley but something was different about Jerondia. She was born with Cerebral Palsy. During a time when many were unsure about what exactly that diagnosis meant, especially in the African-American community. This group of disorders, that is Cerebral Palsy, can involve brain and nervous system functions. Affecting movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. Her physical differences set her apart from not only other children but also members of her immediate family. The lack of education about the disorder led to alienation and bullying this treatment caused Jerondia to suffer from deep depression for many years.
This depression led her to become suicidal, after attempting to take her own life she says she had a moment with God. That in order to keep living she would need God to show her how to use the burden that was Cerebral Palsy for the good. From that came Sticks and Stones, her motivational speaking presentation where she discusses the affects of bullying. She speaks in depth about how name calling and alienation of others. The program names come from the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Jerondia wanted to take that and show that names in fact do hurt and can even take lives. She has been a motivational speaker for over 15 years, has helped to write legislation for the state of New Jersey on behalf of people living with disabilities. She’s won multiple awards for her work with Sticks and Stones, as well as being a bold advocate for the disabled.
Having a Mom with Cerebral Palsy
Jerondia’s son James speaking about his mother during the conclusion of her motivational speaking program Sticks and Stones.
Being a Mom with Cerebral Palsy
Jerondia talks about giving up her first child for adoption because she didn’t feel she was equipped to be a mother. Then changing that mindset and making the decision to keep her second son James and raise him by herself.