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Breathe Sessions Live : Tashera Simmons
Sat, May 6, 2017, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CDT
Join us for another Breathe Sessions Live~
Guest Speaker: Tashera Simmons
Tashera Jamilia Draughn was born in New York, NY April 10, 1971 and is the eldest of eight children. In 1978, her Panamanian-born mother and Brooklyn-born father moved her and her siblings to a New York City suburb Yonkers, NY. Although Yonkers was a better place to live than the drug-filled Manhattan, things were very difficult for the Draughn family.
In 1985, Tashera and her siblings were abandoned due to her parents' struggles with stress and drugs, leaving Tashera to become the maternal figure while attending school and working odd jobs off the books to support her siblings. In 1989, after graduating Lincoln H.S. in Yonkers, NY, she started dating childhood friend and future husband, Earl Simmons (Def Jam recording artist DMX). Against most friends' and family's opinion about the "Dark Man X," Tashera stayed with Simmons until they got married in late 1998, after the rapper's second major deal with Def Jam -- his debut album "It's Dark and Hell is Hot."
In Tashera's own words, she explains "Marriage is complicated, and it's even harder under the scrutiny of flashing camera lights, the media and fans. Raising seven siblings was character building, but it did not prepare me for what my life would eventually become. Faith kept me by my husband's side every step of the way, and it has also changed me. As a celebrity wife, it is easy to become enthralled by the glitz and glamour and get lost in the entrapments of fame. Success has afforded us the best of everything. However, along with the wealth came the struggles. The relationship we once shared quietly became a public spectacle. The exposure started to become overwhelming as I desperately searched for any semblance of normalcy. My desire was to get away from the judgments, criticism and harassment. It was like watching our lives on the big screen unable to predict the next scene. As Earl's popularity increased, tribulations escalated."
After over 20 years together, four children and massive success, Tashera has decided to separate from DMX and move forward to focus on her family and independence. "Many have their opinions, some even say I should retreat, but God has given me the strength, and I have far more to learn. While this process is a strenuous one, I will only become wiser and more refined. Life as I once knew it has been long gone, replaced by the fast paced, cumbersome walk down celebrity road."
Currently, Tashera is in the process of filming a reality show titled "Starter Wives" as well as starting the non-profit foundation "Women of Strength." Women of Strength is a foundation that dedicates its time and resources for women and children whose lives have been affected by drug abuse, abandonment and other social conflicts. Its goal is to shelter and guide them to a new start in life by providing workshops that focus on the mental rehabilitation needed to re-enter society. Women of all ethnic backgrounds, religions and social classes can benefit from Women of Strength nationally and internationally. Pregnant teens, runaway women and domestic abuse victims can find open arms and a place of hope at the Women of Strength foundation.