Sylvia Bennett-Stone

Friday Night Preliminary


Sylvia Bennett-Stone serves as a dedicated Servant-Leader and National Director of the Voices of Black Mothers United (VBMU) initiative of Washington D.C. When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to begin to unravel. Tragically, in 2004 Krystal Joy, daughter of Sylvia Bennett- Stone, was the victim of a senseless violent crime. In this, Bennett-Stone discovered great passion in turning her anger and grief into healing power for helping to serve and heal other mothers that experienced similar tragedy. She began her life-long commitment to uplift the lives of others through her own pain. However, Sylvia’s commitment began as she served our country in the US Army military branch for 6 years. She then began her professional career as Director of Community Services for Metro Atlanta YMCA’s and later becomes Director of Community Service for Birmingham YMCA’s.

In Bennett-Stone heart, that wasn’t enough, she saw the need for preventative services. After realizing she wanted to focus her energy on assisting the juvenile offender’s population, in 1997 Ms. Stone developed and is currently founder / CEO of Innovative Approach Foundation. Innovative Approach has worked to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and provided betterment to communities through program and resource development. Throughout the years, she’s partnered with Jefferson County Family Court, DeKalb County GA Detention Center, Selma AL Courts, and Bessemer City /County Courts. Programs included, the 1st Court Employment Project (juvenile employment), The 1St Teen Summit, Community Service Projects, Alternative Sentencing Projects and Court Educational Project (on-site GED). Sylvia was the first African American female to develop and implement these services. Her most recent involvement with the courts, she’s partnered with The Birmingham Municipal Court, to develop and implement the 1st ever full-service driver’s license recovery program.

As a loving mother, Bennett-Stone commitment to the communities intensified by implementing non- violence solutions in high crime neighborhoods across the Country.

Through her humble efforts to help other mothers survive, Bennett-Stone chronicles her own healing journey in her book Mindfields: A Healing Journey to Survive the Murder of a Child.  She’s a renowned speaker and has been featured in notable prints such as USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Christian Post, Essence Magazine, NY Post, Daily News and TV media includes Fox News, CBN, NBC and numerous radio outlets.

Sylvia Bennett-Stone is also certified as National Victims Service Advocate. It is from these committed efforts to serve the community, that she founded Voices of Black Mothers United. VBMU is a national movement bringing together the mothers of victims of community violence, as a force for change. VBMU is committed to addressing deficiencies that have resulted in community violence and the deterioration of the family. With Bennett-Stone at the helm as National Director, Woodson Center Voices of Black Mothers United initiatives have grown respectfully to the service thousands of mothers in more than twenty-three states. Sylvia’s approach has been first the healing process and assisting the mothers to develop/ implement solutions to address senseless community violence utilizing the approach “One Block at a Time.

All Sessions by Sylvia Bennett-Stone