Gwendolyn Robinson recognized as community ‘hidden jewel’

Gwendolyn Robinson

Gwendolyn Robinson recognized as community ‘hidden jewel’
December 09
15:26 2020

Domestic violence and sex trafficking have been on the rise in recent years. In 2020 we have seen yet another spike in those statistics. Gwendolyn Robinson, president and founder of Beautiful Countenance Inc., was recently honored for her work in combating these issues by The Hidden Jewels Project.

Robinson was awarded the 2020 Omni Advocacy Award on Nov. 14 during a virtual award ceremony. Robinson is the first winner of the award, created by Rev. Kezra Y. Marshall, who is the founder of the Hidden Jewels Project.  Beautiful Countenance is a local advocacy group that assists victims and their families with resources related to domestic violence.

“I was so elated to find out I won the award, because when she (Marshall) called she said to me ‘We want to recognize not only people in the community that are doing things towards domestic violence and domestic abuse, but we want to recognize you because you are what we consider a hidden jewel, which means you have been doing this for a long time and a lot of people are not aware of all you do.’ So I was absolutely floored by that statement,” said Robinson of how she felt when she was notified she was the award winner.

“I was so appreciative it literally made tears come to my eyes. When you get involved in what you are called to do, you just work, so a lot times you are not aware or conscious of the hours or money you have spent. You are not aware because you are just working; you are just doing what it is your heart loves and what it is you were called to do.”

The Hidden Jewels Project is a domestic violence advocacy organization and their focus is educating the public about the issue. Marshall stated she created the award in memory of her mother, who was a domestic violence survivor and advocate.

“It was very important to me to highlight someone that is doing the work behind the scenes, but that people have not had the opportunity to see and Gwendolyn was the first person that dropped in my spirit when I thought of this award,” said Marshall. “For me, it’s about making sure I elevate those and use my platform for those to shine, so Gwendolyn, most definitely, was one of the ones I wanted to shine because of the work she does in the community.

“I had the privilege of meeting her four or five years ago and I just fell in love with her and her spirit. I was just so privileged and honored to spotlight her and every future recipient will be like her, doing a lot of the work in the community, but no one is shining a spotlight on them.”

Marshall says her mother always put community and family first, so when Marshall thought about the award, Robinson was the only person that she thought of.

“I am sorry, I know there were other people deserving of this award, but she was literally the only person I thought of for this award this year, because she embodied so many qualities of my mother,” said Marshall. “That was one of the reasons why she was my first recipient, not only for the work she does in the community, but just the spirit of how she works. She has such a sweet spirit, and she is always trying to do something to help someone and that was who my mother was.

“I am very prayerful in what I do and it is very important to me that I do this as God is leading me, so when I say she was the only person, she was the only person because that’s who God told me to highlight.”

Marshall stated she held a large conference centered on domestic violence six years ago. She says God put it in her heart to hold a virtual conference this year, so she began to plan the conference and hold it before the holiday season.

She included domestic violence survivors in the conference, along with speakers and social workers that all touched on the subject from different perspectives. She plans to have a smaller series of conferences coming up in March of next year.

Robinson stated this is the first award she has received for her work with Beautiful Countenance. She says this has given her a renewed sense of energy that will allow her to work even harder for those dealing with domestic violence issues.

“This award absolutely made me feel reinvigorated and it also makes me want to make sure we are getting our name out there,” Robinson said.  “Our main goal is to have a place for people to stay and we are actively looking for a house, so we can have temporary housing for people to get back on their feet.”

Robinson and Marshall plan to collaborate in the near future through their nonprofit organizations.  Marshall says it is time for them to have a meeting of the minds to better help the community and those dealing with domestic violence.

For more information or those in need of assistance, you can contact Beautiful Countenance at 336-891-0564, through email at, or on Facebook.  Beautiful Countenance currently has a fundraiser going all month that will go towards helping young women.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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