Kel Kelly

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Whether it's topical news, internet happenings, social media, public relations, marketing, start-ups, mobile shiz or whatever, I promise to wade through the bullshit and give you my unbuffered perspective.

You'll note I never take on a "corporate tone" — whether I'm chatting you up at a party or speaking to the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, my voice never changes. I say what's on my mind and I'm often the champion of the underdog.

I'm a social media junkie and smoke Google Analytics in a crack pipe to get my day going. I hope my immersed insight and offbeat view make you laugh. More importantly, I hope you take a second and share your thoughts by posting a comment. If you have any ideas on how to make my blog better, shoot an email to [email protected].

Peace out.

I’m Brown. Are You?

February 23, 2011 1:44 PM

This post is not meant to be political. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a Democrat. Not a Nancy Pelosi-power-hungry-shove-my-personal-agenda-down-your-throat Democrat, but a Ted Kennedy-let’s-build-programs-that-support-those-in-need Democrat. Regardless, last week’s admission by Senator Scott Brown that he was sexually abused as a child greatly enhanced the respect I have for this iconic Republican figure. His admission of abuse took tremendous courage and he was able to elevate awareness around sexual abuse of children in a way that has yet to been done.

Child sexual abuse is an epidemic. As I’ve stated previously on this blog, I was sexually abused as a child by a really messed up uncle. Thankfully, I believe I am the resilient, stand-up-to-bullies and defend-the-underdog person I am today because of this sexual abuse and I would never go back and change my childhood. However, I do believe we, as a collective society, need to put a full throttle assault on child sexual abuse. And, I believe the only way to do this is through a well executed marketing campaign.

Breast cancer owns pink. Heart disease owns red. In light of Scott Brown’s recent disclosure, I think someone should launch a campaign called “I’m Brown.” The I’m Brown campaign would be a platform for people to come out and share that they too were a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I think unsurpassed strength, unity, dignity, and empowerment would come from not only the volume of people who stand up, but from the individual stories of those who stand up. As adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, we need to give a voice to the countless child victims who are unable to speak or be heard on their own.

The I’m Brown campaign is ideal for execution across all social media channels. The simple act of adding an I’m Brown iconic emblem to Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media profiles/platforms will ignite global awareness through its community of survivors and their social graph.

I think we should wear the I’m Brown statement like a badge of honor. There should be no shame. I’m Brown represents surviving an incomprehensible assault as a child. Let’s use a color that nobody thinks is appealing and take it back and own it. Let’s build a new identity and association for the color brown and take it to a place where it becomes synonymous with courage, survival and zero tolerance. Let’s let today’s kids know that adults who have identified with I’m Brown are a safe haven when it comes to disclosing they are being sexually abused. Let’s let kids know that I’m Brown adults will believe them and protect them. And most importantly, through the I’m Brown campaign, let’s put all sexual predators on alert that we as a society are going to circle the wagons around our children and defend them. Moreover, in honor of Scott Brown, I think we should propose and enact new legislation that is a “one strike you’re out” when it comes to sexually abusing children. If someone is convicted of sexually assaulting a child, they should be sentenced to life in prison. Period.

I’m Brown. Are you?

Please note: Comments on this blog are moderated. Any comments that are focused on personal attacks, bullying, threats or overall negativity will be removed.

Posted by Kel | in Uncategorized | 25 Comments »

25 Comments on “I’m Brown. Are You?”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Kel, I agree 100% with you and I think you should be the one to ignite the campaign. I can’t think of anyone better than you to lead this charge.

  2. Kel Says:

    michelle, this was the one time i was hoping someone would steal my idea and run with it.

  3. Dennis Prior Says:

    This is a good idea Kel or at least a good start. Unfortunately you are one of the very few who have come out of this terrible experience a stronger person. Most of the survivors suffer some form of life long symptoms. Most of the child molestor’s are victims of child sexual abuse themselves. Their are families that suffer through generational child abuse until someone in the family stands up and has the courage to say, “this is what happened to me”. Most suffer through this terrible experience thinking that they are the only ones who have suffered through this experience.

  4. Kel Says:

    dennis, thanks for taking the time to comment. unfortunately, my uncle probably did this to hundreds of kids, many of them were my relatives. stopping the cycle is very empowering. i think creating a network through something like i’m brown would empower many of these silent victims. healing is certainly a long, tough road, but one worth traveling. there is happiness to be had regardless of circumstances. thanks again for sharing your thoughts, dennis.

  5. Tom Says:

    Kel – it’s done, you’ve created it. I don’t know how you would have time to do it, but I’m happy to help in any way I can. I also think that democrats like us(I equate my politics to yours)are very drawn to Scott Brown and are willing to think differently about labels, which is really what we need on all fronts. Ideas, not labels. As a new caregiver of an infant I really understand the need to raise this awareness. I can’t bear the thought of anything like this happening to my beautiful niece, Maya.

  6. Jenn Says:

    Kel -

    This is genius and it should be something that people in all parties get behind. Heck – it would be great to see something launch with Sen. Brown and Oprah Winfrey, who has done a lot of work in getting us to talk about this nasty topic.

    Child sexual abuse sucks, but it can be something that people overcome. One of my cousins was unfortunately abused by one of her uncles. It was horrid when it happened, but a lot of love and therapy, she didn’t let this be the defining element of her life. She was an honors high school grad who graduated #1 in her major.

    Brown can be beautiful and a one-strike law would be fantastic. This epidemic needs to stop.

    Great idea!

  7. Tweets that mention Kel Kelly Blog – I’m Brown. Are you? -- Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by kelkelly, Jenn O'Meara. Jenn O'Meara said: Lagging RT Good idea! RT @kelkelly new blog post: "i'm brown. are you?" (child sexual abuse survivor) [...]

  8. Kel Says:

    tom, we need to catch up. would love to hear what the catalyst was for you moving in with maya. she is soooo lucky to have someone as amazingly kindhearted and funny as you directly influence her upbringing. and you are so lucky! my hope is someone takes this idea and runs with it. not sure where i would find the bandwidth, but stranger things have happened.

  9. Kel Says:

    jenn, i’m sorry to hear about your cousin. i agree that love, support and therapy can get you through anything. that’s why i think this could be amazingly powerful. so many victims feel isolated and alone. creating this network would be so empowering.

  10. Marybeth Says:

    Kel – Again, your strength and determination are truly inspirational. I’m sorry you suffered at the hands of an uncle. It’s sickening.
    I think the “I’m BROWN. Are you?” campaign is a wonderful idea – and one I’m happy to help take off. I don’t know how to do this type of thing – but I can lend a hand to someone who does.
    You continue to prove that one person can change the world…Love you girlfriend!

  11. Nicky Says:

    I am brown. I was molested by my father, my brother, my cousin, and also a female babysitter. I must have had the words “abuse me” on my forehead.

    Kel, thanks for this post. I will behind you in any way I can be. Children who have been sexually abused need to find their voices. We need to implement programs, causes, platforms to allow that to happen!

  12. Geo Says:

    Wow Kel, well done… great idea, I love the putting politics aside whenever possible…
    I Met SB at a few Memorial Day parades in town (he’s from the next town over) and he is a great guy and it is admirable what he has done. You’ve done well yourself despite challenges in life, I’m proud to call you cousin & friend.

  13. Pamela Pine Says:

    Great idea! There’s a child abuse color — actually, pretty much the color you have here, and Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse ( kind of went off the hue just a little bit and we’ve been pushing a sort of aqua, but, brown and aqua looks nice! Kel, see my e-mail to you. Thanks! Best, Pam

    Pamela Pine, Founder and CEO, Stop the Silence.

  14. Kel Says:

    thanks, marybeth. i love you too. i just reached out to the “stop csa” org ( to see if they wanted to use it.

  15. Kel Says:

    nicky, hearing your story makes me so sad. i admire your courage to even be able to type the words “i’m brown.” i am sending you a big hug from boston.

  16. Kel Says:

    geo, thank you for the kind words. i love you too.

  17. Kel Says:

    pamela, thank you for everything you do for these kids. i’m agnostic to the color and only look to elevate the awareness through any campaign that will be effective. i’ll take a look at your email and hope i can help in some way. thanks again for giving these children a voice.

  18. Deb P Says:

    Great idea Kel and one I will stand behind 100%. You are courageous and continue to inspire me.

  19. Kel Says:

    right back at you deb!

  20. Karen Says:

    This is a worthwhile revolution to start! I will support in any way–breaking this cycle is vital to elimininting the problem entirely. Getting it out in the open is always the first step. Thank you, and Scott Brown, for taking it.

  21. Kel Says:

    karen, your kind comments of support — via my blog or twitter — are always appreciated. thank you, thank you, thank you. i love the social media graph that has brought you into my life.

  22. Jay Says:

    You amaze me. Your courage and honesty is inspiring. Brown it is.

  23. Kel Says:

    jay, let you son’s friend know brown is here for her. please give her my cell (781.690.3213) and email ([email protected]). the potential for the future is always far brighter than the past.

  24. Anne Says:

    Love the idea. I’m a supporter for sure. What the world needs is more support systems like this. Great idea Kel.

  25. Kel Says:

    thanks anne! i appreciate you taking the time to comment.

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