Cleveland, OH, U.S.
Beverly Gooden is an American writer, public speaker, social activist, and creator of the viral domestic violence movement, Why I Stayed. She is author of the book, Confessions of a Church Girl. Confessions was nominated for a 2007 African American Literary Book Award. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times  and NBC's TODAY.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Beverly resided in foster care until being adopted as a child by the Gooden family. After attending several high schools, she graduated with honors from St. Peter Chanel High School in Bedford, Ohio. In 2005, Beverly graduated from Hampton University with a degree in Communications. She went on to attend Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Pastoral Studies, and graduated with a master's degree in Social Justice. Following the Financial crisis of 2007–08, Beverly worked for various government and nonprofit agencies to secure or administer resources for those affected by the crisis. As a grant recipient of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 housing funding, Beverly worked with organizations to find stable and affordable housing for families facing housing insecurity in Hampton Roads, Virginia and Northwest Georgia.
Domestic Violence Activism
On September 8, 2014, Beverly started the Twitter hashtag #WhyIStayed in response to the Ray Rice video released by TMZ. A survivor of domestic violence, Beverly tweeted several reasons why she remained in an abusive marriage. The hashtag created a global movement to end victim-blaming and provided survivors of domestic violence an avenue for telling their stories.
Why I Stayed was listed as one of the top social change hashtags of 2014 by Forbes, and one of the top 10 hashtags that started a conversation by TIME Magazine. In March 2015, Why I Stayed was recognized as one of 8 hashtags that changed the world.