Starting from more than humble beginnings, NABJ award-winning writer and domestic violence advocate Sil Lai Abrams has overcome addiction, mental health issues, domestic violence and a ninth grade education to arise triumphant through the use of the nine step self-help methodology called the Self Empowerment Principles In Action (SEPIA) Process which she created and described in her first book No More Drama: 9 Simple Steps to Transforming a Breakdown Into a Breakthrough.
Abrams self-published No More Drama in 2007 when her then literary agent dropped her after reading the final manuscript, telling her “as a self-help author, you don’t have the platform needed for me to be able to sell this book.” Faced with giving up or pressing forward, Abrams went on to raise six figures in angel funding to start Sepia LLC, a media and publishing company dedicated to transforming the lives of women of color through books, workshops and lectures on women’s empowerment.
Through Sepia Press Publishing, a division of Sepia LLC, Sil Lai published and distributed No More Drama while simultaneously building a national women’s empowerment platform. Eventually No More Drama was nationally distributed in Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores and went on to sell over 8,000 copies. Sil Lai is currently working on her second book, a memoir based upon her 2011 NABJ “Salute to Excellence” award winning article of the same name in EBONY magazine. Tentatively entitled Passing Strangely, it is scheduled to be released through Karen Hunter Publishing/Simon & Schuster in 2015. In addition to her long form writing, Sil Lai has served as Men’s Fitness and EBONY.com’s relationship expert, penning a regular advice column and has been a regular contributing writer at TheGrio.com.
Sil Lai’s inspirational life story and practical spiritually-based advice has helped Sil Lai become a highly sought after public speaker and workshop facilitator, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Medical Association, and Harvard University being just a few of the distinguished organizations that have used her speaking services.
Presently, Sil Lai is the founder and CEO of Truth In Reality, a media advocacy organization fiscally sponsored by the Vera Institute of Justice, that is dedicated to changing the negative portrayal of women in the media, especially on reality television. Through digital advocacy, public awareness campaigns and educational programs they aim to change society’s acceptance of gender-based violence and ultimately reduce its incidence in the Black community. In October 2014, Truth in Reality launched “Redefining HERstory”, national campus social action program universities and colleges across the country. “Redefining HERstory” explores, defines and implements social norms that promote gender equity and respect for women and girls by reducing rigid stereotypes, increasing male accountability for the prevention of sexual violence, and determining community perceptions around gender-based violence. Redefining HERstory is the first program of its kind to use media messaging and literacy as tools to educate and transform student attitudes towards sexual and domestic violence.
A passionate advocate for greater awareness of domestic violence, Sil Lai has spoken extensively on the subject on Al Jazeera America, CNN, ABC, TvOne, MSNBC and Fox and has been featured in Modern Women, Ebony, Redbook, Sister 2 Sister and Oprah magazines, as well as PINE-SOL’S “POWERFUL DIFFERENCE” CAMPAIGN, a national cause marketing effort that celebrates women making a positive difference in their communities. She is also an active supporter of organizations that combat domestic violence, proudly serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.