Crab Cake Row: TurnAround providing support for victims of worst crimes against women and children

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Former Ravens Super Bowl XXXV champion running back Femi Ayanbadejo tells Nestor why TurnAround earned his support for survivors of abuse from Faidley’s on “A Cup Of Soup Or Bowl Week” for the Maryland Food Bank.


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Femi Ayanbadejo, Amanda Rodriguez, Nestor J. Aparicio, Jonathan Brown

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00

Welcome back, we are live at fade Lee’s it is crabcake row. We’re doing a cup of soup or bowl. I’m doing that. So Uncle Roger doesn’t come after me from the National Football League. It is Super Bowl week. Femi. I’ve been Dasia has played in Super Bowls. You always played two Super Bowls, and is visited several has been on the show for many, many times. But we talk to yoga, we talk football itself, but this is charity community. A group called turn around was made known to me I want to say it was Christmas time couple eight weeks ago. Dr. Steve le Nelly chiropractic Life Center has been my friend for quarter of a century but my chiropractor, and he was gathering like underwear and clothes and stuff and like the corner in like a box. And I’m like, What are you doing dude? Like, what is this for? He’s like, I’m doing this for this group called turnarounds. And what did he do? He’s like, you know, I’m not really sure I’m not 100% Sure. I know. They do good things. And I said, All right, I’m doing this crab cake, bro thing. And next thing I know, I’m emailing with John. Then he’s asking me all these really important questions like all the things we’re going to talk about him like it’s not that kind of show. We just kind of get together. And next thing I know Femi is on his way over here. And I didn’t talk to you. You didn’t talk to me. I’m on a thread. I’m surprised. He still likes me enough to come out so early. Because we haven’t done yoga together. I want to meet Amanda Rodriguez. Also Jonathan brown here for turning around. I need to learn about turnarounds. So welcome. Thanks for coming. Yeah,



thanks so much for having Oh, I’m

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:53

just gonna get your headset. Right. There you go. There you go. Yeah, I wanna make sure I can hear you, Jonathan. Yes. What is turnaround? Let’s start with that.

Jonathan Brown  16:59

So turnaround Incorporated, has two offices, one in downtown Baltimore, and one in Towson. We offer programs and therapy in a variety of different services for victims of sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence, myself serious stuff is heavy lifting here. And me personally, one of the reasons I kind of came over initially, I came from a development area in education working in a college university. And one of the things I’m kind of passionate about is fundraising. And also make sure people have what they need to succeed. Especially, you know, even from a personal standpoint, you know, I do have several friends who were survivors of several things that we do cover, and always wanted to do a little bit more for our community and society. Um, so I’m proud I’ve been with turnaround, a little over two years, it seems like a lot longer. But actually talking to the staff, and actually seeing the work that they do really goes a long way. Because I think sometimes we get so used to seeing things on TV, and it doesn’t connect because it hasn’t come to our front door. But once you actually talk to our staff, hear the stories that they’ve had over the years, very interesting stories, and also stories that really connect to your heart. It makes you want to do the work and makes you feel like you’re doing something greater than yourself. Wow. Well said brother. Holy moly,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:17


well, man, how long has it been around turnaround I again, I feel ignorant that I only heard of it recently. But I heard of it organically. Somebody I know was doing something to help you and told me about it said hey, you want to help them drop some stuff off or create awareness through my platform, which is my gift? You know, my wife got sick. I think I told you my wife got sick. And I decided like watching these doctors and nurses keep my wife alive. That was more important than like football. No offense, oh, no, no, where you’re pitching with the baseball loan or anything that would happen on a field of play. I mean, see real life things, but you’re dealing with heavy heavy trauma here.


Yeah, we’ve been around for 45 years, is their 45th year. And so I think that the statement around your learning about it organically is awesome. And we need to build awareness in our community. Because we serve we’re the only rape crisis center for Baltimore County and City. So we need to make sure that people that need us have access to us right away, which means we have to spread the awareness in the streets, make people make sure that people know that we’re here, which is the unfortunate reality like this is the kind of work that kind of happens behind closed doors. So it’s hard to get out into the public to say, hey, we’re here we’re here for you.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:18

We say rape crisis. Someone’s unfortunately has an incident in Baltimore County, in Parkville Dundalk with a wherever it is, wherever it is, have a victim hospital, that you’re the next step for a victim.

Amanda Rodriguez  19:32

We can be the first step first step or the next step. It’s really there’s no wrong door. So if somebody needs is sexually assaulted is a victim of domestic violence is a victim of trafficking and they need support in that moment to figure out what to do next. They can call us we have a 24/7 hotline. Some of that recommendation may be to go to the hospital. Some of it may be what’s right for you right now. And so at any point in their journey, they can then continue to reach out to us so we can make sure that they have everything that they need. We serve a lot of folks that are under the poverty line as an example 70% of our folks are under the poverty line when they come to us. So how can we make sure that they’re building sustainable lifestyles so that they can go out and build community for themselves. And part of the support there is just making sure that they can get employment, they can get education, they can get housing that they need. So it’s really an all of the above approach to make sure that we’re comprehensively serving a survivor. Feminine.


Nestor J. Aparicio  20:19

She involved this. Yeah.

Femi Ayanbadejo  20:21

So Amanda had known who I was, I just think from just all kinds of things I have my fingers in. And I guess she heard me say something or speak about some things. And she’s like, Yeah, just wanted me to come there. They were doing event at the at Raven stadium, okay. It was like their holidays slash survivor. That was seven weeks of giving, giving, right. And then there was a, there was some survivors there that had written some poetry. And I was there just to sign autographs and kind of hang out. And I kind of approached a man on the side, I said, Hey, look, this touches me because like I’ve been, you know, my family. I grew up in an environment with domestic violence. I’ve seen my mom get beaten, I’ve seen some of the men, my mom’s dated as beat have been me and my brother and my sister, right. So it was personal on a lot of levels. And so when I saw the work they were doing, and I saw the impact, and the message of the survivors had kind of come through the process, the clinical side of it, right. They had gotten the counseling and the therapy that dealt with the trauma. I said, Wow, I need to work with them in some capacity. So I basically approached Amanda about some level of kind of contract consulting work, you know, obviously, I have a background in business development, strategic planning, and data and all these different things. And so we put together kind of a multi prong strategy that I’ve come on board, it’s been about a year now almost a year to the day, right. When we met at that Starbucks, you guys are having Yeah. So you know, we put together a plan and I wanted to use like my little c celebrity that I have in this community, to just get people to wake up and hear like, hey, look, there’s all these nonprofits that you associate with and you donate to and I love it. Please keep keep donating all week. But the problem is, though, is that the most difficult work is around domestic violence, right? Rape and trafficking. And a lot of people don’t want to talk about the kids the collateral damage, right, the children, these these women and young boys that are get traffic that they have a prostitution on their records. Now, those things need to get to get expunged. Amanda was a former prosecutor. So there’s a lot of different things from a legislative level, to on the ground micro level, just helping people survive and give them what they need, whether it’s food, a ride, council therapy, they do all of it. And I think the difficult thing is, is that a lot of people don’t want to talk about the effects of the things that they address, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, rape, trafficking, all these different things are complicated, and they’re not easy to talk about, I think

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:35

we have talked about, but

Femi Ayanbadejo  22:37


I think a lot of people would rather go I’m gonna donate to the Boys and Girls Club, I’m going to donate to this I’m gonna donate to you. And first of all, boys club is great, wonderful living classrooms is amazing. We are actually talking to James and I are very close. So we’re talking to them. But I think that there’s a lot of these organizations that you donate to that can make you feel good right away, because it’s workforce development. It’s education, it’s these things that like are really important. But turnaround does all of it. And the recovery part of it too, which I think is like the most difficult part.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:02

You mentioned Towson and Baltimore. I guess I’m familiar with the Towson side because my Chiropractor Dr. Steve’s in Towson, and he was doing it for you said they were here at Towson. Told me more about where you are and and helping people in our community because you have more than one location. But we did


we and we serve the entirety of Baltimore County, the entirety of Baltimore City. So sometimes it’s like my office location is here. But we we send staff out all over the county, we send staff out all over the city to make sure that we are showing up where survivors need us. And Towson, it is a non disclosed location, although our address is sometimes out into the public, because it’s an office location, but we do serve people there. So we’re in town and we’re not near target, but you don’t house anyone not on site. Okay. So, but

Femi Ayanbadejo  23:43

they do help house people that need to get out of the environment that they’re in. Absolutely. It tells to talk a little bit about the sorry, the safe house. So that’s I mean, there’s what one of six days how safe houses in the country? Correct. Right. So talk about I think that’s the biggest thing, and it’s, it’s the most amazing projects are just getting started. I


know every time I know thank you for me. Yeah, so I can use the bathroom

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:04

and family just go to the bathroom.


So turn around in partnership with the YWCA of Arundel County and Annapolis is opening the first home that’s dedicated for child trafficking victims in the state. There are only six in the country right now that we know of that are open and operational. And there are none in Maryland at all. And so it has been a labor of love as someone who’s done this work for 15 years to finally be opening something that I know is so desperately needed in our community. But it’s also a first so there are a ton of hurdles that you have to get over to get to the place this wonderful location is open. But we are hoping that it’s going to open in spring of 2024.

Femi Ayanbadejo  24:40


If anybody with influence anybody that really cares about young people getting another opportunity. We are taking donations, we were allowing people to sponsor their sponsorship opportunities, like the safe house to me is a real tangible direct thing you can have an immediate impact on a lot of times when you donate to an organization level I don’t really know where my money is going you can always ask it’s not hard to figure that out. But people want to know like I’m donating to a specific thing that gets you excited. This is the thing that you should be donating to immediately right now.

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:10

Where can people learn more? I mean online and if they want to be involved what’s what’s the gateway to be? I mean fairly got involved over coffee apparently a year ago. How do people get involved to help John


um, so website is www that turnaround i O RG. Like I mentioned earlier, we do have offices in downtown Baltimore and in Towson, or on Facebook or Instagram. At both the turnaround I NC websites for both Facebook and Instagram. As far as donations and wait there are two sides to that one are financial and one is for our pantry. pantry usually deals with you know, non perishable food items but also for anything, maybe women’s products, things of that nature as well. This

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:53

is what Steve was asking for. And children never knew was Jim’s shoe. There’s

Femi Ayanbadejo  25:58

a massive pantry and a massive closet with clothes. I mean, people leave think about this. People up and leave with nothing. They have nothing. They just have to leave wherever they are, is all they have. They have no food, they have no clothes, they don’t have suitcases, nothing. They come into turnaround, they get to walk into this huge closet, they can pick things off, literally off the shelf off the hanger and be like, This is mine. It’s yours. That’s the work that they do. That’s what’s crazy to me.


Oh, and from the financial side, we do have our regular checks and donation that can go online, if you go to turn around I There is a donate tab you can click on we also take Pay Pal and go straight into the information. You also get a donation letter for those who want a certain tax benefits off those donations, word of mouth, anything you can possibly think of from a donation perspective, we’re always looking for we I believe we have just started doing stock as well. So literally anything you can possibly think of to help because one of the things that I like to think of we meet people where they’re at, with some of the services that we provide the provide and the therapy that we provide as well, all the wraparound services, meeting people where they get what they need at that moment. That can really mean like the make or break for someone who’s going through a turn

Femi Ayanbadejo  27:07

around not turn around Tuesday, two different organizations, a lot of times I tell people to go to turn around, they go to turn around Tuesday. I’m like, I’m glad that you’re looking but you’re in the wrong place.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:15


As the prosecutor here and I’m getting to know you a little bit Oh, sorry. Sorry, if I’m, if I hear a neighbor getting beaten, and I don’t call the police, if I know of a situation. If I know something really awful is happening and I have awareness. People call the police first and they call you i I’m trying to understand it. It’s impossible for me to put myself in that shed my and my mother was beaten. You know, my mother had bad men in her life all religion made bad decisions. I was a good one. But she made a lot of and you know, so I I’m from Dundalk, man. I mean, come on. I mean, I’ve seen it all. You know what I mean? But I, there are points in your life where you don’t know what to do about it. You know? I mean, do I call the cops on my friend who’s beaten his wife? Do I called pull the wife up? See, let me get you out of this. Do I talk to the guy and say Cut the nonsense? Do I call the cop? What do I do? I don’t, I don’t know that step. Sure. I always think law enforcement. But that’s not the way people always think. And that’s, and you always think retribution. Lord knows I’ve had retribution in my own professional life in certain ways. We’ll talk about off the air but but people that that part of getting even when you’re already getting beaten, you don’t feel like you can make a call. And you don’t feel like you want the cops come into the house. Because if they leave and leave you behind, you’re gonna get beaten. Right? Wherever that escape point is to say, you need to leave, we need to help you family members, that sort of thing. What What, what’s the real switch? What really happens? Is it the police or the women or were people come directly to you.


So they do both. With the police. If you hear something happening next door, there’s imminent danger, you can absolutely call the police. That is absolutely the right step. If somebody is actively being beaten, that is the right step to take. But you’re right. If the police leave, it may make it worse right?

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:06

Next door with a gun for me. We have all of that right. Sure.


And we’ve seen that happen in our community, unfortunately. But the other thing that you can do if somebody comes to you and says I’m a victim of abuse is that you start with straight out, I believe you. I believe you no question No. Like, did you do this? Did you do that? The reality is, is it’s a cycle of abuse and victims know when it is safest to leave, even if they haven’t processed through all the way through that they know. And so you need to help them get to the next right step, which is usually just calling the victim service provider. Most of the survivors that get to us say that the reason that they stayed so long is because they did not realize as they realize the resources that were out there. And so we have to make sure that they know that turnaround is here. 24/7 Even if it’s just ask questions, no one’s going to make them leave their abusive partner or their significant other no one is going to make them take this or make steps or take steps that they are not ready for. It’s really just let us give you information so you can keep your So safe. Because what we do first before we do anything else is safety planning. When is the right next time to get out like there was a survivor who came to us during the pandemic through Facebook Messenger like that was a way that they were getting to us because everybody was in the house with their abuser, it was extremely violent situation, we were sure that we were going to have a lethality situation on our hands at some point in the near future. And we were able to work out just from her connecting with us on Facebook Messenger, a full safety plan with her via Facebook Messenger, we were able to get her to the next right place, we’re able to engage our security or our crisis based services. So she was picked up at the exact right glad I


Nestor J. Aparicio  30:35

asked this question because Facebook Messenger is not the way um,


yeah, but if there’s any way for them to get the support, get them the support. And so it is about you know, 24/7 hotline, we have a text line 24/7 text line, people can text, they can email us, we get emails all the time, how many how many calls, you get a year, we’re getting about 10,000 calls for service a year at this point. So

Femi Ayanbadejo  30:53

10,000 calls a year,

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:55


fix society, man. I really is I mean, totally. I mean, especially in this case, all of this is avoidable, right. I mean, all of this is


power based violence is completely avoidable. But it’s on the hands of that the person that’s inflicting the abuse.

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:08

All right, I told my wife my catch line of the week was going to be I need to invite you back for some more time. So I’ll do that. But I haven’t said that all day because I’m most people I’ve already friends with who’ve been a part of the show at various points that you know, you’re always welcome. You’re welcome back for Bikram yoga. You’re welcome back for crabcakes football talk. I don’t even talk baseball but you now know your Giants fan.

Femi Ayanbadejo  31:25

Oh, come on, baby. Come on. Come on. No,



I didn’t know you were a Giants fan. Yeah, I

Femi Ayanbadejo  31:29

grew up in the Bay Area. You know what they don’t use your use your tools. Your team? The Oreo? Well, they weren’t. But the thing is, like there’s the National League and they’re American League and they don’t play each other. They do duel. Me Yeah, but they do. Okay, that’s true that they do they can play each other but they could also be in the World Series, which would be amazing. Sure. Amanda

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:49

Rodriguez here chatter that what are your titles just so I know exactly what you guys do. I’m the executive director



under development coordinator. I’m just an external consultant and

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:57

he’s just a washed up running back who’s Ouch Ouch I was a radio host 32 him washed off.

Femi Ayanbadejo  32:06

I can say that about me but you can’t say that about me. Still could

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:09

play there we go. There you go. Call me to fail. Yeah,

Femi Ayanbadejo  32:14

I give you a quarter.

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:15

Bring him in. You would have run the ball more last night. Whoa. No, come on spicy. It has been tough we all I mean, it’s a tough loss.

Femi Ayanbadejo  32:24

It is we love our team we love our we love our guys we love our guys right? We love our guys Lamar. We love them our Hey, Lamar is that I’ll just say this. When I get phone calls from people in California All they ask me about is Lamar Lamar has like a Jordan quality about oh, you know what I mean? Like it’s crazy when

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:43


I knew that in 19 I went out to LA back when I was still immediately in 1901 at the LA Coliseum and they will play that big Monday night game against the rooms Yeah, I’d never been to the LA Coliseum so it was like a big momentous thing for me to go out there and as I parked the car USC not a great neighborhood love challenges there I’m walking through they were selling Lamar stuff all over the street and I like like that just it’s three that he’s he’s a year into his career and there was more lumbar support for the Rams while the kids and we beat the

Femi Ayanbadejo  33:17

Chargers but you know the kids love Lamar they love them some of them are loved because the market is identify with them you don’t I mean like Lamar Lamar is just when you think of the culture cultural influence he has the the style of play the different things that he can do there’s no one like there’s no one’s gonna like it and think about his attitude like locked in Lamar is serious and I love that I love locked in Lamar I love this down to the ground Lamar throwing the helmet I don’t care about that. As long as not directed at anybody I don’t get as part of football guys do it every game and can’t sing a lot Lamar because guys do it on every field or all over the place. I don’t care about that. If you’re doing it at somebody or toward somebody then that’s the problem. I don’t mind the animation troll of emotion out of mine. I like that I because I think control is subjective. And I think that to me, to me that as long as it’s not directed at or toward a coach or another player. I think it’s fine. Would you if you would you take it or leave it? Yeah, I’d rather not see it

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:10

with my 10 year old kid about it. You shouldn’t do that. That’s not acceptable.

Femi Ayanbadejo  34:14

No, not yet. When you put when you put it when you put it that way. I think I think I’m looking at it from the view of the athlete on the field at the


Nestor J. Aparicio  34:22

moment in time. You always man when you fail anyway.

Femi Ayanbadejo  34:25

People don’t want to hear us talk about Mark don’t understand.

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:32

It’s me IPJ show. We have a mid Rodriguez Jonathan Brown here from turnaround turnaround, Inc. Not Tuesday, not Tuesday. Get that in there. I am Nestor we’re doing the Maryland crab cake tour. By the way. One for you. One for you. Gifts, one for you. There you go. I feel like Oprah when I do that you get a lottery ticket. You get a lottery. Do you know Oprah? No.

Femi Ayanbadejo  34:53


She has a great foundation by the way. We need to connect. You have one. Okay, sorry. Anyway, Oprah, Oprah Oprah’s foundation. It’s amazing. So, but Costas, time you see him tell him about turnaround. Because

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:05

tomorrow we’ll try to get him to stop please do. I have a whole day guest tomorrow. I’m finishing up my library to get the last hour we’re gonna last guest. We’re looking forward to having folks on before five o’clock 9am. Tomorrow is going to come way, way early for me. I’ll be cost us all day tomorrow. Coco’s on Wednesday, Thursday, State Fair and people are gonna love Friday show because I’m gonna lose my voice. And then I could have listened to me anymore, so it’s gonna be great. I’ll be there nine to five on Pappus on Friday, brought to you by the Maryland lottery friends of winter nation, as well as Jiffy Lube multi care I don’t have any Jiffy Lube swag to give out. You guys classes dismissed. Thank you. I’ll see you on the yogam Yes, sir. All right, I’m Nestor we are wn St. am 5070, Towson Baltimore. And we never stopped talking

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