William C. Kellibrew IV


William Kellibrew’s story is one of resiliency and hope. Kellibrew has bounced back from tragedy and now crusades the world on a passionate mission to make a difference in the lives of others with a special focus on the safety, protection and wellness of children, youth and families.

At age 10, Kellibrew witnessed the murders of his mother, Jacqueline and 12-year-old-brother, Anthony, by his mom’s ex-boyfriend in their family living room. The killer took his own life that day, but not before making Kellibrew beg for his life at gunpoint. As a child, teenager and young adult Kellibrew endured the horrific pain and terror from the impact that this and other traumatic experiences had on him. He struggled each day to regain his footing over the course of 35 years only speaking publicly after 20 years following the murders. He endured a life of silence and pain. Through therapy and a network of support, Kellibrew survived.

Now, an international advocate and trauma survivor, Kellibrew travels the globe sharing his message of courage and hope throughout multiple human service systems and settings with key audiences including mental health, substance use, adult and juvenile justice, corrections, domestic violence shelters and programs, sexual assault programs, youth leadership, hospitals among many others. From Japan, China, United Kingdom, Guam, Ireland to the communities in the United States Kellibrew has worked with many of those nation’s leaders, professionals and others who continue to put children and youth first.

As the principal of a small business and consulting firm, WCK Consulting, LLC, Kellibrew provides training and technical assistance services to local, state, federal and tribal governments as well as non-profits, businesses and corporations on issues ranging from trauma, violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse to bullying, homelessness, and how values play a major role in rebuilding and recovery from victimization and trauma.

Through hundreds of keynote, motivational speeches, television and media appearances, workshops and sessions, Kellibrew has inspired millions with his story of survival. As a faculty consultant with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Center for Trauma Informed Care, Kellibrew focuses on a trauma-informed approach by discussing his experience in the mental health and other systems as a child and teenager. Kellibrew is also a consultant with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center.

In his work around leadership and values Kellibrew has supported and led many high profile projects including the Next Generation of Leaders program in association with ScreamNation and entertainment mogul Michael Mauldin and currently leads the community engagement and partnerships efforts to connect celebrities, artists and others to communities across the country while focused on engaging teens, youth and young adults on values and leadership. Kellibrew co-hosts with Mauldin, moderates town halls and works closely with local leadership to connect the program in a real way. 

“As far as I know, we cannot take one single thing with us when we leave this life on earth,” remarked Kellibrew. “However, what we can do is leave a sense of hope that supports the healing of those who have experienced trauma and distress especially for our most precious resource – our children – who are also our most vulnerable.”

Kellibrew’s commitment to leadership and service started very early in his life, however, his university experience provided an environment for developing and expanding his leadership skills and compassion for others. As a student having attended the University of the District of Columbia, Kellibrew was selected for a high-profile scholarship to attend the University of Sunderland through the Sister City Agreement between Washington, D.C. and the City of Sunderland, England – the ancestral home of the first U.S. President, George Washington. The City of Sunderland appointed Kellibrew as a world-wide ambassador joining the ranks of famous ambassadors who also represent the city including Kate Adie, Melanie Hill and Lord Putnam, director of Chariots of Fire.

Kellibrew’s increasing role in the United Kingdom has increased his global efforts to raise awareness of the role trauma plays in communities and how leadership can have a positive impact on recovery. Having worked with the Youth Offending Service and Sunderland Youth Parliament in Sunderland, England, Kellibrew has kept his ears to the ground where the issues are playing out in families, schools, and other settings. Kellibrew has met with top leadership in Sunderland as well as had the opportunity to meet former prime minister Tony Blair and former foreign secretary David Miliband during Mr. Blair’s first speech following his term as Prime Minister. The British Embassy selected Kellibrew as a member of a 14-person delegation to greet Prime Minister David Cameron and Mrs. Samantha Cameron to the United States at the White House on the South Lawn with President Barack Obama, Vice President Biden and a multitude of Ambassadors, Cabinet Secretaries and senior level officials.

Kellibrew’s story of resilience has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, CNN In Session, CNN HLN Newsmakers, BBC Worldwide, The Daily Beast, Washington Post, TVOne, Sunderland Echo and various news and media publications and outlets throughout the world.

In 2011, Kellibrew was recognized by the White House as a ‘Champion of Change’ working to end domestic violence and sexual assault and has blogged for the White House. In 2013, he received the Voice Award from SAMHSA at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA for his work across the country as a peer/consumer leader.  In 2015, he received the U.S. Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award for his work to protect the rights of victims and survivors of crime.

Kellibrew’s success in his on-going recovery is largely attributed to the many mentors, teachers, professors, therapists, family, friends and his grandmother who raised him and his siblings after their tragic loss in 1984.

Copyright 2009 The William Kellibrew Foundation
1225 Eye Street, NW Suite 1100 | Washington, DC 20005  | 202.218.4642  | info@thewkfoundation.org

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