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Beth Lunde

Beth Lunde

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  • published Executive Leadership in Who We Are 2024-03-04 03:37:52 -0600

  • published Message from our Founder in Who We Are 2024-02-29 10:19:56 -0600

    Message from our Founder

    Moms of Black Boys (MOBB) United, Inc. and MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) are sister organizations that are dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement and in society. MOBB United is a nationwide coalition of concerned moms of Black sons who represent every race, age, socioeconomic background, marital status and education level. What we share is unconditional love for our Black sons, and we want others to see them through our proud eyes.

    As moms, we have seen our sons enter the world innocently, take first steps, learn about love, pursue hopes and dreams, and experience disappointments and pain. Like all moms, we want our SUNS to have a chance to live, learn, and leave their legacies. United, we will protect their rights to do so and help them to survive and thrive.

    I am the mother of two Black sons. I started MOBB United as a friendly Facebook support group in July 2016. Since then, the movement has grown tremendously, giving birth to a national crusade that has instilled hope, empowerment, and an unwavering commitment to take action.

    Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. provides information and support for moms of Black sons and promotes positive images of Black boys and men. The organization is dedicated to changing perceptions, encouraging self-care, and fostering understanding of the plight of Black boys and men in America by telling their stories, celebrating their accomplishments, and connecting them to opportunities. The group supports moms by encouraging strong family and community connections and sharing information that empowers them to navigate all of the institutions that interact with, influence, and impact our sons.

    MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) is the advocacy arm and sister organization of Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. Its goal is to influence policy at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that Black boys and men are treated fairly and equitably. MUSC is focused on eradicating harassment, brutality, and unwarranted use of deadly force by law enforcement. We want our sons and law enforcement officers to make it home safely every night.

    MOBB United applies a multi-pronged approach that includes media campaigns and storytelling, education and engagement, political and economic empowerment, self-care, strategic partnerships and sustained advocacy and community involvement.

  • published Early Days in Who We Are 2024-02-17 08:50:54 -0600

    Early Days

    Newsletters:

    Blogs:

    • Founder's Corner - A message from MOBB United's Founder, Depelsha McGruder.
    • Cause (c4) - Policy analysis and advocacy/lobbying; voter education and mobilization; op-eds and media interviews; call center initiatives, letters, emails, petitions; rallies, marches, demonstrations and boycotts; local political activism (civilian review boards, city council, school boards, etc.); national events (e.g., DNC, CBC, etc.); quarterly or monthly action items focused on current cases, legislation, etc.; regular updates to stay on the pulse of key issues, cases, legislation and public figures related to our cause driven by policy, events and demonstrations, and economic development committees working in concert.
    • Content (c3) - Image campaigns to change perception of Black boys and men (photo, video, books, theatre, etc.) Educational seminars for members and the community at large (13th, Bullying, Legal Equalizer, Know Your Rights, Trauma, isow.com, Vision Board session, etc.) Forums and panel discussions Quarterly or monthly image campaigns Driven by Communications Committee Monthly virtual seminars with guest speakers Driven by Education and Engagement Committee in coordination with other committees for content and speaker ideas.
    • MOBB Connections - Quarterly or monthly local chapter meetings / recruitment outings; MOBB United connections; MOBB United Business Directory; special interest groups (e.g., special needs); driven by Chapter Development and Health and Wellness committees with support from Education and Engagement and Eco Dev committees for the directories; quarterly or monthly local chapter meetings/recruitment outings.
    • MOBB Speaks
  • published MOBB United Messenger Edition 7 - April 2018 in Early Days 2024-02-17 08:23:22 -0600

    MOBB United Messenger Edition 7 - April 2018

     

    Edition 7 April 2018
    MESSENGER #ProtectOurSons
     

    Founder's Corner: Our
    Sons' Right to BE

         Since the last edition of The Messenger, two more Black males have been in the news for being killed by police. 22-year-old Stephon Clark of Sacramento, CA was gunned down in his family's backyard while holding a cell phone. Officers fired 20 rounds, with 8 bullets piercing through Clark’s body...

     

    SPECIAL FEATURE

    Trayvon Martin Remembrance Weekend Reflections

    Image Description

         I sat in a Black SUV along with four others I had never met before. We got to know each other on the ride over to the peace walk/peace talk, and by the time we were there, we had formed our pack. It was hard to believe I had just landed in Miami, Florida, just 3 hours earlier. Though the excitement was...

     
     

    Policy and Advocacy Committee Progress

         The Policy and Advocacy Committee finalized and recently launched a new advocacy resource, the organization’s Legislative Policy Platform. The Legislative Platform outlines MOBB United for Social Change’s policy priorities and equips members to be informed about...

     

    MUSC Calls for Transparent and Expeditious Investigation into the Death of 22-Year-Old Stephon Clark

         On Sunday night, Stephon Clark was doing the same thing that many of us do regularly — he simply walked around the outside of his home with his cell phone in his hand. That night, Stephon was killed in the...

     

    Parkland Reflections

    On February 14th of this year, a young man armed with an AR-15 rifle entered his former high school, killed 17 people—mostly students—and injured 15. This was, by no means, the first school shooting we’ve seen; in fact, there have been at least 17 school shootings to date in 2018 alone. In part because of its...

     
     

    Donovan’s Story: 14-Year-Old Father of Twins Defying the Odds

    Michelle Carter’s voice fills with pride when she talks about her 15 year-old son, Donovan. “He’s incredibly mature and responsible. He doesn’t see himself as doing something remarkable—to him, he’s just doing what he’s supposed to do,” said the proud mom, who is a member of the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. Private Facebook group. Donovan is the father of twin toddler girls, named...

     

    Passover to Freedom

    Go Down, Moses” is commonly known as a “Negro Spiritual”, although it may have earlier origins as a rallying song for escaped slaves who joined Union forces in the Civil War. It is also reported to be a code song for slaves traveling the Underground Railroad out of Maryland. If you are familiar with this song, you may know...

     

    Brothers!

    Brothers are the best brothers! They are nurturing, protective, loving and fun! Here is some inspiration from an abolitionist poem: "Am I not a man and brother; Ought I not, then, to be free?" Enjoy these awesome photos...

     
     

    Special Needs Committee Update: Autism Awareness Month

    April is Autism Awareness Month. MOBB United has encouraged moms to be aware of these themes and participate in the following and activities...

     

    Education and Engagement Committee Update

    Hello, Moms of Black Boys United beauties! Happy April! Spring is finally here
    Our Education and Engagement Committee has been working towards keeping moms engaged through our monthly Facebook live readings and our MOBB United Book...

     

    Gifted Learners: Advocating for Screening and Referrals for Children of Color

    My son, Ezekiel, is never without a book in hand and a backpack full of reading on-the-go. As the youngest of five, he probably got read aloud to a little longer and a little more often than his siblings, with me not quite ready to let go of that sweet stage of snuggles and bedtime stories. So, it was no surprise...

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    THANK YOU

    How can you support the cause to protect our sons?

     

         Join MOBB United for Social Change: All organization activities are funded through membership dues, store purchases, and donations. We look forward to you joining our mission.

     

         Purchase MOBB United for Social Change merchandise: You'll find unique apparel and gifts for all through the online store.

     

         You can view and purchase items through secure credit card transactions, search the online store for a particular item, select item attributes (i.e., size and color, when applicable), and designate your order mailing address -- home, work or wherever you choose!

     

    Note: All store prices include shipping.

     
     
     
    *Special thanks to C.K. LeDaniel, Rebecca Palermo, and Vivian Nwankpah, Beth Lunde, and Theresa Cunningham, for their contributions in the preparation of the newsletter.*
     
     
    Our Mission
    About This Email
     
       Prior Editions - Feb 2018, Dec 2017, Oct 2017, Sept 2017, Aug 2017, June 2017  
         
     
  • MOBB United Newsletter Edition 6 - February 2018

     

    Edition 6 February 2018
    MESSENGER #ProtectOurSons
     

    THE FOUNDER'S CORNER

    MOBB United: Striving to Become Experts in the Black Male Experience

         This month, I have been heavily reminded of the reason MOBB United exists. As you probably know, the organization started following multiple police killings of unarmed Black boys and men that were unjustified, but were not punished under the law. Although our mission started in response to police brutality and unwarranted use of deadly force by law enforcement, it doesn’t end there. This is because police brutality that leads to...

     

    SPECIAL FEATURE

    MLK Jr. Volunteer Day of Service and Remembrance Activities: Moms and Sons Giving Back

         For the second year, Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. and MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. were out and about on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, January 15th, with our sons. The goal was to give back to those in need, honoring Dr. King’s legacy, while changing negative perceptions of our Black boys and men. Please enjoy these pictures of MOBB United moms and their sons doing what matters.

     
     

    Policy and Advocacy Committee Progress

         It’s a new year for MOBB United for Social Change’s Policy and Advocacy committee, and we will soon be rolling out our Legislative Platform. A new resource, the Legislative Platform will equip members to be informed about our policy priorities when they engage with partners and policy makers across the country. We will launch...

     

    MUSC Call Center Update

         We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, moms who were on the frontlines of past Civil Rights movements and moms who resisted the status quo. We organize in the spirit of our righteous mentor, Fannie Lou Hamer, who infamously stated, "I am tired of being sick and tired.” We activate the principles of MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC), which include showing our...

     

    MOBB United at San Diego Women's March

         On January 20th, thousands of women descended on Waterfront Park for the Women's March in San Diego, CA, to demonstrate their unity and be voices for those in need of support. MOBB United's Communications Committee Chair Vanessa McCullers gave a powerful and passionate speech on behalf of the sister organizations...

     

    Black Maternal Trauma
    Part 4: Paying for Freedom

    During President Barack Obama’s era, as it relates to judiciary and more specifically, prison and bail reform, the former President gave state judges discretionary powers to find alternative options to a custodial sentence if the perceived offender could not afford bail, such as a payment plan or community sentence. Just recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to...

     

    MUSC Official Statement on H&M

    Perception. It’s what differentiates ugly from beautiful, good from bad. For many, it relates specifically to how they view things, but for Black and brown boys and men and their moms who love them, it’s almost always connected to how our sons are viewed by society and those in authority. For centuries, Black people have been the object of...

     

    Facebook Re-Post: Cause

    The following posts were shared originally in the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. private Facebook group: H&M Op-Ed “No Monkeys Here” by Vanessa McCullers Picked up by Blavity and TVOne Screening and Panel with Eric Garner's Mom...

     

    Kneeling for Justice

    With Super Bowl LII just concluding with a Philadelphia Eagles victory over the New England Patriots, one has to wonder what happened to the Black Community and its allies taking a knee for justice? Just the other day, I was on Facebook, and my timeline was flooded with posts about how the Patriots were going to beat the Eagles in the big game. People of color were paying homage to Tom Brady and his athletic ability and his winning record. I was mortified...

     
     

    Gifted Sons Photo Feature

    Our princes are gifted and talented! Members of the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. private Facebook group share photos with us so we can share their joy and pride with you. Enjoy this gifted sons photo feature!

     

    Aspiring with Asperger's: A Black Son's Journey into Professional Video Gaming

    Moms, if your 18-year-old Black son came to you and said, “I want to be a professional video gamer,” what would your reaction be? Close your eyes for 5 seconds, and imagine that scenario. If you put yourself in Aundrea Caldwell’s shoes, you might think, ‘WHAT THE...?! Boy bye!’ or something like that. But, there’s a twist here. What if your son also has...

     

    Mentoring Matters: Three Families’ Stories of Personal, Academic, and Professional Growth

    Encouraging our Black sons to shine is incredibly important to many members of the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. Facebook group. We hear countless stories of young Black boys and men defining their ambitions, chasing their dreams, and exceeding their goals. In many of our sons’ lives, mentors play a positive and impactful role, inspiring their mentees to carve out a future that is fulfilling and allows them to make their mark on the world...

     

    Facebook Re-Post: Black Son Speaks out against Racial Profiling

    Not everyone understands the plight of Black boys and men in America, much less the plight of moms of Black boys, but it's nice to know that our sons themselves do understand. Mom Desiree Robinson is happy to share her 15 year old's perspective...

     
     

    Education and Engagement Committee Update

    Happy February, beauties! The Education and Engagement Committee has started reading another book, Between The World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. We have had three posts so far this month. If you haven’t already, hopefully you will begin reading the book with us and join in the discussion on Facebook by searching...

     

    MOBB United Connections: Auntie Teri Silar

    One of the initiatives of the MOBB United Connections Committee is the Aunties Program. The Aunties Program connects sons who are away from home at school, work, or in the military, with moms across the country. This program provides a village for our sons that ensures that they have their basic needs met, provides them with support from an adult who is nearby, and reassures their moms that their sons are doing well while away...

     

    MOBB UNITED NEEDS YOU: Become a Volunteer Today!

    Volunteer Shout Out:
    Vanessa McCullers

     

    Where does she get the energy?! Vanessa McCullers has been going all out for MOBB United since July 2016, and she seems to be as fully charged as the Energizer Bunny. We know her passion is fueled by her love for her SONshine, Carlos. If you’re wondering what Vanessa does for MOBB United, the answer is well...everything!!! Vanessa initially began as Co-Chair of...

     

     

         She says, "The morning after Alton Sterling was killed, I went to wake my son for work and found him sitting up in bed. His first words to me was "Mom did you see how they just killed that man" I was too stunned to respond. The very next morning we found out that Philando Castile was killed. No words needed to be said. The words were on my son's face. He was scared, and so was I. But as his mother..."

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    THANK YOU

    How can you support the cause to protect our sons?

     

         Join MOBB United for Social Change: All organization activities are funded through membership dues, store purchases, and donations. We look forward to you joining our mission.

     

         Purchase MOBB United for Social Change merchandise: You'll find unique apparel and gifts for all through the online store.

     

         You can view and purchase items through secure credit card transactions, search the online store for a particular item, select item attributes (i.e., size and color, when applicable), and designate your order mailing address -- home, work or wherever you choose!

     

    Note: All store prices include shipping.

     
     
     
    *Special thanks to C.K. LeDaniel, Rebecca Palermo, and Vivian Nwankpah, Beth Lunde, and Theresa Cunningham, for their contributions in the preparation of the newsletter.*
     
     
    Our Mission
    About This Email
     
       Prior Editions - Dec 2017, Oct 2017, Sept 2017, Aug 2017, June 2017  
         
     
  • MOBB United Newsletter Edition 5 - December 2017

     

    Edition 5 December 2017
    NEWSLETTER #ProtectOurSons
     

    THE FOUNDER'S CORNER

    Volunteer: MOBB United Needs You

         Over the past year, MOBB United was busy at work advocating for the protection of our sons. We made our national debut at the Essence Festival in New Orleans this Summer and with the OWN Network on a show called “Checked Inn” ...

     

    SPECIAL FEATURE

    Holidays without Him

    Holidays without him

         Ahhh, the holidays are here! For many of us, this is a time of joyful anticipation, warm fuzzy feelings and memories of blissful family gatherings that may, or may not, include a heated discussion about who makes the best potato salad. All in all, the expectation is that the month of December ...

     
     

    MOBB United Online

         Moms of Black Boys (MOBB) United, Inc. and MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) are sister organizations that are dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are ...

     

    Ed and Eng Committee Update: Black Minds Matter course

         Happy December, beautiful MOBB United Moms! We have had a busy year. One of the goals of the organization is to provide critical support to Moms and further their ability to advocate on behalf of their sons. The Education and Engagement Committee has several projects we have been working on to stay true to the MOBB United mission ...

     

    Policy and Advocacy Committee Progress

         The MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) Policy and Advocacy Committee sets the strategic policy priorities and drives advocacy initiatives for the organization. As a committee, we set and lead execution of MUSC’s policy agenda, research policies that impact Black men and boys, identify opportunities to advocate on ...

     
     

    Black Sons Abroad

         How many travel writers under the age of 10 years old do you know? None? Well, I'm excited to introduce you to 9-year-old Jace and his little brother, 8-year-old Merl. They are authors, travelers, and young Black princes making their way across the miles and making their ...

     

    Black Sons in Military Service

         James Weldon Johnson said: "We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, Out from the gloomy past, Here now we stand at last, Where the white gleam of our ...

     

    Gifted Sons -
    In the Shark Tank

         When the critically acclaimed reality show, Shark Tank, called Ryan Diew in the spring of 2017, his mom, Danine Manette, was not surprised. Ryan’s budding mobile app, Trippie, was in its infancy, but he had garnered recognition from a variety of authorities on entrepreneurship. Further, he had displayed ingenuity and ambition since ...

     

    If You Build It,
    They Will Come

         Many celebrities have used their positions in the spotlight to make small gestures that made huge statements and brought major progress in civil rights. For example, Nina Simone used her platform as a singer to produce songs that contained lyrics congruent to her beliefs on civil rights. Not only did these songs empower the ...

     
     

    Special Needs Committee Overview

         The ability to experience profound worry is almost a prerequisite for motherhood. When you’re the mother of a Black boy born into this American society, that worry increases exponentially ...

     

    Chapter Development Overview

         Chapter Development began just a few days after the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. group was formed on Facebook. With a vast number of moms joining the private group and wanting to connect, we began to create state files so that moms in the same area could connect locally. This was an awesome idea, as many members began ...

     

    Moms Reaching across the Race Aisle: True Sisterhood

         My first Cabbage Patch doll was a little boy with dark, chocolate skin, and the first boy I kissed was a sweet, nerdy Black kid. My folks were both in education, voted Democrat, and believed that their actions spoke louder than words. I was the blue-eyed ...

     

    Strategic Financial Partnerships: Banking and Buying Black

         In 2011, I moved my money out of a big bank and into a small credit union, one that serves the community of color in which I work. I did this on Bank Transfer Day, launched that November 5th by a woman in California who was ired by newly imposed ATM fees. Bank Transfer Day coincided ...

     

    Facebook Repost: Lynda Jones on Incarcerated Sons

         Publisher's Note: Usually, what is discussed in the Moms of Black Boys United private Facebook group remains confidential. Once in awhile though, we get permission from members to repost entries of notable impact. Check out this one by mom Lynda Jones ...

     

    MOBB United Poetry

    The Legacy of America

    "Red, white, and blue, yes, you!

    When all is said and done what will be the legacy of your daughters and your sons?

    Will we remember the true natives who were slaughtered and uprooted so that flags of England could be placed upon bloody soil?

    Do you hear the beat of their drums? The war cry of their souls? Their arrows piercing the wind?

    Fooled into believing their foes were..."

     

    MOBB UNITED NEEDS YOU: Become a Volunteer Today!

         Volunteer Shout Out
    Natasha Marie

     

         This lady right here! Natasha Marie has hit the ground running with MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) and Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. She volunteered to write for the newsletter and has so far turned out some excellent pieces: “Young, Black and Incarcerated” and “Hopes and Dreams while Serving Time”, both of which give a powerful voice to moms of incarcerated sons. Check out her latest...

     

         She says, "Being a volunteer with MOBB United has literally been a Godsend! My prayer has been to connect with other women who are of like-minded faith. Finding other women who are mothers (particularly of Black boys) has been an added bonus to my prayers..."

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    THANK YOU

    How can you support the cause to protect our sons?

     

         Join MOBB United for Social Change: All organization activities are funded through membership dues, store purchases, and donations. We look forward to you joining our mission.

     

         Purchase MOBB United for Social Change merchandise: You'll find unique apparel and gifts for all through the online store.

     

         You can view and purchase items through secure credit card transactions, search the online store for a particular item, select item attributes (i.e., size and color, when applicable), and designate your order mailing address -- home, work or wherever you choose!

     

    Note: All store prices include shipping.

     
     
      *Special thanks to C.K. LeDaniel, Rebecca Palermo, and Vivian Nwankpah, Beth Lunde, and Theresa Cunningham, for their contributions in the preparation of the newsletter.*
    Prior Editions - Oct 2017, Sept 2017, Aug 2017, June 2017
     
     
    Our Mission
    About This Email
     
         
     
  • MOBB United Newsletter Edition 4 - October 2017

     

    Edition 4 October 2017
    NEWSLETTER #ProtectOurSons
     

    THE FOUNDER'S CORNER

    Supporting Moms of Black Boys United, Inc.

         If you've been following our organization for a while, you already know that there are two sides to MOBB United's mission and approach. MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) is our membership organization, which is dedicated to advocating for policy change at the local, state, and federal...

     

    SPECIAL FEATURE

    MOBB United Weathering the Storms

        Perhaps it was a moment of deja vu as the nation watched another hurricane form in the Atlantic after Hurricane Harvey had already devastated Texas just a couple of weeks before. This time, it was Irma who threatened the Caribbean and the state of Florida as...

     
     
    CBC ALC

    Policy and Advocacy Committee Progress

        This summer, in partnership with our 501c3 sister organization, Moms of Black Boys United, Inc., the Policy and Advocacy Committee of MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) has focused on outreach to congressional and state representatives. Revamping #MOBBUnitedGetInvolved, we reached out to and organized meetings with key stakeholders, Congressional representatives in particular. We kicked off the initiative with outreach to...

     
    Fundraising

    Supporting Moms of Black Boys United, Inc.: Fundraising Strategy

        This edition of the newsletter is dedicated to Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. the 501c3 sister organization of MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC)...Your support will continue our efforts to build...

     
    CBC ALC

    HUFF Post Features Mom Kara Higgins' Op-Ed: "I am that B____."

        On September 27, HUFF POST shared an article covering a recent Op-Ed penned by MOBB United member, Kara L. Higgins titled "I am that B____"

    Kara wrote the piece as a way to capture our collective displeasure at the compounding racial tensions and how it affects our Black boys and men. Thank you, Kara, for so eloquently putting into words what many of us feel every day...

     
    Education and Engagement Kumari Ghafoor-Davis

    Education and Engagement Committee Overview

        The Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. Education and Engagement Committee works to provide informative resources and referrals. The committee connects with community organizations and forms partnerships with law enforcement agencies, schools and other organizations to support the growth, development, and success of Black boys and men. Moms can get information and resources to be even better moms and seek guidance about their children’s social, academic...

     
    Uchechi Eke

    Black Maternal Trauma -
    Part 3

        This article discusses the impact of negative, derogatory terms and stereotypes on the psyches of mothers and their sons...

     
     

    Black Sons Abroad - Part 2

         As our series on Black Sons Abroad continues, I had the pleasure of talking with two moms who are raising their young princes, both 4 years old, in the United Kingdom (UK)...

     
    Hopes and Dreams while Serving Time

    Hopes and Dreams while Serving Time

       Nothing is more fervent than a mother’s love...When her son falls, a mom is always there to pick him up and dust off his every bruise...

     
    Tiffany Bargeman

    To Say or not to Say?

        Do you ever wonder whether or not you should respond to ignorance, afraid that you may offend someone? Well, until just recently...

     
     

    Black Boy Joy!

         Our sons often are perceived by society and law enforcement as hyper-masculine, violent, threatening, unemotional, hard and impervious...But we moms know them better than that. We know their full...

     
     
    Hostess Natasha Marie

    Woke Mom Meetups

        Woke Mom Summer meetups were hot throughout August and September! Hostesses Shantia Coley and Sandra Kearns showed up and showed out in Charlotte and San Antonio on the same day, while Natash Marie and Dannie Jo took on upstate New York with a Woke...

     
    Black Boy Feelings: Vol. 1: Boyhoo Co-Authors Richard Bryan and Jeana Lindo, Black Boy Feelings

    An Interview with Richard Bryan on Black Boy Feelings: Vol. 1: Boyhood"

        "Honestly, the hope is that we can shed more light on the infinite variety that exists within the spectrum of Black masculinity. We want Black men to think more deeply about their emotions and believe that their artwork is valid and valuable. Mainstream society is mostly only concerned..."

     

    She says, "I MOBB because Black boys and men walk a tight rope between their educations, their futures, their families and the systemic racism of racial profiling and mass incarceration. I MOBB because as the mother of a Black boy, I cannot be idle. I have to try and change the world."

    Volunteer Shout Out:
    C.K. LeDaniel

        Passionate, vocal, caring, self-aware, protective, willing, proactive...these are just the first few characteristics that come to mind when C.K.'s name is mentioned. She has made many contributions to Moms of Black Boys United, Inc...

    READY TO VOLUNTEER?

    *The organization is seeking help in many areas, including copy editing, research, graphic design, etc. We have an urgent need for Chapter leaders for cities and towns all across the country. If you're ready to start a local chapter, the Chapter Leader application is available.*

     

     

     Purchase from the MOBB United store to support the cause

     

     

    Purchase from the MOBB United store to support the cause

    How can you support the cause to protect our sons?

          Join MOBB United for Social Change: All organization activities are funded through membership dues, store purchases, and donations. We look forward to you joining our mission.

         Purchase MOBB United for Social Change merchandise: You'll find unique apparel and gifts for all through the online store. You can view and purchase items through secure credit card transactions, search the online store for a particular item, select item attributes (i.e., size and color, when applicable), and designate your order mailing address -- home, work or wherever you choose!

    Note: All store prices include shipping.

     
     
    *Special thanks to C.K. LeDaniel, Teri Harris and Vivian Nwankpah>
    for their contributions in the preparation of the newsletter.*
     
     
    Our Mission
    About This Email
     
       Story Ideas? Submit them to [email protected]!  
         
     
  • MOBB United Newsletter Edition 3 - September 2017

     

    Edition 3 September 2017
    NEWSLETTER #ProtectOurSons
     

    THE FOUNDER'S CORNER

    An Open Letter to
    President Donald Trump

          Our sons are heading back to school, and heavy on my mind is what they may encounter when walking or driving home from school. In this age of “law and order,” it is our responsibility to make sure they are well aware and prepared for what the current climate may bring. If those who have vowed to protect and serve all citizens were to listen to our nation's leader, law enforcement officers have carte blanche to act as judge and jury on the streets, before someone is convicted...

    Depelsha McGruder

    SPECIAL FEATURE

    Hurricane Harvey: MOBB United Connecting in Troubled Times

    Hurricane Harvey

         All eyes look to Houston, TX in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the devastating flooding that resulted. Since last weekend, many Houstonians have held their breath as rains continued and loved ones had to evacuate or be rescued from stalled vehicles and flooding homes. Homes, businesses, and roadways have been destroyed...

     
     

    Policy and Advocacy Committee Progress

            The Policy and Advocacy Committee sets the strategic policy priorities and drives advocacy initiatives for the organization. As a committee, we set MUSC's policy agenda, research policies that impact...

     

    Call Center
    "Rapid Response Team" Update

        In July, MUSC's Rapid Response Team worked on a myriad of local, state, and national issues. Here are some of the Call Center highlights.

    1. MUSC Founder Depelsha McGruder's open letter to President Donald Trump was the highlight of the month. In July, during a speech to Long Island...
     

     

     

    Early Childhood Suspension Study

         MOBB United recently connected with Dr. Rosemarie Allen, an Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University. Dr. Allen asked our moms to review and participate in a survey (open to all races) that she and her colleagues (Dr. Vinh and Dr. Strain) are conducting to complete their “Early Childhood Suspension Study”.

         Within the study, the researchers are trying to...

     

    School-to-Prison Pipeline

         With the 2017-2018 School Year upon us, we are faced with the fact that we are living amid a socioeconomic regression. The current White House administration has all but vanquished the hope of any kind of reform that benefits people of color. This includes education and prison reform. With Betsy DeVos at the helm of the country's entire public education system and Jeff Sessions dissecting our...

     
    Drivers Ed/Student Driver http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nj-assembly-passes-bill-requiring-kids-be-taught-interact-police-n775516

    Victim Blaming or Basic Social Studies?

         Why have lawmakers decided that it is the responsibility of our youth to learn how to communicate with law enforcement? Young people are taught to communicate with their parents from birth through a series of sounds, body language and facial...

     
    Uchechi Eke

    Black Maternal Trauma
    Part 2

         My intention for this feature is to discuss in more detail the psychological impact that moms of Black boys and men endure when they watch, read or hear that their son, or a male figure in their family or community...

     
     

    Black Sons Abroad

         Do you ever wonder what it's like for Black sons living abroad? Do you ask yourself questions like:

    • Would the police see my son as a threat in Germany?
    • How would regular folks in Russia perceive my son?
    • Would I be afraid to let my son go hang out at a mall in Sweden with...
     

    Back to School

         MOBB United moms are celebrating our scholars as they return to school this Fall. From Kindergarten to College, we are so proud of our Black boys! We know they face the challenges of the school-to-prison...

     
     

    MOBB United Poetry

         Poet Bio: Maryam Dalakiam is an English teacher at a transfer high school in New York City, NY; an activist, an immigrant from Armenia; a mother; a baker; and a staunch believer that the American Dream someday will be an equal opportunity endeavor.

         She works with teenagers from all five boroughs and lives in queens with her immigrant, adoptive, interracial, tri-cultural, quadrilingual Jamaican-American family.

    He Ain't Done Nothin'

    "A boy was shot
    Lay in a pool of blood
    Outside a grocery store
    On a New York City corner
    While the milk he had bought
    Flowed reluctantly into its own puddle
    And sobs and sirens blasted
    Piercing
    Ear drums
    Windows..."

     

    Woke Mom 2017 Summer Meetups

         Summer is the time for Woke Mom meetups! We are continuing to criss-cross the country, from Charlotte to Chicago and the Bronx to Baton Rouge. In Baton Rouge, the first one was so nice, they are doing it twice!

         Meetups are a great opportunity to meet the moms we've come to know and love online, focus our energies and...

     

    Young, Black, and Incarcerated

         Being in the right place at the wrong time could cost you everything! Just picture it: You're a single mom whose faced with the daunting task of paying all of the bills with little or no help. You must work hard to support your family and make ends meet. You're trying to be the best role model you can be for your son, but you often wish there were strong Black...

     

    MOBB UNITED NEEDS YOU:
    Become a Volunteer Today!

    VOLUNTEER SHOUT OUT

    Frankie Robertson

         Since joining the MUSC Policy and Advocacy Committee in January, Frankie Robertson has hit the ground running, and MUSC has benefited tremendously as a result. In addition to serving as lead for the Baton Rouge Chapter, she has been a key contributor and leader of our policy and advocacy work. MUSC is so fortunate to have her energy, talent and commitment at work for us.

         On Saturday, August 5th, she organized MUSC’s participation in a state lobby day in support of criminal justice reform initiatives, and she also has established a strong presence amongst peer organizations and elected officials for MUSC on the ground in Louisiana.

         During our anniversary month, Frankie organized not one, but...

        She says,“Volunteering with MOBB United and MUSC is an honor. It gives me the opportunity to affect change for Black Boys and men with a group of women who know firsthand how I feel. It's not always easy, but I make time to serve, not only for my son, but for all of our sons. I want them to grow up in a world free of institutional racism that has them as its primary target. I want them to reach their fullest potential and be valued in society and afforded their constitutional rights like any mom. Until then, I will remain on the front lines putting my heels to the ground to fight for and protect them.”

    MOBB United appreciates ALL of our volunteers. We need you, too. Please volunteer today.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    THANK YOU

    How can you support the cause to protect our sons?

     

         Join MOBB United for Social Change: All organization activities are funded through membership dues, store purchases, and donations. We look forward to you joining our mission.

     

         Purchase MOBB United for Social Change merchandise: You'll find unique apparel and gifts for all through the online store.

     

         You can view and purchase items through secure credit card transactions, search the online store for a particular item, select item attributes (i.e., size and color, when applicable), and designate your order mailing address -- home, work or wherever you choose!

     

    Note: All store prices include shipping.

     
     
      *Special thanks to Teri Harris and Vivian Nwankpah for their contributions in the preparation of this edition.*  
     
    Our Mission
    About This Email
     
         
     

    MOBB United for Social Change
    1825 Park Avenue, Ste. 1102
    New York, NY 10035

  • MOBB United Newsletter Edition 2 - August 2017

     

     

      Edition 2 August 2017 
     
     

     
     
    NEWSLETTER    #ProtectOurSons
     
     
     

    THE FOUNDER'S CORNER

     

    THE ROOT
    F
    rom Fear to Fortitude: One Woman's Fight for Black Boys One Year Later

         This time last year, I was curled up in a ball on my bed, in tears   and feeling frustrated, angry and afraid. I was suffering from a condition I coined called “MOBB disorder,” the seemingly irrational...

     

    Founder Depelsha McGruder

    by Founder Depelsha McGruder

    Read More
     
         
     
     
         
        Policy

    MOBB United for Social Change Policy Committee Progress
    by Marijke Annis

         The MOBB United for Social Change Policy Committee drives advocacy initiatives for our sister organization,  MOBB United for Social Change . As a committee, we research policies that impact Black men and boys, identify opportunities to ...
    Read More
     
     
         
     
     
    Crys Baldwin, Chair of Events and Demonstrations
     

    MOBB United for Social Change Call Center
    "The Mighty Rapid Response Team"
    by Laila Aziz

          When I joined the MOBB United Call Center, the first thing I realized was the passion and motivation of the Chair of Events and Demonstrations Crys Baldwin. I bet that will be one of the first things any new...

    Read More
     
     
     
     

    MOBB United at Essence Woke Mom 2017 Festival

    Moms of Black Boys United marks the first in a series of events
    to commemorate the organization's 1st anniversary,
    with a debut at the 2017 Essence Festival.


    by Vanessa McCullers


     

     

     

         J uly 7, 2017 (New Orleans ) – Moms of Black Boys United (MOBB United), made its first appearance with great impact at the 2017 Essence Festival. Their booth activation in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was a hub of activity, attracting moms from all over the country looking for a way to help protect their sons, nephews, brothers and husbands from harsh injustices of police brutality, racial profiling and the school-to-prison pipeline. This activation signified the first major step in a series of ...

     
     
    Read More
     
     
     

    Black Maternal Trauma
    by Uchechi Eke

         To coincide with MOBB United’s 1-year anniversary, I was asked to compile a list of unarmed Black boys/men killed by police between July 2016 and July 2017.

         I knew the data existed.

         I knew it would be a daunting and cumbersome task.

         I knew it would resurrect painful...

    Read More
     
    Uchechi Eke
     
     
     
     
     

    All of Us
    By CK LeDaniel

     
     

             I am the 56-year-old White mom of a Black boy. I can claim many other identities, as can my son, but bear with me for a moment. This is the identity that situates me, in a particular way, in an elementary school in Queens, New York, in the 1960s...

    Read More
     

     
     
         
     

     

    Meet the Graduates!
    By CK LeDaniel

         MOBB United moms know that our sons often have to work twice as hard and be twice as good to achieve the recognition and successes afforded to their white counterparts. From Pre-K to Post-Grad...

    Read More
     
     
     
     
     

    From MOBB to MOBB
    by Depelsha McGruder

     

         Periodically, I select a mom's post that moved me personally. It may have inspired me or made me laugh, cry, or think differently. The following moms have been recognized with the MOBB to MOBB Award ...

    Read More
     
     
     

     

    Woke Mom 2017 Summer Meetups

    by CK LeDaniel and the Hostesses

           From Brooklyn to Baton Rouge, from Atlanta to Minnesota, from Philly to LA, MOBB United moms are stepping out! We are stepping out of the virtual world, that is, and meeting up in person in cities across the country. Amidst selfies and swag and speeches –- and lots of hugs -– we are getting to know each other and our mission...
    Read More
     
     
     
     

    MOBB United Selects
    by Tiffany Bargeman

     

        Volunteerism is rewarding, but the time, effort, energy, and passion we pour into it  is immeasurable.

         MOBB United Selects are nominated by their MOBB United peers. Strong women lift each other up, right? These ladies have been recognized this year for contributing so much to this organization .

    Read More
     
     
     
     

    MOBB UNITED NEEDS YOU:
    Become a 
    volunteer today!

    by Tiffany Bargeman

     

    VOLUNTEER SHOUT OUT

    Kimberley Alexander

     

     

         Kimberley has two Black sons, both with special needs: A. Jay, 11 (pictured left), and Malik, 18. She works for Texas Children’s Health Plan as a Nurse Care Manager, but she volunteers with the MOBB United Special Needs Sub-committee to support any member with a child that has a need that is special -- mental illness, physical disability, emotional concerns, gifted classification, developmental delays, etc. Prior to the development of the MOBB United exclusive community, the Special Needs group communicated in a vibrant Messenger chat. now they have a space all their own. Kimberley also contributes her time and talents when needed on the Communications Committee.
         MOBB United appreciates Kimberley and all of our volunteers. We need you, too.

         Please volunteer today.

    Read More
     
     
        She says, “As Black men and boys, they have been a permanent underclass...as Black men and boys with special needs they are preyed upon. Undeserved, misunderstood and passed over. Invisible to society and targeted by law enforcement. I want that to change, I want every son who is different to have a chance at life safely and through their lenses, not the ones we give them.”
     
    A. Jay and Malik Alexander
     
         
     
     
     

    How can you support the cause to protect our sons?

    • Join MOBB United for Social Change: All organization activities are funded through membership dues, store purchases, and donations. We look forward to you joining our mission.

    Register here .

    • Purchase MOBB United for Social Change merchandise: You'll find unique apparel and gifts for all through the online store. You can:
      • View and purchase items through secure credit card transactions.
      • Search the online store for a particular item.
      • Select item attributes
        (i.e., size and color, when applicable)
      • Designate your order mailing address –- home, work or wherever you choose!
        Note: All store prices include shipping
        .


     
     
     
     
    Join MOBB United
    Purchase from MOBB United's store to support the cause
    Purchase from the MOBB United store to support the cause
     
    THANK YOU

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
         
     
      *Special thanks to Teri Harris and Vivian Nwankpah for their contributions in the preparation of this edition.*  
     
    Our Mission
     
    About This Email
     
         
     
  • published MOBB United Newsletter Edition 1 June 2017 in Early Days 2024-02-16 04:35:16 -0600

    MOBB United Newsletter Edition 1 June 2017

     

     

      Edition 1 June 2017 
     
     

     
     
    NEWSLETTER    #ProtectOurSons
     
     
         
     
    Founder Depelsha McGruder
     

    The Founder's Corner
    by Depelsha McGruder

         Welcome to the first newsletter of Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB United)! If you are new to the organization, we are thrilled to have you here! If you have been with us since our beginnings on Facebook last summer, thank you for continuing with us on this journey. In case you're not familiar with our history...

    Read More
     
         
     
     
         
      Policy

    MOBB United Policy Committee Overview
    by Delicia Hand

         Before I became a mother, I always admired the ability of moms -- of Black and brown boys in particular -- to keep focused and remain calm and positive in the multitude of adverse situations they and their sons encountered. When I'd hear my sisters, cousins, and friends talk about the challenges they faced in the educational system, or hear my older nephews talk about...
    Read More
     
     
         
     
         
     
    Boots on the ground!
     

    Baton Rouge, LA Chapter: Busy MOBB United Moms
    by Frankie Robertson and LaToya Guss

          Did you know that MOBB United has chapters in various cities across the country? We have sons in every city, and wherever we have sons, we get busy with our advocacy. Advocacy is the biggest part of being a member of MOBB United, and it allows us to achieve...

    Read More
     
     
     

    #ProtectThemLouder
    by Pamela Wood-Garcia

         As moms of Black boys and men, we all know that our sons experience a plethora of injustices. The greatest of these is untimely, unwarranted deaths at the hands of law enforcement. These incidents have taken place over hundreds of years, with little to no accountability.

         Question: Are we protecting them "loud" enough? 

    Read More
     
    img-270-170
     
     
     
     

    MOBB United's 1st Anniversary
    by Vanessa McCullers

     

             Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we first connected on Facebook! This has been a bittersweet journey that started when Depelsha McGruder decided to create a space for her friends to share concerns and fears...One thing that we learned about ourselves along the way is that WE ARE WOKE!

              Kicking off with the Essence Festival, MOBB United will commemorate our 1st anniversary...

    Read More
     
    MOBB United Store
     
     
     
    Anita Hinton
     

    Celebrating Black Sons as Fathers
    by Tiffany Bargeman

         The priceless relationship between a father and his children is to be honored and cherished. Fathers provide strength, safety and stability; they have special bonds with their sons and daughters.

         The perception that most Black men don't step up to the responsibilities of fatherhood must be changed. It's just one more wrong...

    Read More
     
         
     
     
         
     

     

    MOBB United Outreach
    by Tiffany Bargeman, Vanessa McCullers, Kimberley Robinson Alexander, Munirah Smalls and Pamela Wood-Garcia

          When a Black son is victimized, his mother suffers unimaginable grief, along with others in his immediate family. MOBB United, as his extended family, grieves as well. We grieve with the mother whose son was taken from her. We grieve with his children who will grow up without their father. We grieve...
    Read More
     

    MOBB Outreach - Scandal-less Mother's Day Brunch

    MOBB Outreach Scandal-less Mother's Day Brunch

     

     
         
     
     
     

    MOBB United Book Club
    by CK LeDaniel
    featuring Kumari Ghafoor-Davis, Uchechi Eke

         Our book club was launched on March 18 with the book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," by Michelle Alexander. We selected this book in part because...
    Read More
     
         
     
     

    SunAngels
    by Kathei McCoy

         We are honored to memorialize our SunAngels and to extend our support to you as you grieve the loss of your sons. Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB United) was founded out of grief over lost sons not personally known to most of us, but we embrace all of our princes as our own and we share in your sadness as well as your joyful memories.

    Read More
     
    img-270-170
     
     
     

     



     

    "Walking the Circle"
    by Keisha-Gaye Anderson

         With the never-ending news of tragedy and heartbreak, do you ever feel like you're walking in circles? Featured Poet Keisha-Gaye Anderson understands and puts into words what we sometimes wish we could.
    Read More
     
     
     
         
     

    2017 MLK Day of Service
    by CK LeDaniel

         MOBB United is more than 176,000 moms strong and growing, but we are made exponentially stronger by virtue of our partnerships with others. While ours is a singular focus on the well-being of our Black sons, there are many other groups whose goals overlap and complement our own.
    Read More
     
    2017 MLK Day of Service, Bedford_Stuyvesant_Restoration Corp, Brooklyn, NY
     
         
     
     
    Featured Artist Susan Kricorian
     
    Read More about Kricorian
     

    Art Speaks

    Art sale funds criminal justice reform
     
     
     

    MOBB UNITED NEEDS YOU: Become a volunteer today!

          There are so many ways to contribute your talents, passion, and time to the worthy cause of PROTECTING OUR SONS. We certainly could use your help with the newsletter, OR you can volunteer to support MOBB United in a different area.

         There are numerous committees that need support:  Communications, Health and Wellness, Education and Engagement, Events and Demonstrations, Organizational Development, and Policy.

     
     

     

     

     

     

     
     
     

    How can you support the cause to protect our sons?

    • Join MOBB United: All organization activities are funded through membership dues, store purchases, and donations. We look forward to you joining our mission.

    Register here .

    • Purchase MOBB United merchandise: You'll find unique apparel and gifts for all through the online store. You can:
      • View and purchase items through secure credit card transactions.
      • Search the online store for a particular item.
      • Select item attributes
        (i.e., size and color, when applicable)
      • Designate your order mailing address –- home, work or wherever you choose!
        Note: All store prices include shipping
        .
     
       
     
     
    Join MOBB United
    Purchase from MOBB United's store to support the cause
    Purchase from the MOBB United store to support the cause
    THANK YOU

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
      *Special thanks to Teri Harris for helping gather and organize photos for this edition.*  
     
    Our Mission
     
    About This Email
     
         
     
  • published Tag Connor, you're it! in Content (c3) 2024-02-13 06:32:38 -0600

    Tag Connor, you're it!

    By Rebecca Palermo

         A natural storyteller publishes his first series at age 9!!!

    Connor

    Connor

    Connor

    Connor

    Connor

    pink arrow

         Sometimes, our sons are presented with extraordinary opportunities, and we ought to shout it to the world! Our princes are doing BIG THINGS! How is your son shining his light? If you have a *Content story idea, please share with by commenting in the Gifted Sons post on Facebook, or send an email to [email protected] so we can feature him in our MOBB United for Social Change (MUSC)/MOBB United Messenger publication. Didn't know we had one? Visit www.mobbunited.org today to learn more about the organization. You’ll find the latest Messenger publication under the Community menu. We're waaaaaay bigger than the private Facebook group!

    *Content topics include: Image campaigns to change perception of Black boys and men (photo, video, books, theatre, etc.) Educational seminars for members and the community at large (13th, Bullying, Legal Equalizer, Know Your Rights, Trauma, isow.com, Vision Board session, etc.) Forums and panel discussions Quarterly or monthly image campaigns Driven by Communications Committee Monthly virtual seminars with guest speakers Driven by Education and Engagement Committee in coordination with other committees for content and speaker ideas

  • published 2018 Graduates and Prom Photos in Content (c3) 2024-02-13 06:21:32 -0600

    2018 Graduates and Prom Photos

    By C.K. LeDaniel

    Enjoy these awesome photos!

  • published Brothers! in Content (c3) 2024-02-13 06:07:47 -0600

    Brothers!

    By C.K. LeDaniel

     

    Brothers are the best brothers! They are nurturing, protective, loving and fun! Here is some inspiration from an abolitionist poem: Am I not a man and brother; Ought I not, then, to be free? Enjoy these awesome photos.

    Please enjoy these photos!

  • Donovan’s Story: 14-Year-Old Father of Twins Defying the Odds

    By Rebecca Palermo

    Rebecca Palermo

         Michelle Carter’s voice fills with pride when she talks about her 15 year-old son, Donovan. “He’s incredibly mature and responsible. He doesn’t see himself as doing something remarkable—to him, he’s just doing what he’s supposed to do,” said the proud mom, who is a member of the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. Private Facebook group. Donovan is the father of twin toddler girls, named London and Paris, and he won custody of his daughters so that he could take responsibility for them, take care of them, and raise them in the supportive, loving, and conscientious way that he was raised.

         A typical day in Donovan’s life is packed with responsibility and challenges. He wakes up early in the morning to get the girls ready for their day and to get himself ready for school. His stepmother comes by the house to take the girls while Donovan heads to school. He’s a good student who is engaged by his classes and teachers. He takes school seriously and even plays on the school football team. After school and any extracurricular activities are finished, Donovan heads home to parent his two daughters, doing everything from playing with them to feeding them dinner, bathing them, and putting them to bed. His proud mom works the third shift, and while she’s at home to support him after school, Donovan is self-motivated and takes charge of parenting his girls on his own.

         Donovan admits that at first, he was overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of his daughters, especially when they were infants. But he went to see them everyday in the NICU, learned to care for them. When he saw that their mother was in a challenging situation, he decided that his home, with the support of his mother and his stepmother, would be the best, most stable environment for them. When the judge granted him custody of his girls, he stated that he was proud of the man, and the father, that Donovan was becoming.

         His teachers and his coaches agree. He continues to do well in school, and his teachers know about his situation and are heartened by the fact that he is committed to his education while raising two daughters at a young age. He recently signed up for vocational school, and will begin to pursue a career in the culinary arts, for which he has always had an interest and an aptitude.

         Donovan still makes time for his friends and for being a teenager. When the girls’ mother has them for the weekend, he’ll go over to his friends’ houses and enjoy being a kid. But when he’s on the clock as a parent and a student, his incredible maturity and resolve shines through. Michelle believes that even though he knows that he’s made mistakes in his past, he has taken full responsibility for them, and has a natural inclination to do the right thing. In turn, he’s been rewarded with two loving, playful, happy daughters who are being raised by a committed father.

    Donovan and Twins

    Donovan and Twins

    Donovan and Twins

    pink arrow

         Sometimes, our sons are presented with extraordinary opportunities, and we ought to shout it to the world! Our princes are doing BIG THINGS! How is your son shining his light? If you have a *Content story idea, please share with by commenting in the Gifted Sons post on Facebook, or send an email to [email protected] so we can feature him in our MOBB United for Social Change (MUSC)/MOBB United Messenger publication. Didn't know we had one? Visit www.mobbunited.org today to learn more about the organization. You’ll find the latest Messenger publication under the Community menu. We're waaaaaay bigger than the private Facebook group!

    *Content topics include: Image campaigns to change perception of Black boys and men (photo, video, books, theatre, etc.) Educational seminars for members and the community at large (13th, Bullying, Legal Equalizer, Know Your Rights, Trauma, isow.com, Vision Board session, etc.) Forums and panel discussions Quarterly or monthly image campaigns Driven by Communications Committee Monthly virtual seminars with guest speakers Driven by Education and Engagement Committee in coordination with other committees for content and speaker ideas

  • published Passover to Freedom in Content (c3) 2024-02-13 05:47:53 -0600

    Passover to Freedom

    By C. K. LeDaniel

    C. K. LeDaniel     “Go Down, Moses” is commonly known as a “Negro Spiritual”, although it may have earlier origins as a rallying song for escaped slaves who joined Union forces in the Civil War. It is also reported to be a code song for slaves traveling the Underground Railroad out of Maryland. If you are familiar with this song, you may know more about Passover than you think you do. Here are some of the lyrics:

    When Israel was in Egypt's land
    Let my people go
    Oppress'd so hard they could not stand
    Let my people go

    Refrain:
    Go down, Moses
    Way down in Egypt's land
    Tell old Pharaoh
    Let my people go

         This song is the story of Passover, which is told annually as part of a ritualized holiday celebration. It is a story of liberation from slavery and retelling it on two consecutive nights every year is part of the Jewish tradition of never forgetting—and thereby never repeating.

         It also is a story of righteous women, like ourselves! The Talmud says that, “In the spirit of the righteous women our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt.”  Who were these women? There were two midwives, Shifra and Puah, who were commanded by the Pharaoh to kill all male sons born to Jewish women. But the midwives defied the Pharaoh, claiming Jewish women delivered too quickly for them to attend the births. The civil disobedience of Shifra and Puah allowed for Moses to be born. Moses’s mother, Yocheved, in an effort to save his life, sent him down the river in a basket, entrusting him to God. Pharaoh’s daughter, Batya, found the baby Moses and rescued him. His sister, Miriam, who was waiting in the reeds by the river, persuaded Batya to allow her mother to nurse and raise him in the palace, without Batya ever knowing of Yocheved’s true identity. Thus these five women allowed for Moses to be born, to grow, and ultimately, to lead his people to freedom.

    Passover to Freedom

         Another Jewish tradition is asking questions and engaging in discussion around the story of Passover. As my own consciousness has been increasingly awakened to the modern day slavery that is mass incarceration and how it impacts our Black sons, I have brought this issue to our Seder table. What is mass incarceration? Mass incarceration is a for profit prison industrial complex that has overwhelmingly targeted Black men. It is racial profiling by law enforcement officers inside and outside of our schools. It is so called “law and order” policies systematically designed to target and harshly sentence our sons. It is a legal system with biased District Attorneys protected from bias litigation. It is the pressure on innocent people without proper representation to enter into plea deals to avoid draconian mandatory sentences. It is cash bail that forces innocent poor people to languish in prison and be derailed from their educations and careers and families. It is correctional supervision that denies civil rights. It is free, or virtually free, prison labor. It is the 13th amendment, which states that, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime...shall exist within the United States.” If we are to say never again at my family Seder, we must say it for all of us.

         Many people share at their Seders the words of Rabbi Hillel, an important Jewish leader from 2000 years ago:  "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?”

         My fellow mom, Crys Baldwin—one of MOBB United's passionate volunteers—has been known to use a paraphrase of this quote to rally us to action. Passover is a fitting time to remind us all of why we righteous women are here: to help lead our sons out of the current iteration of slavery, because if not us, then who, and if not now, when

  • Facebook Re-Post: Black Son Speaks out against Racial Profiling

    By Tiffany Bargeman

         Not everyone understands the plight of Black boys and men in America, much less the plight of moms of Black boys, but it's nice to know that our sons themselves do understand. Mom Desiree Robinson is happy to share her 15 year-old's perspective. Mack Walker's article, titled “To the White Lady Who Racially Profiled Me in My Neighborhood”, was published in the VOX ATL online publication. Mack is credited as VOX’s audio editor, who “serves on the VOX Board of Directors and is an amazing person, if you take the time to get to know him."

    Mack Walker
    15-year-old Mack Walker Speaks Out

         Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. and MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) are sure you will be amazed as you read these eloquent expressions and will appreciate Mack’s words as much as we do.

    Facebook Re-Post

    *The following post was shared originally in the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. private Facebook group, and mom Desiree Robinson gave us permission to share it publicly. If you are a mom of a Black son and member of that group, you can read the original post and comments.

     

    Desiree Robinson's Facebook post

    Desiree Robinson shares FB post

  • published Gifted Sons Photo Feature in Content (c3) 2024-02-13 05:25:17 -0600

    Gifted Sons Photo Feature

    By C.K. LeDaniel

     

         Our princes are gifted and talented! Members of the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. private Facebook group share photos with us so we can share their joy and pride with you. Enjoy this gifted sons photo feature!

     

  • Aspiring with Asperger's: A Black Son's Journey into Professional Video Gaming

    By Tiffany Bargeman

     

         Moms, if your 18-year-old Black son came to you and said, “I want to be a professional video gamer,” what would your reaction be? Close your eyes for 5 seconds, and imagine that scenario. If you put yourself in Aundrea Caldwell’s shoes, you might think, ‘WHAT THE...?! Boy bye!’ or something like that. But, there’s a twist here. What if your son also has Asperger’s Syndrome, a disorder on the autism spectrum, and has been playing video games as a way of coping with his challenges since he was 2 ½ years old? Then what would your reaction be? Aha...

        Well, I have to say, speaking with Aundrea made my face hurt from the grin I wore just about the entire time she talked about her son, Cameron, who is a first-year college student. Listening to her speak with such pride made me so happy. I wanted to cry at one point because I certainly can relate to this mom’s joy as she witnesses her son blossoming into a young man who already knows what he wants to do with his life. He has decided—with confidence—that he’s going to be a professional gamer. Cameron has the right person in his corner, too. Aundrea, who is originally from Dallas, TX, and also has two daughters, has been advocating for her son since the moment she realized there was something special about him.

         “I always knew something was different but couldn't put my finger on what it was,” she explained, as she recalled the moments she was perceiving this difference. His kindergarten teacher brought it to her attention that she believed he was demonstrating autistic behaviors, which helped confirm mom's concerns. When Aundrea shared her concerns with Cameron's other teachers as he got older, they didn't believe her and assumed he had behavior problems. It was not uncommon for her to find him off in a corner by himself on some days when she picked him up from school. Aundrea talked with me about some of the behaviors that Cameron exhibits that are due to Asperger's, including some social delays and heightened sensitivities that are common among young kids on the autism spectrum. Cameron doesn't like wearing new shoes, for example, and going outside creates a level of  anxiety for him that it wouldn’t create for other kids. “Interpreting social cues is difficult [for him],” she added.

         We shifted gears to discuss Aundrea’s concerns about her son getting older and becoming more independent. For now, she’s addressing the issue at hand, which is the fact that her son will soon be driving around in the community by himself. Cameron just got his learner’s permit, and yes, mom has had the tough conversations with him about possibly experiencing undue prejudice as a Black man in America. One of the scariest thoughts she has, like many other moms of Black sons, is about him encountering law enforcement while out driving alone. So she has told him to, “keep his hands on 10 and 2, and call me. Put me on speaker,” if he is pulled over by an officer. Aundrea took proactive measures to visit their local police department with Cameron in tow, to introduce him to the chief of police. (I don’t know about you, but I’ve wanted to do this for my own son, who doesn’t have Asperger's Syndrome but is simply Black. I can relate to the fear moms of Black sons have of what could happen to them in this racially charged American climate.) She explained to the chief that Cameron has Asperger’s and asked that he encourage his officers to have a level of patience when dealing with people like her son during traffic stops, as they may not process commands like the average driver.

         Aundrea's advocacy efforts are paying off, as she gets to watch Cameron come into his own, reaching milestones like his recent graduation from high school in Fremont, CA. She teared up when she told me that the school didn't acknowledge his successes, so she took it upon herself to treat her son to a trip to Europe in celebration of all he’d achieved. They visited Paris, Nice, Monaco, and London. He played a “Street Fighter II” video game in Amsterdam and was fascinated by the old game.

         Now, this proud mom has given us a glimpse inside their recent weekend trip to a video gaming competition called “The Genesis 5” in Oakland, CA. It was a weekend full of excitement, to say the least, for “Darkblade”, Cameron’s gamer tag, as well as for his mom and two younger sisters.

         You'll enjoy listening to this interview with Aundrea before the video game competition, as well as this interview with Cameron after the competition. He asked mom to get him a Mountain Dew before our interview so he could be pumped! Cameron told me from his own perspective what it’s like dealing with Asperger’s, and he shared his feelings about college and plans for professional gaming. He even offered some advice for parents of kids with autism. You may have to wipe a few tears of awe.

         It was nice to read the many encouraging responses to Aundrea's posts sharing their experience with this community of moms, shared here with her permission. Thousands of understanding moms, some of whom also have special needs Black sons, became an impromptu cheerleading team for Cameron. Aundrea didn't even know that Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. is almost 200,000 women strong and said she was overwhelmed by the back-to-back notifications on her phone as the support and encouragement kept rolling in. Aundrea said she often has felt isolated over the past 15 years, like she was the only Black woman raising children with autism. She's grateful for the outpouring of support from our online community of moms.

         The journey before and after Cameron’s diagnosis at 9 years old came with continued challenges, not only for him, but for her as well—in her interactions with his teachers throughout his elementary, middle school and high school years, as well as in her personal relationships with loved ones. She has had to make some hard decisions as she made adjustments in her parenting. She was determined to do what was best for her son and for her other children; one of her daughters also is on the autistic spectrum. Aundrea is writing a book titled, Wait! Did you say Autistic? A Mother’s Journey of Acceptance and Advocacy, about their autism journey, will will be released this Spring. She wants to educate others on the facts of the social disorder. She wants people to understand that all little Black boys do not have behavior problems and that there are ways to guide them to success. “They can thrive,” she exclaimed. “When you know in your heart that...God gave you this child, and there are no second chances, you have to do this thing right. I encourage moms to continue to advocate. I don’t care who you’ve gotta cuss out, and fuss at, remove out of your life; there are no other options. It’s non-negotiable.” Aundrea hopesto start a non-profit later this year that focuses on leveraging technology to support Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) children.

         We're so proud of Cameron Caldwell. We are also proud of Aundrea and the many other moms like her who advocate tirelessly for their Black sons. It’s all about them.

    Please enjoy these photos!

  • Mentoring Matters: Three Families’ Stories of Personal, Academic, and Professional Growth

    By Rebecca Palermo

    Rebecca Palermo

         Encouraging our Black sons to shine is incredibly important to many members of the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. Facebook group. We hear countless stories of young Black boys and men defining their ambitions, chasing their dreams, and exceeding their goals. In many of our sons’ lives, mentors play a positive and impactful role, inspiring their mentees to carve out a future that is fulfilling and allows them to make their mark on the world.

         Maria Thrasher, a mom of twins, recently relayed the story of her son’s experience with a local mentoring program organized by 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte, NC. When she moved her family to the Charlotte area, her children were entering middle school, and the family did not have the strong network of support they had previously enjoyed in their hometown of Columbus, OH. A single mother, Maria felt that her son could benefit from the influence of a positive male role model.

         When her son, Austin, interviewed with Brian Willis, the organization’s outgoing president, Brian  was so impressed with the middle-schooler that he personally requested to be Austin’s mentor himself. In the years since, Austin, who will turn 16 years-old this February, thrived under Brian’s mentorship. Maria reported, “In the last four years, Brian has been present at every school event, every important moment, and has made himself available to talk any time that Austin has needed him.” Brian’s family has developed a close relationship with Maria’s family, and Maria has appreciated the friendship she has built with Brian’s wife, as well as his wife’s influence on her daughter, with whom she shares similar interests.

         The overall mentorship program hosts a Saturday Academy, during which mentors tackle different topics relevant to the boys involved in the program, including the series of shootings of Black boys and men by police throughout 2015 and 2016. According to Maria, they confronted the issues head-on, having candid conversations about the dangers Black boys and men face, and talking about the ways that Black boys and men should handle confrontations with police officers and begin to develop a trusted partnership with Mecklenburg County Police.

         They also take trips, allow mentors and mentees to spend time with other mentors and mentees in the program, and host a cookout each summer that offers experiences for bonding and recreation. The group participates in community service projects together, modeling kindness, generosity, and civic leadership. The boys also are exposed to men who are professionals in a variety of fields, from doctors and attorneys to the local police chief, athletes, financial planners, engineers, and CEOs. 

         Maria says that Austin would call Brian a father, a brother, an uncle, a motivator, a wise councilor, a teacher, and his biggest champion. She views the program as invaluable, giving her son a sense of self-assurance while simultaneously holding him accountable and maintaining high expectations of him and the other boys in the program.

    Jasyme Tolber and her twin brother, Austin Tolber, Jr.

    Jasyme Tolber and her twin brother, Austin Tolber, Jr.

    Maria poses with her twins, Jasmyne and Austin, Jr.

    Maria poses with her twins, Jasmyne and Austin, Jr.

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         Several hours across the same state of North Carolina, in the town of Kinston, Kristal Suggs lives with her remarkable son, Chris. When Chris was 14 years old, he was processing onslaught of nightly news reporting on local youth violence and shootings. Determined to change perceptions of Kinston’s youth population, Chris founded Kinston Teens, a youth mentoring program which serves elementary school kids throughout the year, plus a summer mentoring program that is the cornerstone of the organization’s work.

         Chris enlisted teens to mentor these younger kids, giving the teenagers a sense of accomplishment and the fulfillment that comes along with being a role model, and allowing the grade school children the opportunity to talk, play, and find companionship with older kids who could relate to their worries, dreams, and questions about the future. During the summer program, the mentors and their mentees participate in building vision boards, doing team building exercises, and sharing experiences that have challenged them, soliciting feedback in order to grow and develop creative solutions to problems in the future.

         Chris also launched the Black Youth Network, which brings together young Black leaders from a variety of communities to share ideas, inspire one another, and convene both online and in person. These young leaders attended last summer’s Summer Youth Program, allowing kids from a number of states to participate in leadership and team building exercises. 

         If leading these two organizations wasn’t enough for a high school student to manage, Chris also graduated high school in 3 years and is currently in his first year as a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has arranged for a youth leadership council to run the program, though he remains involved, as he feels a strong sense of dedication to his small town and the kids who live there. For more information about Chris’ work, visit www.chrisjsuggs.com.

     

    Chris J. Suggs spends time with the young people of Kinston, NC, as a part of his local mentorship program.

    Chris J. Suggs spends time with the young people of Kinston, NC, as a part of his local mentorship program.

    Chris Suggs

    Chris J. Suggs, pictured with Nickelodeon Halo Awards 2016 host Nick Cannon, is honored for his tremendous work at the awards ceremony.

         Our sons aren’t the only ones getting involved in mentoring programs in their areas. A Cleveland-area mom reported to us that her husband started his own mentoring program in 2012, when he saw a need for children in his community to develop relationships with Black men who would become positive male role models for boys starting as young as middle school age and even serves young men up to 22 years of age.

         The program aims to expose kids to men of differing educational backgrounds and professional expertise, to help them understand the possibilities that are available to them as they grow up. The mentors and mentees hold weekly meetings, which invite open conversation and the sharing of concerns and ideas. It is this Cleveland father’s belief that a simple conversation can change someone’s path in life, and he says that the mentors find it fulfilling to see the kids they mentor grow, both personally and academically.

         Since many of the kids in this program come from working parent homes in which they must often be “the man of the house”, the program offers them the chance to be kids and to lean on their mentors for advice and guidance as they navigate the world in which they are growing up. 

         Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. is incredibly proud of these sons, fathers, and moms for creating opportunities for our boys to thrive and become young men with dreams and ambitions both diverse and fulfilling. As our sons become tomorrow’s leaders, we’re sure that they will carry their mentorship experiences with them, eventually giving back to the younger generation.