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.
For the second year, Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. was out and about with our sons on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and Remembrance, January 15th. The goal was to give back to those in need while honoring Dr. King’s legacy, and changing negative perceptions of our Black boys and men. Please enjoy these pictures of MOBB United moms and their sons doing what matters.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.~
Lisa Spriggs: “Monday January 15, 2018 is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Holiday, which for some means a "Day Off" from school or work but for many others it is a "DAY ON" for service. We are here to change the perception of our young boys and men and want the world to see them doing great things! What do you have planned for the weekend and/or Monday? Share your plans and see if other MOBBs in the area will join you! Tag a friend!” Points of Light
Peggy Bruns: “In keeping with the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. we served at the City of Arlington Mission, where we unloaded, unboxed, sorted, reboxed and reloaded a truck of toys for their Christmas Store. Thanks for coming out Rhonda Tharpe, Kim Stockman, and Tiffanie Tinsley! ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?’ ‘Everybody can be great as anybody can serve!’ MLK Jr.” (Dallas/Fort Worth MLK Day of Service)
Kimberley Alexander: “Today I visited the Lorraine Motel. Now a museum, it is the place where Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. I was there for 4+ hours reading, touching, talking and witnessing the evolution of the Black struggle. If there were one sentence I could use to summarize my thoughts: FIND YOUR PURPOSE! Each of us owes it for every sacrifice, for every martyr, for every scar, for every right we have obtained on the backs of those who set aside fear and stood tall when death was almost certain. In 2018, we owe it to our SUNS! Join us on the frontline...www.mobbunited.org. Remember the dream!”
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.
Mom Teri Silar (top left, bottom middle), son Jahmansa (top right), and Auntie Harnette (top middle)
Mom Teri Silar (top left), Auntie Kathei (second from left), son Jahmansa, and Auntie Deirdra (right)
I have the privilege of being one of the MOBB United Aunties to a young man named Jahmansa, who attends Seattle University. Jahmansa’s mother, Terri Silar, was instantly concerned when her son decided to attend Seattle University because they live thousands of miles away in Tampa, Florida, and she didn't know anyone in Seattle. In fact, she'd never visited the city. Teri didn't have a soror, a colleague, a friend, a relative or anyone she could entrust with checking in on her son from time to time.
She was invited to join MOBB United, and according to Teri, it turned out to be the best invitation she'd ever received. She submitted a post in the MOBB United private Facebook group to share the success of her son being accepted into Seattle University and the fact that she was a nervous wreck that he would be that far away from home all alone.
After her post, she was contacted by several women, including myself, from within the group, who assured her he would be taken care of. Teri was in shock! Before she knew it, women were asking for phone numbers and arrival dates. “These Aunties have been true to their words. They have fed him, taken him to the store, and mothered him in ways only MOBBs can,” said Teri. She went on to say, “They have shown me and my son how wonderful people can truly be. My son loves them so very much and often thanks me for my desperation in sharing his story. He said to me, ‘Mommy, these beautiful women are a part of my village.” Teri can sleep at night, not worrying about her son being in Seattle, as he's not alone and hasn't been since he first arrived.
“This MOBB connection has been the experience of a lifetime. I'm a better mom, and he's a humble and better son because of it. He's not just my son, he's theirs, too!” Teri shared. This is exactly what the MOBB United Aunties Program set out to do.
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 Natasha Marie and Danni Jo took on upstate New York with a Woke Mom Meetup in Rochester. And Washington, D.C. held a meetup as well, in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and with Founder, Depelsha McGruder, in attendance. What a dynamic energy we are building here at MOBB United, galvanizing ourselves for our mission of protecting our sons; creating and providing community for a common cause.
Please enjoy some highlights below, and if you'd like to host or attend a Woke Mom Meetup, learn more here.
Motherhood is my ministry, and I will protect my brown sons at all costs. We had eight dynamic women in attendance for the Charlotte Woke Mom Meetup on August 19 at my home. Those in attendance were concerned moms, siblings and even godparents of our brown men. The meeting kicked off with snacks as the women mingled and met each other while jazz played in the background. No icebreakers were necessary, as the group instantly hit it off.
A history of Moms of Black Boys United was shared, and many were shocked at how much work has been done in such a short amount of time. The women shared personal stories and accounts of their attachment to the issue, and the group became emotional. To bring spirits up, the group moved from the dining room to the living room, where they watched Moms of Black Boys United videos while Crys Baldwin (who traveled hours to attend the meeting), narrated. The women discussed their ideas for the future of Moms of Black Boys United in the area and pledged to continue to voice their concerns and advocate for our young Black men. As the meeting concluded, the guests toasted to a bright future in Charlotte, NC, where Moms of Black Boys United would have a loud, strong and proud presence.
(No pics available)
Hostess Sandra Kearns
The San Antonio Chapter held our Anniversary celebration on August 19th. We promoted our event as a family gathering; and when you add all of the children and spouses, we had around 20 people in attendance. We had a very casual get together. The children played, and the adults talked. It is a such a blessing to have a group of mothers who understand the unique challenges of parenting Black boys and men. We talked about plans for the future, including movie nights, a book club, and Wine Down sessions.
Moms of Black Boys United and MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) made an appearance at the 2017 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) September 21-23. Founder Depelsha McGruder attended several sessions on criminal justice reform and Black boys and men, interacting with legislators, professors and organizational leaders. She also co-hosted the 'Taking it to the Screen' Short Film Screening and Panel Discussion on September 21st in partnership with the Social Cinema Project. The panel discussion covered media images, police/community relations, restorative justice and violence in our communities. The event, also a Woke Mom meetup, was held at Busboys and Poets restaurant in D.C. MUSC thanks Ralph Scott of Social Cinema for the great partnership. Depelsha was pleased to meet and introduce to the crowd of more than 90 attendees Congressman Hank Johnson (D - GA) from her home district in GA, and she was excited to meet 15 local D.C. members of MUSC. Check out the press release from the event to learn more about the films and participants.
Rochester is on the Meetup map! Including myself and co-facilitator Danni Jo, we had a total of 17 moms in attendance. Several of them had to bring their sons, so I encouraged them to do just that! Perhaps a few little boys even became friends as they played together during the meeting. I know for a fact that as we gathered, the moms in attendance (some who didn't know one another before), left with at least one new woke mom friend.
Due to issues with the internet, my presentation wouldn't play, so I had to work from the slides in my head! I spoke about how Moms of Black Boys began and how Depelsha was shocked from the overwhelming response to the Facebook page one year ago. I explained that we are now a 501c3 organization with Chapters nationwide. I spoke about Moms of Black Boys United’s five-point platform and then discussed the cost and benefits of membership, as well as the ways Moms of Black Boys United can impact change.
I connected (ironically just days before) with a young man named Antonio Coleman who was in prison for 15 years but released in September! When I asked if he would give a first hand perspective of his experience with the criminal justice system, he was thrilled. He made for the perfect speaker and stressed to us as moms the importance of positive friends and role models for our boys. He wants to write a book and plans to start mentoring young men.
Tracey Miller, the Assistant to our Mayor, Lovely Warren, was also in attendance! After listening to Antonio speak, she asked to address the group. Tracey was SO excited to see this gathering. She was impressed by the turnout and shared her contact info with everyone. She encouraged Antonio to contact her for work, if needed, and even offered herself as a resource for Moms of Black Boys United, willing to give us tips on key town meetings where she'd love to see us show up as a group. Then, without knowing anything about Moms of Black Boys United, she gave us three target areas of need for our City. We then broke into small groups to discuss specific solutions for 20 minutes and came back to share feedback.
Rochester is ready to do the WORK and make some noise. The moms who showed up to our Woke Mom Meetup want to change statistics! We are determined to have fun with one another and socialize with our boys. But we are also ready for social change by impacting legislation.
Looking forward to our next gathering!
The Woke Mom meetups are the stepping stones to organized chapters that can accomplish the work necessary to protect our sons. This work must be funded. To date, our organization has been completely self-funded; but to grow and expand, we need your help. Please consider donating to Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. this month at mobbunited.org/donate.
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. Many lives have been lost. The emerging rays of the sun inspire hope in the greater Houston area that the end of the torrential rains have ended and recovery can begin. For our city of Houston, nothing will be normal for quite a while.
In the midst of this disaster, a caring and empathetic spirit has emerged. Neighbors are helping neighbors, families have united, and strangers are offering each other assistance. For the thousands of Houstonians who have been displaced and have lost everything, the kindness of strangers is welcomed. However, Houston MOBBs are not strangers. MOBB United leadership in Houston has reached out continuously to check on the welfare of fellow MOBBs, assessing the needs of MOBBs who have been impacted by the storm. MOBB United for Social Change (MUSC) stands in solidarity with the Houston chapter and is ready to offer support.
MOBBs in the greater Houston area are encouraged to take advantage of aid being offered in and around the city. Helpful links include:
There already has been an outpouring of love and support from MOBBs across the nation. In the upcoming weeks, Houston MOBBs in need and their families will be connected with other MOBBs for resources and support. Recovery will take months, and MOBB United will be there every step of the way.
Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman,
Friday, August 4, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 24, 2017
By Shellie Moore Guy
This is a poem I wrote in 1990-1991 when my sons and daughters were faced with harassment and stereotypical behaviors from the white community -- police, teachers, etc. I considered this issue in the historical context and understood my sons would need to maneuver and live in this world, where they are considered a threat and "less than". And because of that, their lives would be threatened. But they come from a rich tradition of strength, courage and intelligence.
Your commitment makes them
Serious Black Business causes them
They've called the law and started rumors
designed to divide. Don't forget
their fathers planned to conquer this way
Black Sons signify hope and promise,
unity and clenched fists when necessary
they gather strength through love
and carry weights only heroes are required
delicious righteous anger should make them sweat.
They understand the audaciousness of their crimes.
Moms of Black Boys United - Ensuring that our SUNs Survive and Thrive
M.O.B.B. United aims to provide information and support for moms of Black sons while promoting positive images of Black boys and men. Our goal is to influence policy impacting how Black boys and men are treated by law enforcement and society.