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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.

 

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Volunteer Shout Out: Vanessa McCullers

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Saturday, February 10, 2018
Updated: Saturday, February 10, 2018

By Depelsha McGruder

Volunteer Shout Out: Vanessa McCullers

Vanessa McCullers

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, my only thought was that I MUST PROTECT HIM. As I type this, with tears streaming down my face at the memory, my determination is just as strong. I cannot sleep soundly until I know that my son, Crys’ son, Vivian's son, Tasha's son, Depelsha's sons, ALL OF OUR SONS are safe from the ones sworn to protect them.”

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     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 the Communications Committee and shortly thereafter, became Chair. She now oversees all of Moms of Black Boys United’s (the 501c3 organization) activities, including Communications, Education and Engagement, Self Care, and the MOBB United Connections Program.

     This means she manages a team of leaders and volunteers who handle everything from branding, marketing and PR, content development across platforms, social media strategy and execution, media outreach and op-eds, research studies, education and wellness programs, partnerships, and events.

     Vanessa was instrumental in planning the first MOBB United Leadership Retreat in Bethany, PA, and in establishing our presence at the world renowned Essence Festival in New Orleans last year. She’s also brokered significant partnerships, including a partnership with Dr. Luke Wood of San Diego State University, on the “Black Minds Matter” virtual course. In addition, she has personally provided ongoing resources and support to moms who have lost sons to police violence.

     Most recently, Vanessa raised her voice as a featured speaker at the Women’s March in San Diego and by penning a powerful op-ed in response to H&M’s misstep in having a young Black male model wear a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sweatshirt.

     A few more specifics of Vanessa's tireless contributions to MOBB United as Communications Committee Chair include:

  • Branding MOBB United to ensure uniformity and consistency in design and language across social media platforms, designs, etc.
  • Managing a team of volunteers who write web content for www.mobbunited.com and disseminate mission-critical info via MOBB United's social media platforms
  • Facilitating regular Communications Team meetings
  • Planning and executing press releases
  • Putting MOBB United's mission on the agenda of local and national events
  • Participating in MOBB United outreach, visiting victims’ widows and families
  • And so much more.

     Vanessa has a heart of gold and a battery that never seems to run out. Her mind and heart are constantly churning out new ideas of ways to build and grow the organization’s presence and impact. We honestly don’t know what we’d do without her, and we are so grateful for all of her contributions. Thanks, Vanessa!!!

 

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Tags:  black minds matter  chair  committee  communications  Coolest Monkey in the Jungle  design  families  H&M  lead  luke wood  mcullers  oped  op-ed  outreach  platform  press release  san diego  shout out  social media  vanessa  victims  volunteer  widows  women's march 

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Chapter Development Committee Overview

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Sunday, December 24, 2017
Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2017

By Lisa Spriggs and Alycia Grace

Chapter Development

     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 meeting all over the United States. We had moms getting together and bonding in New Rochelle and Staten Island, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Washington DC (DMV Area); Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, TX; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles and San Diego, CA; and other cities. They were passionately discussing ways to protect our Black sons. More than 30 meetups were held across the country over this past summer. This was the unofficial beginning of our “Heels on the Ground” chapter development throughout the country..

     Since then our group has grown exponentially and MOBB United for Social Change has moved off of Facebook to our own domain at www.mobbunited.org.    

     Currently, we have moms who are ambassadors of MOBB United. We appreciate their volunteerism and could not do what we do without them. Our ambassadors have taken the initiative to host and hold events in their areas. Some of those events include, but are not limited to:

  • Hosting:
    • Meet and greet events (meetups)
    • MOBB United anniversary events
    • Pink Postcard parties
    • Organizing and/or participating in MLK Day Mother and Son National Day of Service projects
  • Registering voters during the Rock the Vote campaign
  • Representing MOBB United at government functions like the Congressional Black Caucus and local Lobby Days

     Some of our ambassadors have been with us from the very beginning, while others joined us more recently. For ambassadors who were new to the group and wanted to host an event, the tools were at their disposal to make their event successful. The resources provided included presentations, recordings, fliers, pink postcards, one-on-one conversations, and social media branding. After these events, we welcome all feedback from our members via testimonies and/or online surveys.

     At this time, all of our local chapters fall under the national umbrella of MOBB United. Each chapter should have a city leader, and Chapter Development is seeking individuals who are ready to take their city to another level. This mom will be the main contact locally to bring issues and/or concerns to the national level and vice versa. We expect the city leaders to attend the monthly Saturday national status and update calls so as to be able to disseminate information consistently to other members.

     We are accepting applications online for city leaders. The requirements for being a city leader include but are not limited to:

  • Completing online application
  • Being a paid member of MOBB United
  • Attending monthly Saturday national status and update calls
  • Hosting a minimum of four meetings per year (preferably monthly or bi-monthly) to include the following:
    • Mother and Son MLK Day of Service event (January)
    • MOBB United Anniversary event to commemorate our founding (July)
    • Advocacy Event (timing TBD)
  • Recruiting additional members
  • Participating in Chapter Orientation
The application process is open until the end of December, and leadership expects to make selections in January 2018, as well as provide Chapter orientation.
Please follow us to see the latest timeline in Chapter Development.

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Tags:  Alycia  call  Chapter  city leader  Committee  Congressional Black Caucus  Development  Grace  Lobby Days  local  meet and greet  meeting  meetup  member  MLK Day  Overview  pink postcard party  Saturday  status  update 

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Strategic Financial Partnerships: Banking and Buying Black

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Sunday, December 24, 2017
Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2017

By C.K. LeDaniel

C.K. LeDaniel

BANKING 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 annoyed by newly imposed ATM fees. Bank Transfer Day coincided conveniently with the Occupy Wall Street movement, and I made the switch right around the time I was volunteering at Occupy’s encampment in lower Manhattan. It was a heady time of protest in New York City and around the country, which was still reeling in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. At least temporarily, our collective consciousness was raised as we were awakened to the nature of capitalism and its inevitable concentration of wealth in the hands of the 1% at the expense of the other 99%. That was enough reason for me to get out of the big banks.
    Conceived initially as a Million Man March on Wall Street, because White people—I am one—are always ready to co-opt a good idea, Occupy was largely a White movement addressing White concerns (although one of its heroes was a Black Iraq war veteran, Sergeant Shamar Thomas). Flash forward 5 or 6 years, and the country moved from awakening toward woke, as the Black Lives Matter movement erupted, reminding us to transfer out of the big banks and into the Black banks, because hey, capitalism may be a disaster but right now, it’s the only game in town, and you have to pay to play.
For reasons of convenience, at that point my teenage children had their accounts at one of the big banks, one of the many that finances private prisons, and therefore mass incarceration, but my laziness regarding moving their money prevailed for awhile. That is, it prevailed until MOBB United’s Economic Development team, then chaired by Munirah Small, initiated its #MOBBUMoneyJar project, encouraging us to collect our household change into a jar and empower our sons and their communities by bringing them to a Black-owned bank to open an account.

    Well, first, we had to find a Black-owned bank and unfortunately, I learned that there are none in Manhattan! The closest thing to Black-owned is the majority Black-operated bank, Carver Federal Savings Bank, in Harlem, which is where MOBB United maintains its bank account! My kids and I did a little more research and decided to go with an online bank.

    If you are thinking about moving your money to a Black-owned bank but are reluctant to make the switch because of the onerousness of the task, I can promise you this—your experience won’t be as challenging as mine was. My kids wouldn’t do it without me, so we had to find time to sit down together and figure it all out. That was hard enough, but it ended up taking multiple meetings, emails, and phone calls to make it happen. Also, we made the classic mistake of closing the current accounts before we opened the new ones, which meant that things like direct deposit from their college employment and depositing those birthday gift checks from Nana were problematic, not to mention that they had no ATM access to cash and no debit cards during the transition. But what’s worse is that someone—maybe one of us or maybe someone at the bank—made the mistake of reversing my twins’ Social Security numbers. Those of us who have twins know that their Social Security numbers are the same but for the last number of each, and those two numbers are consecutive. It’s a sweet reminder of the proximity of their entries into the world and the fact that while they have much in common, they are still two distinctly different individuals. In this case, it resulted in both of their accounts being frozen until we could straighten it out and prove who was who. Like I said, I promise it will be easier for you.

    For a guide on how to make the switch, see consumerfinance.gov.

BUYING BLACK

    It’s the holiday season, and what better way to give back than to buy Black? Let’s invest in our sons by investing in their communities. Black buying power can have tremendous influence not only on our sons’ ability to thrive economically; it also signals political power. Advertisers, marketers, corporations, charitable organizations, and politicians depend upon and monitor revenue streams, and they listen to our issues and needs when we buy Black. Money matters. Money talks. Let yours shout from the rooftops this December. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • MOBB United! Who doesn’t need a Woke Mom T-shirt – or a Woke Auntie, Woke Grandma, Woke Dad T- shirt? And what about an I Am Your Future onesie for your baby? Buying your gifts from the MOBB United store invests directly in our sons by empowering MOBB to empower them.
  • Fresh from our National Call on December 2, 2017, with Katie Ishizuka-Stephens and Ramon Stephens, is a curated list of books for children up to 18 years old from The Conscious Kid Library, because “Black Books Matter.”  The books have Black characters and heroes and are written by Black authors you will be supporting. You can also join https://www.theconsciouskid.org and have books delivered monthly for a nominal fee.

  • For online one-stop shopping, check out https://www.buyblackmovement.com/About/.  From their website: “TAG TEAM Marketing International, Inc. operates the powerful Buy Black Movement program. We are a Black-owned and operated company that specializes in marketing and distributing the products and services of Black-owned businesses to Black consumers.”  They have gifts in every category you can think of, from clothing and cosmetics to dolls and DVDs.

    *For a list of Black owned banks, visit blackoutcoalition.org.

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Conscious Kid Library

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Tags:  account  Alycia  Banking  Black  BLM  buy black movement  Buying  capitalism  Carver Federal Savings Bank  Chapter  Committee  conscious kid  consumer  Development  Economic  finance  Financial  financial partnership  Grace  Million Man March  MOBB United Store  MOBBUMoneyJar  Occupy  Overview  Partnerships  Sergeant Shamar Thomas  Strategic  tag team marketing international  Wall Street  Woke 

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Special Needs Committee Overview

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Sunday, December 24, 2017
Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2017

By Kimberley Alexander

Special Needs Committee

     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. Then, imagine being a mom of a son who is both Black in America and has a disability that changes the way he interacts with society. When you experience that as a mom, you know a new level of fear, a new level of concern, and a new level of anxiety, but you also know a new level of fight. It is the birth of the Ninja Mom. The Special Needs Committee of Moms of Black Boys United Inc. is the home of that Ninja Mom!

     Special needs run a long spectrum from the most mentally challenged to the most exceptional and from the most physically impacted to those mildly affected. No matter which end of the spectrum your son falls on, you have a place here.  

     The Special Needs Committee offers support and resources to every mom who has a son who is special. There is assistance with Individualized Education Programs (IEP), 504 planning, and accessing the rights and responsibilities associated with such. There is assistance with navigating medical appointments and understanding diagnoses, and a safe place to go in which the community understands the day to day frustrations of interacting with all of those systems. The committee supports its members in anything else that arises while we work to keep our most fragile sons safe. But the thing I love the most about this community is the empowerment that has been birthed from the sisterhood created in this committee. Support is only one aspect; the Special Needs Committee aims to end the unfair treatment of our most fragile boys.

     That is why we advocate! We are standing in the trenches for our sons who cannot speak for themselves in a partnership with the Policy and Advocacy Committee to help affect change at every level. We know it is not enough to be angry -- we must move out of outrage and into action. This is where you can help. If you have a passion for special needs advocacy work, contact me, Kimberley Alexander, at specialneeds@mobbunited.org. Be a voice for the voiceless.

 

Special Needs Son

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Tags:  Alexander  autism  autistic  black  boys  care  Committee  database  develop  IEP  incarcerated  Kimberley  medical  men  moms  needs  overview  prison  resource  Special  special needs  support 

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Volunteer Shout Out: Frankie Robertson

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Saturday, September 2, 2017
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2017

By Delicia Hand

VOLUNTEER SHOUT OUT
Frankie Robertson


“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.”

     Since joining the MOBB United for Social Change (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 two meetups in the Baton Rouge area. She also invited and then facilitated Baton Rouge Mayor Broome’s participation in a recent national call. This Summer, she has organized MUSC’s Congressional outreach, ensuring that a number of members organized meetings with Congressional representatives to share our mission and policy agenda.

     Moving forward, Frankie will use that passion and drive to take on a greater leadership role in our Policy and Advocacy Committee, specifically overseeing our advocacy initiatives.  

    Remember that ONE thing is a big thing. If you volunteer to do just one thing that you have time and energy to do, it is something that will make a world of difference in the lives of our sons.

     Please volunteer today.

Tags:  advocacy  Baton Rouge  committee  Frankie Robertson  join  LA  Louisiana  meetup  policy  Shout Out  shout-out  Volunteer  woke mom  work 

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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.

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