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Moms of Black Boys United Connections: Aunties

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

By Kathei McCoy

     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, 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)
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.

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Tags:  Aunties  Aunties Program  away from home  basic needs  Black son  college  Connections  country  Deirdra  FL  Florida  Harnette  Jahmansa  Kathei  McKoy  military  MOBB United  mom  school  Seattle  Silar  student  Tampa  Teri  University  village 

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Hurricane Harvey: MOBB United Connecting in Troubled Times

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


By Amber E. Williams


    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.


Hurricane Harvey


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Tags:  assistance  connections  fema  Harvey  Houston  Houstonians  Hurricane  MOBB United  Texas  TX 

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MOBB United Woke Mom 2017 Summer Meetups

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Friday, August 4, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017

By CK LeDaniel and 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 up close and personal, affirming the already powerful connections we have made through our phones and laptops. While our community is made ever more powerful by 21st century communications, in the words of Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing!”  

     So get yourself to a meetup. Step out of the computer screen and then step back in by appearing in photos like these.

     Below are some highlights from the hostesses of woke mom meetups held recently. If you'd like to host or attend a Woke Mom Meetup, learn more here.

Aimee Wilson
Philadelphia, PA, July 8


    As one of the first Woke Mom meetups, Philadelphia moms of black boys got down to business -- that is, the business of connecting with each other, learning more about MOBB United for Social Change, Inc., (MUSC), and beginning the process for our local social change agenda. Four moms, three in person and one on the phone, separately identified our school systems in the Greater Philadelphia area as problematic and in need for reform. This aligns with MUSC's focus on the school-to-prison pipeline. Other major concerns for our local area generally are voter education and criminal / juvenile justice.

    Since we began the process to organize and strategize, our Philadelphia moms intend to keep the momentum going by scheduling our next meet-up for Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 11 AM, location TBD. Three of our boys who attended also had a chance to meet and network with each other. We look forward to building from our first meetup and becoming a recognizable group of changemakers.

Frankie Robertson

Baton Rouge, LA, July 8


     Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. partnered with Progressive Social Network of Baton Rouge, Love Alive Church and BREC to host a viewing of the PBS documentary THE TALK-Race in America.The viewing was followed by a panel discussion on institutional racism and a brief Woke Mom Meet and Greet to allow participants to sign up to get involved with organizations committed to dismantling institutional racism.

     The event was open to the general public and attracted a racially diverse audience to raise awareness about institutional racism and to discuss ways in which institutional racism can be identified, dismantled, and how disparities in policing can be eliminated.

Baton Rouge mom Davondra Brown did an amazing job serving as one of the panelists. Local moms “showed up and showed out” to help execute the event.

     There were approximately 130 people in attendance, including the general public and partner organizations. There has been a tremendous amount of positive feedback about the event.

Missed it? View the documentary followed by the panel discussion by clicking the links below.

Depelsha McGruder
Brooklyn, NY, July 15


     Just a few Saturdays ago, 22 MOBBs and eight children convened at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation to fellowship and share their concerns and hopes for our sons. I began the meeting began with a welcome, followed by each mom in attendance sharing her personal reasons for being there. These moving revelations set the stage for a great discussion and led to the generation of multiple ideas on potential areas of focus for the group.

     I gave an overview presentation of the organization before moms and sons enjoyed food, drinks and a special MOBB United anniversary celebration cake donated by NY MOBB Raychelle Copeland. Photographer Margot Jordan captured moments from this historic event.

Sara Keary

Boston, MA, July 15


     The Woke Mom resources/materials were AMAZING. We had five moms in total at a very informal gathering outside with our sons, but we all gathered around a laptop and one of us gave the presentation. We can't express enough our gratitude for the calls leading up to the event and the materials provided to us. We shared about the background of MOBB United, its mission, and goals.

    Thank you to all the moms who made the materials and organized the calls for the [MOBB Anniversary] events. Two of us were already registered with MOBB United, and we encouraged the three others to join and spread the word about this wonderful organization!


Kumari Ghafoor-Davis and Annisa Cooke Batista

Roselle, NJ, July 18

     Annisa Cooke Batista and I had our meetup at Central Park Restaurant in Roselle, NJ. Eight moms attended, and we had such a great time. Many of the moms have adult children, a few have sons who are incarcerated, and many of us have children under 18.

     Many of the moms asked for more in-person meetings, including workshop sessions on how to have tough conversations with our boys. They wrote down a few of their ideas on index cards. We had a deep discussion on our concerns as moms as we went through the presentation on MOBB’s history, committees, and goals.

      We distributed MOBB United Woke Mom post cards and How to Get Home Alive magnets.


Patty Garrett and A’donna Miller Garrett

Atlanta, GA, July 20


     To commemorate our 1-year anniversary, 35 Atlanta MOBBs and supporters came together for a private pre-screening of the movie “Girl's Trip” at the Regal Cinemas at Perimeter Pointe. I hosted alongside A'Donna Garrett (no relation), giving a presentation to the audience about our organization.
     MOBBs and supporters were eager to brainstorm ideas for issues we would prioritize. Although we did not yet set our next meeting date, we did promise to compile all of the information received and follow up with next steps.
     MOBBs were treated to a swag bag with cotton candy and materials they could use to help support us in our mission to protect our black boys. After the meeting, we all enjoyed the movie. All in all, this was a very successful event.

Pamela Wood

San Diego, CA, July 22

     San Diego’s Woke Mom Meet-up in honor of MOBB United's 1st anniversary was totally enlightening and uplifting. There were five participants, three children, and our educator present. It was uplifting fellowshipping with one another. We discussed our sons’ struggles and accomplishments as we broke bread.

     In between races to and from the bathroom and football games with the little ones, we conducted a Know Your Rights teach-in, which brought forth much more than we bargained for. Of course, we learned the very basics of how to conduct ourselves during an interaction with law enforcement, but the other thing that was learned was that there is a huge need in San Diego’s Black and Brown communities for this type of teach-in due to the staggering amount of racial profiling and unwarranted arrests that take place every single day.

     We all agreed that there may be some opportunity in the near future for MOBB United’s San Diego Chapter to bridge a huge gap by conducting a Know Your Rights teach-in with other community service organizations and inviting Black and Brown men and boys of all ages and socio-economic statuses.


Alycia Grace, Kimberley Alexander, and Amber E. Williams

Houston, TX, July 23


     Moms in Houston gathered for brunch to celebrate MOBB United's 1st anniversary. The event was hosted in downtown Houston at the Circuit Entertainment Lounge by Alycia Grace, Kimberley Alexander, and Amber Williams, Houston's new chapter lead. The 15 women in attendance discussed the purpose of the organization, what has been accomplished over the past year, and next steps, including the further development of the Houston chapter.

    The moms were excited about the opportunity to join the organization and to take the lead in MOBB United’s efforts in Houston. There was music, food, fun, prizes, and great conversation. The Houston meetup was a huge success, and all the moms are excited to meet again soon.

Peggy Bruns

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, July 23


     A total of 16 people turned out for this event held at a Frisco Spray Park. There were 7 local MOBBs, a visiting MOBB from Detroit, 6 sons and 2 additional family members.

     Although it was hot, we enjoyed connecting, sharing statuses with one another, sharing a little food, talking about both our international as well as local participation in our first year, and celebrating our black sons!
We've identified some items we'd like to work on locally and have set a tentative next meet for September 17, 3 pm, in The Colony. Thanks for everyone's participation and assistance!

Expand the panels below to enjoy the pictures from the meetups.


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Tags:  chapters  connections  local  Meetup  Meetups  states  Summer  Woke Mom 

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Moms of Black Boys United - Ensuring that our SUNs Survive and Thrive
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