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Holidays without Him

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Sunday, December 24, 2017
Updated: Thursday, September 7, 2017

 

By Sonya Marchand and Vanessa McCullers

 

     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 should be filled with celebrations, good food, and time spent with our loved ones.  For those who must endure this time of year without their loved ones, it becomes much more difficult to enjoy. People who have lost a family member or friend feel the empty space that is left and know it can never be filled by any amount of hot chocolate with marshmallows. The holidays can be equally as depressing as they are joyful, depending on your personal situation.

 

     Imagine the pain of the holidays without a loved one, compounded by the pain of feeling robbed, victimized, and devalued by the very society you live in, work for, and to which you strive daily to contribute successfully. Every year, there are increasingly more moms of Black boys and men who will suffer through their holidays with an emptiness that only they can truly understand that of having lost a child to senseless police brutality. This is a pain compounded even further when law enforcement has gone undisciplined and is never brought to justice.
This holiday season, we acknowledge those for whom our organizations Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. and MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) were founded: the moms, wives, sisters and caretakers whose SONshine has been eclipsed forever, who have lost someone and are trying to find their new normal in this dark new place.

 

     MOBB United was formed based on the intrinsic connection that we all have with each other, as we raise Black sons and love the Black men in our lives. We are collectively hurt and burdened by the egregious injustices so easily cast upon hundreds of victims in our communities each year.  We are the village that it takes to raise our families and support each other through the process. We are the backbone of society who painstakingly, and without hesitation, help, heal, and endure untold levels of despair and disappointment in order to try and make it all better for our loved ones.


     In the spirit of community and support, we will spotlight moms going forward in our newsletter.  We will update their current status as information is available and note how we can be of support to them. Most heartbreaking is that with so many victims, including those widely publicized like Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, et. al, we hardly have space to cover them all. There are many who don’t get the national media coverage that some of those mentioned have received. There are grieving moms everywhere that you may or may not have been following in the news. This month, we have chosen to spotlight Reshawna Myricks and Shainie Lindsay of Southern California.

 

Reyshawna Myricks


     Reshawna Myricks lost her 15-year-old son Darius in May 2017. He was a scholar and an athlete—a normal teenager who liked to hang out with his friends and cousins when he wasn’t at football practice or a game. Darius was killed when he and his cousin were riding home on the train. Darius, at only 15, was the oldest of four children. The abrupt and unbearably painful loss is now a reality for all of them, who will grow up with their own perceptions of law enforcement and the issue of simple fairness in our society as a whole. Reshawna continues to battle heavy depression and grief over the loss, compounded by the fact that she has no real answers to the basic who, what, where, and how of the circumstances surrounding this case. She has not been able to stay at the home they all lived in prior to Darius’ death and continues to stay at her mother’s home with her other 3 children, Derek, 9; Deshaun, 7; and Deijanae, who is only 4 years old. As the holidays approach, it is increasingly hard for her to get into the spirit and create the festive atmosphere that most of us moms are buzzing around creating for our families right now. She welcomes and asks for our prayers and support while she tries to muster up the strength needed to get through the next few days with so much pain weighing on all of them. What gives Reshawna hope and purpose is plans to establish a scholarship fund for young athletes through MOBB United. She is also committed to being a full participating member of our organization and continues to do what she can to contribute. Most recently, she participated in the pink postcard campaign in Los Angeles.


     

 

Shainie Lindsay

    
     For the second year, Shainie Lindsay is facing Christmas as a widowed, single mom. Last year this time, she was days away from giving birth to her baby boy and still reeling from the tragedy of losing her partner in life. The depth of her sorrow was buried in the routine of being a mom while preparing for new responsibilities. Friends and family were there to help get her through those first few months: her partner’s birthday, the holidays, and then the birth of Eli. But Shainie knew then that Christmas would never be the same.

     Her life took a significant shift, as Shainie struggled to make the adjustments needed to provide for her children. That included cutting her hours at work so she could be with the kids to help with homework after school, the way their daddy used to help. It also meant finding odd jobs here and there to make sup for the financial losses, even as she was exhausted from the trials of being a single parent to 6 children.

     This holiday season has presented its own set of readjustments as the family recently moved away from the home that held the memories of their father’s death. With all that she’s had to endure, Moms of Black Boys United provided some Christmas cheer early one morning this December. We surprised Shainie with ornaments for her kids to decorate and a gift of a spa day. But the surprises didn’t stop there. Recently, Shainie and her family were awarded a holiday brunch for the family with Ms. Vivica Fox along with $1000 holiday spending cash when a fellow MOBB submitted her story in a Christmas cheer giveaway.

     Happy holidays to all of our Moms of Black Boys United sisters. We are here for all of you!

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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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