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Woke Mom Summer Meetups 2017 - Part 2

By CK LeDaniel and Hostesses

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 our mission, and reinvigorate ourselves for the work ahead of protecting our boys. Below are some highlights from the hostesses of meetups held recently. If you'd like to host or attend a Woke Mom Meetup, learn more here.


Mercedes Brazier

Hostess Mercedes Brazier -- "If Langston was here, he would have wanted this."

"And so begins the launch of the MOBB United for Social Change Harlem Chapter inside the Historic Langston Hughes House in Harlem. The owner of the home checked in and shared a brief history as 9 Harlem moms gathered, snacked and shared pieces of our hearts. We were brought together on a common ground. We discussed our shared journey, our sons of various ages, and why we were there.

The founder of MOBB United, Depelsha Thomas McGruder, attended and shared why she created the organization and how/why we should get involved. We all would like to meet again...I appreciated this meeting because so much of it was already planned out -- an agenda and a PowerPoint (presentation).”



Durice Galloway

Hostess Durice Galloway -- “I'm very excited (Durice) about the Woke Mom meet up for the Triad and Triangle. We had eight people register initially, and seven that attended the meeting! With that great yield, we were able to have all the non-members financially commit to joining the organization as financial members, which is a big win. All the members also agreed that an area chapter is warranted, and they thought it would be supported. We will have a followup in the next month or two, either September or October, to come back to the table.

We talked about future events, such as a walk in partnership with law enforcement agencies, and moms, and supporters to help share the story of our black community with law enforcement to change the narrative of our Black men and boys that law enforcement has seems to have. We talked about doing telethons and/or radiothons to drive membership.

In the beginning of the meetup, we started just sharing some of our stories and parenting advice and just how nice it is, like a breath of fresh air, to be surrounded by Black moms who understand what we're all going through. Various ages and stages were present. We had new moms, and then we had moms who had kids and now are grandmoms who have kids back in their lives.

I'm leaving feeling very motivated very excited, and I'm just even more passionate about the causes. We had special leadership guests Tiffany Bargeman and Crys Baldwin with their excellent experience with MOBB United that I think really helped convince our attendees to become members, and I'm excited.”



Remembering Eric Garner

Hostess Tammy Greer Brown -- "On Sunday, July 30, 2017, approximately 15 people gathered at the Everything Goes Book Café for the first ever MOBB United Staten Island Meet and Greet. Known for its relaxed and inviting atmosphere, ETG Book Café is located on the North Shore of Staten Island minutes away from the Staten Island Ferry. It is also next to the very spot where Eric Garner took his last breath.

As mothers, aunts, and visitors listened intensely to Depelsha McGruder give a fantastic overview of the organization, many were touched by the shared stories of our fears and optimism for our young boys. Inspired by the mission and vision of MOBB United for Social Change, moms volunteered to pass out postcards at family reunions and sign up as members. Ronald Gregg, Esq. who attended the event, a former police officer and judge, pledged his services to the organization as well.

It is our goal to meet again in the Fall and bring in more mothers who share our mission and vision to protect our sons on Staten Island. We ended the meeting with a picture in front of the shrine created in memory of Eric Garner. It was forever a day we will always remember."



Rev. Dr. Deborah Jenkins

Hostess Rev. Dr. Deborah Jenkins with Tammy Greer Brown

Jenkins: “I hosted this first meetup at Faith at Work Christian Church, 120 Dekruif Place Bronx, NY 10475. All attendees were impressed with the presentation. Though few in number, each seemed committed to recruiting other moms and trying to grow a chapter. Subsequent to the meeting, I received several inquiries and apologies from moms who couldn't attend. One mom volunteered to organize a Northeast Bronx chapter here in Co-Op City; her name is Janine Thomas. The church is available for all future meetings, and I am eager to be a part of its growth."

Brown: “A small and intimate group of women met in the sanctuary of Faith at Work Church in the heart of Co-Op City in the Bronx. Invited by Pastor Deborah Jenkins, this famous residential area has a population of nearly 45,000, of which families, children and the church grows daily.

With a population of nearly 90K people who are of African and Latino descent, activism is interwoven into the very fabric of this church. Because they have a separate and thriving community apart from the rest of the Bronx, Co-Op City pays for its own NYPD security, thus their relationship is very different than in other parts in the Bronx. The police officers pretty much know the young children by name and work very closely with the tenant association to strengthen community relations. However, the church and its members have name recognition and extend their outreach beyond the borders of Co-Op City."