We Are the Change
On Friday, September 13, 2019, the Mocha Moms, Inc. National Board was honored to attend the 42nd annual Black Women's Agenda Luncheon and Symposium in Washington, D.C., a gathering of nearly two thousand attendees including lawmakers, senior corporate executives, activists, philanthropists and thought leaders. Mocha Moms, Inc. is one of 22 national collaborating organizations that comprise the Black Women's Agenda, founded in 1977 to address, protect and advance the rights of black women.
The message of the day, and for us as black mothers is reflected in the Black Women's Agenda's powerful theme #IAmtheChange. Mochas, we ARE the change. Often we don't recognize our power or our value. Let us never diminish who we are. We are strong. Our message, our words, can move mountains. Our actions speak volumes. Our vote makes a difference. We must believe. It is imperative. Let's be heard. Let's fight for our needs. Let's protect our rights. There is much work to be done. And through it all, let's support each other as those of us in this sisterhood know so well how to do. We owe that to ourselves and to our children.
The Black Women's Agenda continually assesses the status and roles of black women, recommends data-based public policy changes and educates the public through workshops and other means about the issues relevant to our needs. For the past 7 years we have been thrilled to connect with leaders from the nation's black sororities, civic, social and religious organizations to discuss the pressing issues of the day and how our strength in numbers can impact lasting change in our communities throughout this country.ballroom at the Washington Hilton surrounded by life-size pictures of the legendary and iconic black female leaders on whose shoulders we stand - Ida B. Wells, Toni Morrison, Shirley Chisholm, Coretta Scott King and others - a stark reminder that our mission is not only to support one another but to work feverishly to live up to the ideals our ancestors so selflessly and fearlessly fought for.
At the "Living Your Best Life: I am the change" town hall, moderator Joy-Ann Reid, host of MSNBC's AM JOY, reminded us of our power during a critical time in our lives and urged us to exercise our influence by voting in record numbers in our local and state elections, and particularly the upcoming presidential election. She also reminded us that filling out the 2020 Census will help determine the allocation of funds, programs and the number of representatives each state sends to Congress. Town hall panelists included CNN political commentator Keith Boykin, Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary, Political consultant Shermichael Singleton and racial justice expert Maya Wiley.
The luncheon program recognized some of the phenomenal trailblazers in our midst working to protect the rights of black women and chronicle their stories. The Honorable Cheri Beasley, first black woman Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina received the President's Award. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser was honored as a "Woman on the Rise." Dorothy Gilliam, the first black woman journalist at the Washington Post, received the Education Award. Patrice Harris, first black woman president of the American Medical Association, received the Health Award. Other awardees were Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide, Deryl McKissack and Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President and CEO of the first black architectural firm and Jacqueline Thompson, a sophomore at Spelman College who received the "Bright Futures" Award.
Much Mocha Love,
Kuae Kelch Mattox
National President, Mocha Moms, Inc.