Message from the CEO

This Mother's Day, let's celebrate and elevate Black Women. Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

May 2018

In honor of Mother’s Day, CBMA has been inviting our network of members, supporters and allies to join our #DearMamaLetters campaign in commemoration of Black women across the nation who have always served as beacons of hope, elevation and liberation -- not only in our community, but through every fiber of the fabric of this country’s history. With this campaign, we want to saturate all media platforms with words of love, encouragement and gratitude for the many Moms in our lives.

If you’ve experienced me talk about the Campaign for Black Male Achievement’s efforts over the past 10 years, you’ve most likely heard me characterize our focus on Black men and boys as a “narrow-angle lens” approach to our work. The wide-angle approach, however, is a community-building strategy that is fully inclusive of Black women, girls and the LGBTQ community. 

I cannot think of a better time than now to amplify this message, as we celebrate the many amazing mothers and mother figures in our network and beyond.

Personally, I know for certain that I would not be blessed to lead this groundbreaking movement were it not for my own Mom, Deanna: a strong Jamaican woman who, as a single mother, poured into me the life-shaping experiences that taught me how to love, learn and lead in the way I do today. Thank you, mom, for everything!

Still, in the midst of celebration, it must not be lost that while Mother’s Day is a celebration to many, for some it is a day of mourning, reflection and remembrance. 

For this reason we must take pause to honor the countless mothers who have lost their sons and daughters to senseless police and community violence.

In the U.S., African Americans are victims of nearly half of all homicides, despite representing only 14 percent of the population. Thus far this year, police have killed 352 people, and police killed 1,147 people in 2017. Further, Black people represent 25 percent of those killed according to www.mappingpoliceviolence.org.

With these sobering statistics in mind, we want to amplify the contributions of Black women leaders and advocates in organizations like Mothers Against Police Brutality (MAPB) and Cities United who are working tirelessly to eradicate such violence and trauma from our cities and communities.

As CBMA encourages you to contribute your loving words and imagery to our #DearMamaLetters campaign, we also recognize the great challenge before us in deepening our commitment to supporting the vast network of members working tirelessly to remove intersectional barriers faced by Black women, girls, men and boys. Your efforts to improve and influence community-wide policy initiatives that support economic, racial, and social sustainability are creating the changes our children and nation sorely need. 

We believe in and are thankful for all that you do to uplift our people and communities.

In Gratitude & Solidarity,

Shawn Dove, Chief Executive Officer

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