More than one hundred people packed the newly renovated grounds of the campus of the old St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Washington, D.C. to explore the policy opportunities that have surfaced in the wake of several urban uprisings around the country. The #BlackMomsMatter conversation cast a critical eye on the discourse around a mother of six whose viral video abusing her son during the Baltimore riots earned her praise as “Mom of the Year.”
The discussions–featuring anti-child abuse activist Dr. Stacey Patton, a family judge Hon. Errol Arthur, D.C. Rape Crisis Center policy advisor Indira Henard, psychologist Dr. Jennifer Joyner-Hall, curator Melani Douglass, school activist Iris Jacob, and more– critically examined urban myths and policy opportunities through the lens of mothers. “This conversation is a fractal of a larger series of conversations happening all over the country, all over the world right now,” explained moderator Jess Solomon, founder of Art in Praxis. “So we are part of a larger vibration.”
Judge Arthur, who serves families as a Superior Court Magistrate, said: “As we hear the comments from all of the panelists–that I find it so profoundly inspiring–I can tell you that tomorrow I will be a better judge because I was here tonight.”
The event, hosted by IF Fellow Dr. Natalie Hopkinson (Future of Sex Policy) and Ronald “Mo” Moten (Art Of Peace) was a collaboration between the Interactivity Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and more than a dozen community organizations based in Washington’s Southeast community. Read the Washington Informer’s coverage of the event HERE.
SEE VIDEO EXCERPTS BELOW.
Dr. Stacey Patton exploded myths about black mothers, explained how to end cycles of criminalization, as well shared the fallout from her controversial Washington Post essay, “Why is America Celebrating the Beating of a Black Child?
Indira Henard of D.C. Rape Crisis Center talks about the black church can and must play a bigger role in healing black women.
Iris Jacob, of Teaching for Change spoke of how myths about black mothers were used to tolerate a toxic learning environment in a Washington, D.C. public school.
Hip-hop Mama Princess Best performed her hit song “A black girl’s worth” live at the event.
Full two-hour video is available HERE. The next in the ongoing series of conversations about gender policy will take place 6:30 p.m. June 30 at the Anacostia Community Museum. Please email [email protected] for more details.