Community Conversations:
Sister to Sister

June 2021 Newsletter

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"My Mother is black, loveliest of all;
Yes, she is as pure as the new made morn;
Her song of glee is a clear rythmic call
To these arms of love to which I was born."

- Marcus Garvey, "The Black Mother"
Read the poem in full here

Celebrating Black Motherhood

May 9th may have come and gone, but gratitude for our mothers is not limited to Mother's Day. Here at Community Conversations, everyday is a day to celebrate Black motherhood. In this newsletter, we celebrate Black mothers in all their diversity: grandmothers, aunties and cousins, birth mothers, step mothers, and chosen mothers, all who offer us their mothering.

While acknowledging the challenges that Black mothers face, Black motherhood should not be viewed through a lens of adversity. Black motherhood is instead defined by love: in the face of hardship, Black mothers continually demonstrate endurance, wisdom, and boundless nurturing. Although Black motherhood often goes underappreciated, join us in recognizing Black mothers, this spring and beyond.

Help CC Create an Ode to Black Mothers:

Community Conversations invites you to continue the celebration. Please share with us: what you love or appreciate about your maternal role models or those who mothered you. Fill out this form here if you are interested in your message being shared in our "Ode to Black Mothers" creative collection to be displayed on the CC website.

Share Your Tribute Here
Maternal Mental Health
Caring for the physical health of Black women must be accompanied by supporting our emotional wellbeing. Whether you are expecting a child, experiencing postpartum depression, missing your child, mothering other’s children, or even deciding whether or not to have a child, there is a mental health professional for you. Check out these mental health resources, created by Black women, featuring professionals that serve the mental health needs of Black women.
Mothers and Policy
It is imperative that Black Maternal issues remain at the forefront of politics. Our voices and needs deserve to be heard and met outside the home. We want our commitment to the safety, protection, and wellbeing of Black mothers to be recognized not only in sentiment and awareness raising, but also backed by action in research, legislation, the workplace, the media, and funding. The following dedicated support groups and other resources may be useful in your Black motherhood journey:
This past year our community weathered so much stress in the face of multiple pandemics and was continually challenged and tried, but we still stood strong and stood out. This past season, CC’s 12th season of programming, was made possible by our team’s commitment to innovation when utilizing a virtual format: not just to deliver the program but to retain our characteristic dynamism and intimacy when doing so. We’ll can’t wait to return to monthly programming in the fall (who knows, we might even be in person)! See Past Programming Table for Season 12's topics and resources.
Our Team is Growing
We are so excited to introduce to you our new CC interns. Welcome to the team, Krista and Heresa!
BA Tufts, Heresa Laforce joins Community Conversations an intern. She is a multi passionate individual with a mission to address the social determinants of health. Heresa is excited to contribute to a number of health-related projects, including but not limited to nutrition, healthcare access and quality. She loves eating mangoes and connecting over books!
BS Biology, Seton Hall University; MS Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Krista joins Community Conversations as an intern. As a professional researcher in the Biotechnology industry, Krista is passionate about making sure the voices and needs of the most vulnerable patients are represented in the development of novel therapeutics. Researching methods to open lines of communication to align goals between biotechnology companies and patient communities is an area Krista is excited to get involved in. In her free time she likes to chat about books, podcasts, and music!
We Got a Cummings Grant!
We are excited to announce that CC is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive a grant of $100K through the Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program! CC was chosen out of 590 applicants during this competitive review process. We are immensely grateful to the Cummings Foundation for recognizing our 12+ years of hard work and dedication to addressing barriers to improved health outcomes in the Black community, and for this opportunity to continue the work and continue building CC’s sustainability. CC's In the News
CC Supports Black Maternal Health with Cambridge YWCA
On May 24th, CC co-hosted the second installation of the Cambridge YWCA series on Black maternal health. Moderator Carmyn Polk, YWCA Cambridge Board Member and Chair of the Racial and Social Justice Advocacy Committee, facilitated a conversation with panelists Dr. Dallas Reed of Tuft's Medical Center; Merline Williams, Birthing Doula and Owner of Nurturing Babyhood N’ Beyond; State Representative Marjorie Decker; and Tamara Leroy-London, LICSW. A third conversation is planned; stay tuned for updates. CC's In the News
Film Screening Panel on Black Barbershops
CC's Erinn Pearson, Dorla White-Simpson, and Robin Reed participated in the panel “Black Barbershops and Salons: Neighborhood Oasis: Film Screening & Discussion” on May 26th. Read about Dorla's experience as a panelist and watch a recording of the event (Passcode: BBfs&d526).
Keeping the Conversations Going
Look out for upcoming events: Community Conversations has planned several new projects for the summer! Look forward to:
  • New additions to the CC Speaks Blog
  • Sista I'm With Ya, a monthly virtual community building event; watch for emails with registration information
  • A community dance party
  • After summer planning, our next conversation will take place on Sunday, September 12th
Be sure to share this exciting news with your circle!
Are you and your friends interested in becoming part of this group of Black women dedicated to growing in health, knowledge, and connection? Be sure to join our community:

How Can I Contribute?

We are so grateful for the love, energy, and support you bring to this community. We could not do this without your time, treasure, and talent.

Introduce CC to your circle:               
Help us grow our membership!

Support CC with your time:                 Add your voice to the conversation
                                            Join or create a committee
                                                                  Network on our behalf

Contribute professional expertise:   Grant writing 
                   Legal counsel
                                      Web design (using Wix)
Your contribution suppports: monthly salon programming, workforce development initiatives, collaborations with sister organizations, efforts to share our model, research efforts

Please consider a recurring donation if you can.
Click Here to Donate!
CC Intern Team
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268 Brookline St
Cambridge, MA 02139-4518
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