Moms of Black Boys United and celebrities rally for activism and voter engagement

July 10, 2019

By CASEY FERRAND and BRANDON ARMANT (WTDN) - During the 25th annual Essence Festival, a celebration of black culture that drew more than half a million attendees to New Orleans, Louisiana, Moms Of Black Boys United, Inc. (M.O.B.B United) continued its mission to elevate how Black boys and men are treated in society.

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To commemorate the organization’s third anniversary, M.O.B.B. United connected with moms and advocates through a variety of touch-points, including its 2nd Annual ​“Champions of Change” breakfast.  The fundraiser was supported by “BeWoke.Vote,” a 2019 Webby Awards nominated short-form social series campaign that features one-on-one segments of celebrities discussing political, social and societal landscapes. ​It’s considered a rally for activism and a platform to encourage voter engagement and participation.  

Some of the most influential names in the entertainment world have participated, including Kim Kardashian,, Jamie Foxx and Chelsea Handler.  “BeWoke.Vote” was conceptualized by prominent philanthropist and investor Robert F. Smith, film director Deon Taylor and film producer Roxanne Taylor who are all partners in Hidden Empire Film Group.

“We are so excited to partner with such a dynamic social campaign like ‘BeWoke.Vote’ to elevate our message and galvanize support, not only among moms but among young people of color who can help amplify our voice and mission,” said Depelsha McGruder, founder and president of M.O.B.B. United, in a press release.

“Champions of Change” ​honorees included TV Personality, Attorney, Social and Political Activist Phaedra Parks for her work with fatherless boys and her Save Our Sons program; ​Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome ​for her demonstrated commitment to responsible government and police accountability; and ​Monteria Robinson for her tireless quest in demanding justice for her son, Jamarion, who was killed in 2016 by police officers.

The event was emceed by ​actress Nicki Micheaux​, and was attended by notable celebrities and personalities like Yandy Smith​, Roland Martin​, and the Exonerated (Central Park) Five members Korey Wise​, ​Dr. Yusef Salaam,​ and ​Raymond Santana.


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