Brown Mamas was founded on the idea that Black moms need Black moms. Muffy Mendoza founded Brown Mamas when she moved back to the Pittsburgh region after living in Brooklyn for a few years. Migrating back to the region in 2012 with a husband and three kids in tow, she was searching for a community of like-minded women to share her motherhood journey with.
It wasn’t long before she found her tribe with 7 women in her living room. What started as just a few women meeting monthly at Muffy’s home, at local events and at community spaces around the city ballooned into an online and in-person community of thousands of moms in just 5 years.
Today, Brown Mamas is nearly a household name in the Pittsburgh region. Our Facebook group of over 5,000 Black moms in the ‘Burgh is well known for being a space where moms can vent, ask for advice, get support and do the real work of building the village we need to raise our kids.
The BrownMamas.com website reaches over 10,000 readers each month. Our annual show, The Brown Mama Monologues, an annual production that amplifies the voices of everyday Black mothers, has been presented to sold-out audiences all over the city.
Muffy has written a curricula that focuses on helping Black moms do the healing work necessary to improve their lives, homes, communities and relationships, called the Brown Mama Mindset.
In the past Brown Mamas has received support from The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Opportunity Fund, The Sprout Fund, Awesome Pittsburgh, New Sun Rising’s Vibrancy Award (our fiscal sponsor) and the Heinz Endowments to implement projects and programming that leads to better life outcomes for Black mothers.
Brown Mamas has worked to amplify the voices of Black mothers in local media as well. The community has been featured in articles in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Magazine and North Side Chronicle, as well as CBS’s Lynn Hayes-Freeland Show.
What do we do?
The most important work we do is connecting moms to other moms through positive socialization. Over the years, this works has been varied in approach.
We pride ourselves on responding to the needs of our moms in real-time.
In March 2020, we hosted the Surviving the Rona Summit with local community organizations to quickly respond to the pandemic. The week-long virtual summit hosted local doctors, social workers, community advocates and educators to help parents cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic.
Also in alignment with our ability to keep the pulse of the Black mothering community in Pittsburgh, we are currently running the Brown Mamas’ Learning Cooperative.
The Learning Cooperative host a variety of enrichment classes for Black mothers and their families. From a Black History class to photography, sign-language and financial literacy, we galvanized the collective knowledge of our community to create education opportunity for Black families crafted by Black families.
In 2021, we are looking forward to working with the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s WHAM Global Fund to create a Black Maternal Health Database online and piloting our GROW Mama Mentoring Project.
If you want to know more about what we do, it’s best you hear it from the mouths of our mamas.
Brown Mamas exist to provide positive socialization opportunities for Black mothers and connect them with the resources, information and village they need to raise happy, health adults and remain happy, healthy women beyond motherhood.
Brown Mamas knows that by making Black moms better moms, dads become better dads, children become better adults and, ultimately, communities become whole communities where Black families can thrive.
Brown Mamas values:
- Nurturing strong relationships between mothers and their children
- Strengthening and expanding the village of support for moms
- Empowering successful parenting alliances
- Ensuring Black moms can thrive beyond their motherhood journey
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our community.