Brown Mamas was started in 2012 by Muffy Mendoza who needed a supportive village as she battled postpartum depression while moving back to Pittsburgh, PA with three kids and a husband in tow. What started as a meeting in her living room with like-minded mamas chatting about the often unrealistic demands of motherhood has blossomed into an expansive network that reaches over 6,000 Black moms in the city of Pittsburgh who are equally ready for solidarity and social change, and tens of thousands of moms across the nation.
Today, Brown Mamas is nearly a household name in the Pittsburgh region. Our Facebook group of over 6,000 Black moms in the ‘Burgh is well known for being a space where moms can vent, ask for advice and resources, 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 with the intent of redefining the American motherhood narrative to be more inclusive of the black mothering experience, 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 lead to better life outcomes for Black mothers. More recently, Brown Mamas has been accepted into Facebook’s Community Accelerator program, that seeks to help Facebook group accelerate and expand their impact both online and offline.
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, Public Source and North Side Chronicle, as well as CBS’s Lynn Hayes-Freeland Show.
The most important work we do is connecting moms to other moms through positive socialization opportunities and connection to resources and information. Over the years, this works has been varied in approach.
We pride ourselves on responding to the needs of our moms in real-time.
Local support group meetings, our GROW Mama Mentoring Program and working collaboratively with local organizations to connect moms to local resources and service providers are the mainstay of Brown Mamas’ community service.
In addition, we host events that seek to solve the pressing issues and positive celebrations moms are experiencing month-to-month and year-to-year. From the Surviving the Rona Summit, we offered in the wake of the pandemic, to Black Maternal Health Week and an ongoing relationship with Catapult Greater Pittsburgh to offer culturally, competent, out-of-school programming to our mamas and their families with Reconstruction Pittsburgh.
In conjunction with Healthy Start, Inc., a national organization that supports the maternal health needs of black mothers and their families, we also produce a quarterly podcast, the Brown Mama Blueprint Podcast.
Annually, we produce the sold-out Brown Mama Monologues showcase, an on-stage production of 10 moms telling their unique stories around being Black mothers in American with the purpose of redefining the American motherhood narrative to be more inclusive of the lived experiences of Black mothers.
If you want to know more about what we do, it’s best you hear it from the mouths of our mamas.
Today, Brown Mamas is a force that continues to provide a safe space and resource connection to thousands of its core members in the Steel City, seeks to amplify Black mothering voices in every US city through the Brown Mama Monologues and contributes to global conversations around what it means to be an African mother on American soil.
By making moms better moms, we make dads, better dads, children become better adults and ultimately, communities become better communities.Muffy Mendoza
To this end, we don’t need allies, we need accomplices.
Donating to our social good work like our monthly support group meetings and mentoring program, offering your services or expertise to our team or community, and sponsoring a Brown Mama Monologues showcase are some of the ways you can get involved.
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 thrive 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.