August 03, 2017 

Staff & Wire Report


“Our late founding president, Brenda Marsh-Mitchell, recognized the fact that kids fail because they can’t hear, see, have oral pain or don’t have the money or resources they need,” said Tracy Mitchell, president of Mothers in Action (MIA).


MIA is ready to help South Los Angeles residents prepare for the upcoming school semester with their 19th Annual Back-To-School Health and Family Festival Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 9am-1pm. This festival was near and dear to Marsh-Mitchell and is actually the last community service event she organized for MIA before her untimely passing in August 2014.  It seeks to provide all the tools necessary for a successful school year.


Marsh-Mitchell and former state senator and assemblyman, Rod Wright, founded the festival when they realized children weren’t performing well in school due to poor health conditions and lack of healthcare. MIA has continuously distributed much-needed supplies for students going back to school, filling a void that has plagued underserved communities in South Los Angeles.


Over the past 18 years, MIA has provided much-needed school supplies and valuable resource information to underserved at risk youth in Los Angeles’ poorest communities.  Students have been able to not only receive backpacks, uniforms, underwear, socks, raffle items, notebooks and other vital school supplies, but Mothers in Action has also provided free health care screenings, haircuts, optical exams and other needed medical services to ensure that every child is well prepared for the upcoming school year.  This year will be no different.


Immunization records are critical and attendees are urged to bring them to the festival.  Benevolence Health Centers (BHC) and St. John Wellness Mobile Unit will both be providing immunizations as well as other services. BHC will also be providing vision and dental screenings. The LAPD Sobriety Trailer will show an exhibit on the impact of drinking and driving and Cedars C.O.A.C.H. for Kids will help our youth “rethink their drink” choices. Other health care providers include The Children’s Dental Center of L.A., USC School of Dentistry and Watts Heath Center.


There will be a plethora of valuable information provided by vendors. The Brotherhood Crusade will be providing cookbooks, information on their Youth Source Center and other at-risk youth programs; SLAHP WIC and Cal Fresh will provide information on nutrition; L.A. County Office of Education and Parent Revolution will provide information on educational programs and services; Blue Shield, Anthem and BHC will be able to sign participants who qualify for free and low-income health insurance; Special Svc. For Group Trauma Center and YWCA of L.A. will distribute information on resources for victims of human trafficking and or other trauma and so much more.


This festival has only been made possible because of continuous support, dedication and love for the community. MIA would like to thank their chair, co-chairs, friends, members, sponsors, staff, volunteers, vendors and donors who are stepping up and out to help us provide our underserved residents of our community with a quality much needed health fair and back to school supply giveaway. Those sponsors, partners and special individuals include: Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper, L.A. Watts Times, The Bakewell Company, Brotherhood Crusade, Bank of America, CHP, The Cochran Firm of California, The Baron J Foundation, Holman United Methodist Church, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer District 59, 2nd District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, District 10 Herb Wesson, Jr., Council President, The New 9th (Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr.), District 8 Councilmember Mar­queece Harris-Dawson, DJ Jiji Sweet, Robert Torrence, PAVA World, 7-Eleven, Oscar Joel Bryant Foun­dation, Office Depot Foun­dation, Office of Management of Exposition Park, LAPD, LAPPL, Sandra Evers Manly, South Coast AQMD, Printco Graphics, Kaiser Permanente, L.A. Sanitation, Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors, Weingart Foundation, RFP Insurance and Zapata-King Neighborhood Council.   MIA appreciates all of their corporate and individual donors.


Special thanks to volunteer barbers, Barber Tim and Patrick Muhammad, who will be on hand to provide free haircuts and Deidra Chattams, who will be joining us once again to style, cut or braid some of the girls hair that come with their hair washed and no products applied; Brandi Burks & The Starving Actor for sponsoring lunch for our vendors/volunteers. MIA is so grateful that they unselfishly provide their services every year for our youth.


Entertainment will include P.A.V.A. Drummers, Spoken word (Holman), Fernando Pullum Jazz Band, Black Diamond Drill team and the Sweet Sounds of DjJiji Sweet.


Mothers In Action’s 19th Annual Back to School: Health & Family Festival in Exposition Park on Christmas Tree Lane on Saturday, August 5, 9am-1pm, located at 3911 S. Figueroa St in Los Angeles, CA 90037. For more information, contact Mothers in Action at (323) 290-0456 or email mothersinactioninc@aol. com. To donate, please visit www.


Mothers in Action is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization founded by the late Johnnie Tillman, Lillian Mobley, Nola Carter, Gwen Green, Mary Henry, Danny J. Bakewell Sr. and Brenda Marsh-Mitchell. MIA is a result of the 1992 civil unrest and aims to bring the community together. Made up of mothers, they aim to help the youth, elderly and less fortunate residents of the community.


Tracy Mitchell and Brian W. Carter contributed to this article.

Category: Community