-From Enslavement to Enterprising Empowerment
On Saturday, August 11, 2018, in celebration of Bridget “Biddy” Mason, aka “Auntie Mason” and sometimes “Grandma Mason”, 200th birthday (August 15, 1818) and legacy, the Women’s Group of Greater Los Angeles County (WGGLA) hosted its 4th Annual signature event A CALL FOR BOLDNESS Bridget “Biddy” Mason Unsung Shero Legacy Celebration (Celebration) in collaboration with the Cynthia Perry Ray Foundation (CPRF). The Celebration was held at the Biddy Mason Memorial Park, 333 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA., This space was owned and home to Biddy Mason, and the founding location of First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles. The Celebration paid tribute to Black women who were 100 years old or older.
Diane Mitchell Henry, Founder/Chair of The Women’s Group of Greater Los Angeles County and Dr. Kathye D. Jenkins, Founder/President of the Cynthia Perry Ray Foundation were delighted Hon Jan Perry (Ret.), General Manager, Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development served as the Honorary Chair of the 2018 Celebration Committee. As a homage to the extraordinary leaders of the Celebration Committee, each Committee member received a shout-out by the Young Leaders of Greater Los Angeles County: Myeoshe Edwards, Dynesha Lucas, Shecara Vardiman and Azizi Williams during the reading of Pearl Cleage’s “We Speak Your Names.”
Biddy Mason’s legacy- FROM ENSLAVEMENT TO ENTERPRISING EMPOWERMENT is inspiring, enlightening and powerful. For more details about her life visit: http://www. blackpast.org/aaw/mason-bridget-biddy-1818-18912018. They are Unsung Sheroes whose experiences and challenges were greeted with bold spirit-lead wisdom and steadfast determination that propelled them to pursue their goals and achieve their many accomplishments. Awards Presenter, Alvita E. Smith, Consultant, U. S. Postal Services presented beautifully framed stamps of Black Women to the Unsung Sheroes who were present: JUANITA CRATTIC and MABEL WESLEY. The other Unsung Sheroes recognized were: GERTRUDE THELMA BURDETTE, JULIA A. DUNCAN, JUANITA HUGHES, VESTER L. JAMERSON, BENNIE LEE JONES, HATTIE L. MINOR AND GERTRUDE T. POSTON.
Diane Mitchell Henry stated, “The Celebration is also a platform to inspire and engage guests to Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Brilliant to Be Better advocates for social and economic justice. We should embrace the notion that our obstacles are opportunities to motivate and prepare us for building character, increasing strength and developing strategy for moving forward with a mindfulness for endless possibilities for a better world.”
The collaborator for this event Cynthia Perry Ray Foundation’s Founder/President Dr. Kathye Jenkins shared “I have heard of Biddy Mason for years and didn’t really know the richness and fulness of her trendsetter life until I read several biographies on her in preparation for this event. What a dynamic soul who has left a tremendous legacy that will inspire for generations to come. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of remembering a great Woman of Faith.”
The keynote speaker, Wendy Gladney, CEO/President, Wendy’s Enterprises known as an Ambassador for Forgiveness and an International Spokesperson gave an encouraging message. Wendy expressed, “Now more than ever, we must be diligent in the ﬁ ght to not only keep our history alive, but to continue in the struggle to make our communities better for the next generation.”
Guests were entertained by acclaimed artists: Denise Lyles-Cook, Oracle, and Karen Bankhead, AKA, Eta Mae in the presentation “A Conversation with Biddy Mason”, also MAIA, Contemporary Harpist; The Mighty, Mighty Travelers Men’s Gospel Group; and Dee Holland, Praise Saxophonist performed. Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely, Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Freedom Rider engaged the guests with a spoken word selection written for the Celebration.
Sponsors included: California Black Women’s Health Project, Cynthia Perry Ray Foundation, Foothills Arts Collective, GlobalTHAT!, Hope in Life Foundation, LA Possible, Sistas On the Go, World Financial Group, The Women’s Group of Greater Los Angeles County. For additional information for upcoming events email Diane Mitchell Henry -firstname.lastname@example.org and Kathye Jenkins – kathyejenkins@ aol.com.