Mocha Momma Educates Us To The Bitterness Of Racism

 

No doubt, two of the most critical issues gridlocking this nation, currently, are education and cultural inequalities.  How we reach workable solutions on both remains to be seen, especially in light of the Presidential candidates’ opposing views on these matters, despite party affiliation.  

 

What sickens me is how “separated” the primary institutions of the United States have become from the people they are supposed to inspire, support and govern and how that illness has casted a catastrophic plague over the entire country. It’s as if these institutions have been operating merely to operate rather than serve the purposes in which they were created.  The result, “We’ve become an uneducated nation…and by ‘uneducated’, I don’t just mean ‘academically’ but socially, culturally, religiously, morally, and so on.”  It just so happens that you can see the blatant results of this reality most clearly in our schools – something Kelly Wickham Hurst witnesses and shares with us every day through her blog Mocha Momma.    

 

Having recently been nominated for an Iris Award 2016 in the category of “Influencer of the Year,” blogger Kelly Wickham has worked in education for over twenty years.  Her views are relevant and real, stemming from first-hand accounts and information she uses to improve her own professional effectiveness.  Mind you, the lady also has six grown kids of her own.  I would hasten to guess that some of what she learned through the years helped her to steer her own crew effectively as well.   

 

Mocha Momma aids in the awareness, explanation, and solutions parents need, today, with regards to finding and optimizing the education that seems to be hidden in this very uneducated system our children have been thrust into. Kelly’s voice is one of sanity and clarity, much needed by all families but especially those past the point of discontent and on the road of “taking matters into their own hands.” No doubt the merits of her interview below and her intelligent blog cannot be stressed enough. You’d be failing if you overlooked either.

 

What is your full name?

Kelly Wickham Hurst

 

Where do you live?

Springfield, IL

 

How many children do you have?

I have 6 children, all in their 20s

 

If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?

Determined

 

What is your personal mantra?

“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”

 

Tell us about you and your life.  

I’ve worked in education for over 2 decades and began a blog in 2005. Since I was a young mom (age 15 with my first child), I have had a unique perspective in writing about teen parenting. My husband is incredibly supportive of all of my work and since our children are adults we feel like we’re in our Second Act. My father lives with us and adds a generational perspective for us and the children.   

 

Finish this sentence, “The best part about being a mom is _____.”

The ability to make errors and ask forgiveness. Humility has been my best parenting trick.

 

How long have you been blogging for?  Do you blog for any group blogs or websites beyond your own?

I’ve been blogging for 10 years and I no longer write for other websites unless it’s a feature.

 

What is the name of your blog?  When was it launched?  

Mocha Momma though the url is now of my name (kellywickham.com) and even that is in transition. I launched it 11 years ago.

 

Share with us the significance of the name of your blog to you.  How did you come up with it? My friends call me “Mocha” as a nickname from a joke that seemed to keep on going. It was twofold: both from my love of coffee and the color of my skin. Since I ended up writing about race it definitely fit and I still use “mochamomma” as a handle on all my social media.

 

What is the primary focus of your blog?

Education, life, and race. I am committed to anti-racism work and storytelling when the narrative is inclusive.

 

What makes your blog unique?

I don’t think many blogs combine issues of education and race but that ended up being the thing I enjoyed talking about because it can be a difficult conversation.

 

Tell us about your blog in depth, including what you hope to accomplish through it.

Mostly, I want people who don’t have the same lived experiences to honor and respect differences in a way that doesn’t center themselves. It hadn’t occurred to me, early on, that creating this dialogue was going to make a difference, but it has. I’ve seen more of my early blogging friends explore the topic as learners than I ever expected to see.

 

Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?

No, not anymore.

 

Beyond your blog, do you engage in other social media outlets such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?

Yes, I am “mochamomma” on all of them. Using that handle has helped me keep them in alignment.

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?

'Every day, the way you live your life' is your story and you own that, even your messy mistakes. Don’t be afraid to share those. Sometimes, those stories are the ones that make other moms not feel so alone.

 

Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)?  Please share.

Yes, I am an educational administrator in a middle school as well as a speaker.

 

Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?

Anti-racism, all day long, 365 days a year. It’s my life’s work.

 

When all is said and done, what is the one thing you hope your loved ones and those who knew you remember about you?

I hope people remember that I fought for the underdog and had the ability to see students, as well as anyone I come in contact with, as the unique and tender human beings they are.

 

Hers is a purpose and mission that expands well-beyond herself.  I admire and respect Kelly Wickham for devoting her life to the greater good.  She, certainly, could teach our nation’s institutions a thing or two about doing the same.  We should only be so lucky if that happened...right?