Thursday, August 11, 2022
Back-to-School Festival Readies Youth For School
By Brian W. Carter, Staff Writer
Published July 21, 2016


“Our late 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).

As summer begins to slowly wind up, MIA is ready to help South Los Angeles residents get ready for a new school semester with the 18th Annual Back-To-School Health and Family Festival Saturday, July 23, from10am-3pm. 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.


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 17 years, MIA has provided much-needed school supplies and valuable resource information to needy children in Los Angeles’ poorest communities.  Students have been able to not only receive backpacks, uniforms, notebooks and other vital materials, but Mothers in Action has also provided 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 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, Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, Bank of America, The Cochran Firm, Mablean Ephriam Foundation, Cedars Sinai Foundation, Holman United Methodist Church, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer District 59, District 10 Herb Wesson, Jr. Council President, The New 9th (Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr.), PAVA World, 7-Eleven, Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, Office Depot Foundation, LAPD, LAPPL, South Coast AQMD, Printco, Kaiser Permanente, , L.A. Sanitation, Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors, RFP Insurance and a very special anonymous donor that MIA would be remiss not to mention, who has supported the mission of MIA for years and we love her for it!!! 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 the festival for the first time to style, cut or braid some of the girls hair that come with their hair washed and no products applied. MIA is so grateful that they unselfishly provide their services every year for our youth.

MIA would like to welcome aboard for the first time, Benevolence Health Centers, who will be providing vision, dental screenings and immunizations; LAPD Sobriety Trailer and Virtuous Woman, who will be providing valuable information on sexual trafficking.

MIA and the community is fortunate and grateful to have the support once again from event chair Fabian Wesson; co-chairs, Assemblymember Reggie Jones- Sawyer, Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas, Council President Herb Wesson, Councilmember Curren Price, School Board Member, Dr. George McKenna and Pastor Kelvin Sauls of Holman United Methodist Church.


Immunization records are critical, so please remember to bring them with you to the festival. C.O.A.C.H. for Kids and St. John Wellness Mobile Unit will both be providing immunizations as well as other services. Other Health care providers include Black Health Taskforce/Drew University, The CHILDREN’S DENTAL Center of LA and Watts Heath Center. There will be a plethora of valuable information provided by vendors. The Brotherhood Crusade will be providing cookbooks and information on healthy eating along with more information from SLAHP WIC, Mothers Nutritional, L.A. County Office of Education, Parent Revolution, Blue Shield, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Special Svc. For Group Trauma Center and many more.

Mothers In Action’s 18th Annual Back to School: Health & Family Festival at the L.A. Sports Arena on Saturday, July 23, 10am-3pm, located at 3911 S. Figueroa St in Los Angeles, CA 90037. For more information, contact Mothers in Action at (323) 290-0456 or email [email protected] To donate, please visit

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.

[email protected]

Categories: Crenshaw & Around | Education | Family | Health | Local | News
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