Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Mothers In Action Mark Founding President’s Birthday by Serving Seniors
By Cora Jackson-Fossett Staff Writer
Published April 18, 2019

Community Service Legacy of Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Continues Focus on the Underserved

Pam Bakewell, Sentinel COO, greets the residents of Rosa Parks Villas

Five years after her passing, the legacy of Brenda Marsh-Mitchell continues to positively impact the South Los Angeles community.

As the founding president of Mothers In Action (MIA), Marsh-Mitchell worked tirelessly to provide resources to aid children, seniors and the underserved.  The seeds she planted are still bearing fruit through MIA’s community activities such as the group’s observance of Marsh-Mitchell’s birthday on April 13. The event marked the organization’s fifth consecutive year of staging the commemoration.

Instead a organizing a black-tie affair, MIA chose to celebrate Marsh-Mitchell’s life by serving the residents of Rosa Parks Villas with dinner, entertainment and gifts.  The Villas are a 60-unit building operated by Ward Economic Development Corporation. Scores of seniors from the apartment complex came out to the gathering and enjoyed the personal care of MIA volunteers.


The young ladies of the MIA Mentoring Group from Marcus Garvey School played an integral part as well.  The students sang, danced, and recited poetry along with providing attentive service to each person.

“Thank you for making us feel so good,” said resident Brenda White. “All we had to do was to come out and sit down and enjoy ourselves.”

The Rev. Shirlon Jackson, another resident, noted, “It’s good to be treated with such love and warmth. I didn’t know Brenda, but I came because of her. I wanted to know more about this magnificent lady with all of this energy and love of serving others.”

Marsh-Mitchell’s commitment to service is well-known throughout South L.A. Often described as an “iconic multi-tasker,” stories abound of her unique ability to mobilize multitudes of volunteers to participate in rallies, fundraisers, protests and community events.

Under her decades-long tenure, MIA sponsored one of the largest back-to-school programs in the country, fed thousands of families during the holidays, distributed hundreds of toys for Christmas and organized countless programs to improve the quality of life for those less fortunate.

The children of Marsh-Mitchell, who learned to “give back” at an early age, reflect their mother’s dedication through their participation in the nonprofit organization.  According to her daughter, Pamela Mitchell, “My mother gave us our assignment a long time ago. We’re here to serve and help others.”

MIA’s mentees from Marcus Garvey School display their helping hands

Sharing a similar comment, Tamela Mitchell said, “Service in our community is just instilled in me. It’s a part of my life – my fabric because of Brenda.”


Marsh-Mitchell’s youngest daughter, Tracy, who has led MIA since 2014, emphasized the community service focus as she expressed her pleasure at the success of birthday celebration.

“I was pleased with the turnout and that Rosa Parks Villas allowed us to come and I’m so proud of the young ladies of our mentoring session who entertained, helped plan, set-up and break-up the event,” said Tracy Mitchell, who also cited the contributions of City Council President Herb Wesson and his staff in supporting the celebration.

She also expressed appreciation to Marcus Garvey School director Linda Saunders, Ward EDC executive director Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Rosa Parks Villas manager Judie Johnson, Wesson deputy Kimani Black, MIA staffer Carrell Howard and she added, “Our village of volunteers who always willingly donate their time and talents to ensure the success of all of MIA’s projects.”

Categories: Crenshaw & Around | News (Family)
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