A Back to School Festival attendee receives a free haircut at the event. Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis/ LA Sentinel

It’s August!

You know what that means? They’re going back—to school!

Before you send the kids off for another year of academic excellence, you should make sure they go back prepared. The 21st Annual Mothers In Action’s (MIA) Back to School Health and Family Festival is coming to make sure 1,000 at risk, underserved youth are prepared for school. The festival will take place Saturday, August 3, from 9AM-1PM at Exposition Park’s Christmas Tree Lane 3911 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037.

“Brenda Marsh-Mitchell, our late Founder & President, recognized the fact that kids fail because they can’t hear, see, or do not feel well,” said Tracy Mitchell. “So, she created the back to school to help diffuse the health issues that many underserved at risk youth in our community face and to provide the students with the tools needed to have a successful school year.”

Tracy Mitchell echoes her mother’s sentiments and continues to bring the community one of the biggest health and family festivals in Los Angeles. Her mother’s words, truer now, than ever—there is still an unyielding need for youth to be successful in school and have important resource information available to them. Particularly, with the growing homeless, working population sleeping in their cars or on the streets with their children.


L.A. Sentinel Publisher, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. with attendees of the Mother’s in Action Back to School Health & Family Festival. Photo: Robert Torrence / LA Sentinel.

The free event provides L.A.’s at-risk, underserved, school aged youth with free health screenings, immunizations, haircuts, uniforms and valuable community resources and information. Attendees can expect information on free or low-cost healthcare, youth job opportunities, safety, human trafficking, homeless resources, education, social services, healthy habits and much more while supplies last. The event caters to children ages 5 to 15-years-old.  There will also be free raffles throughout the day that include a variety of tickets and more.

“We are very thankful to our village of elected officials, sponsors, donors, volunteers and barbers because as a small non-profit 501 (c)(3) agency we could not do this without them,” said Mitchell.

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.

Fabian Wesson is once again our event chair.  This year’s co-chairs and sponsors include: Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. , Chairman of Bakewell Media; Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; Councilmember Curren Price (CD9); Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson (CD10); Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (CD8); and School Board member of District 1, Dr. George McKenna III.


From left Briggitte Wilson of Vision To Learn with proud mom and son receiving a free eye exam and his very first pair of eyeglasses at Mother In Action’s annual Back To School Health & Family Festival. Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis

Those sponsors, partners and special individuals include: Los Angeles Sentinel, Taste of Soul, L.A. Watts Times, The Bakewell Company, Brotherhood Crusade, The Cochran Firm of California, Sandra Evers Manly, Holman United Methodist Church, Cedars Sinai, Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles, CHP, The City of Los Angeles, Jamarah Harris, DJ Jiji Sweet, Robert Torrence, PAVA World, 7-Eleven, Toyota of Downtown Los Angeles, Metro, Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, Office of Management of Exposition Park, LAPD, LA Police Protective League, Yvonne Wheeler, South Coast AQMD, Kaiser Permanente, L.A. Sanitation, Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors, RFP Insurance, AFSCME Local 3930/AFL-CIO, Chase Bank, Bank of the West, International Longshore & Warehouse Union, LINXS, Brandi Burks, Gabor, Galanti, Grayson’s Awareness, and Bank of America Black Executive Leadership Team. MIA appreciates all of their corporate and individual donors.

MIA is honored to have health care educators/providers, which include Benevolence Health Center, Explorer -1, COACH for Kids, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Mothers Nutritional Center, LAC+USC medical Center, Asthma Breath Mobile, Special Service for Groups Trauma Recovery,  The Children’s Dental Center Fun Zone, Watts Health Center – Dentistry, Watts Health Center,  YWCA Greater Los Angeles and many more join our village to bless our youth with free health screenings and education at this year’s back to school health fair.

If you are planning on attending the event please bring your child’s immunization record if applicable. For more information on the event please contact the organization at (323) 290-0456 or email [email protected]. Participants interested in donating to Mother’s In Action can visit www.gofundme.com/miabacktoschool