Mocha Moms Inc. was created in 1997 as a support group for stay-at-home mothers of color. The North Dallas chapter, led by first-year president Shanaci Cook of McKinney (mom of 5-year-old CJ), accepts working and stay-at-home moms of all ethnic backgrounds from across the Dallas area. The group offers grown-up fun for moms, including a cooking club, spa days and more, and, of course, cool activities for the kids like holiday parties and trips to the park, Cook says. The national group is currently planning its annual conference, set for this summer in Chicago. Cook says she and three other North Dallas Mocha Moms are planning to attend. The conference will include mom-friendly speakers, parent education sessions and plenty of time for mom bonding (shopping, sight-seeing and more). On a national level, Mocha Moms Inc. also reaches out to its members with articles and events focusing on topics of interest to all moms, from financial tips to health information.
Cook says the North Dallas chapter is more like a family, with members supporting each other in their roles as moms and wives.
"The Mocha Moms of North Dallas chapter was chartered in 2002. Currently we have about 30 members. We have two monthly support meetings, a monthly moms’ night out, a monthly playdate and an outreach event about every three to four months. We have two chapters in the Dallas area, a North Dallas chapter and a South Dallas chapter. Moms can log on to our national Web site, www.mochamoms.org, for more information about which chapter to join. There are yearly dues of $40, but any mom is welcome to come check out a support meeting for free.
"One of our big national outreach programs by Mocha Moms Inc. is our Boys Booked on Barbershop and Girls Booked on Beauty Shop program. Each year we go into a barbershop or beauty shop and provide books for the boys and girls to read as they wait to get their hair done. On the day our chapter brings in the books, we make it a joyful event by providing snacks for the kids and parents, and we have someone there to read to the children. This year, Scholastic is providing 100 donated books to each participating chapter. We set up a bookcase and a little reading nook for the kids in the shop. This program is to help promote more literacy in children in the African American communities.
"I love the support I get from other moms in Mocha Moms. It’s not another moms group that focuses on the kids. It focuses on you and your needs as a woman, a wife and a mother. The children get along really well. We have a great range of age groups so no child is ever left out. Children are welcome at our support meetings, and after awhile they start to form bonds with one another. The playdates help as well!"