The genesis of Mocha Moms dates back to 1997, when Jolene Ivey and Karla Chustz began
publishing a newsletter with the goal of connecting with other stay-at-home mothers of color across the country. The newsletter
was intended to encourage these mothers to feel good about their choice and to provide information to help them be the best
and most important influence in their children's lives. The first Mocha Moms newsletter was published in the spring of 1997
and was distributed via email and postal service to over 100 mothers nationwide.
In August 1997, Jolene and Karla teamed up with Cheli English-Figaro to
make Mocha Moms a national support organization. The first chapter was established in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Mocha Moms is a support group for mothers of color who have chosen
not to work full-time outside of the home in order to devote more time to their families. While many of our members have eliminated
employment altogether, others work part-time, flex-time, night shifts, have home-based businesses, consult or freelance from
home or have chosen alternative, less demanding career paths so that they are more available to their families. Our goal is
to support the decisions made by our members. We will never pass judgment on mothers who choose to make or are forced to make
different decisions for their families. (See Mocha Moms Inc. and the "Mommy Wars"). Mocha Moms welcomes people of all religions, races, educational backgrounds and income levels. (See Anti-Discrimination Language). Mocha Moms serves as an advocate for stay-at-home mothers of color and encourages the spirit of community activism
within its membership. Anyone who supports the mission of Mocha Moms is welcome to join.
Our platform contains seven main issues or pillars:
1. The first is non-exclusivity.
We wanted to create an organization where ALL at-home mothers of color would feel welcome.
2. Community activism and the spirit of volunteerism: Community service clearly benefits
society at large, but performing the service also benefits our members.
3. Support for work-at-home mothers: This enables mothers who work-at-home to
connect and network.
4. Non-partisanship: Mocha Moms of all political, religious and all other persuasions
5. A strong commitment to marriage and to the support of our husbands.
6. Self-care and taking time for ourselves - mind, body and spirit.
The education of our children: Whether our children attend public, private, charter schools or are homeschooled, at home mothers
are committed to educating their children and Mocha Moms, Inc. is committed to help in this endeavor.