#BMCSUMMIT Recap: This Summit Is All About Empowering Black Moms and Includes Melanie Fiona Speaking on Motherhood

By Winnie Caldwell

Google mom. I’m serious. Like right now (just make sure you come back to finish reading this because I highlighted A LOT and I’m sensitive about my word count 😩). So this is what Tanya Hayles did, as well as just experienced the result in real life and online. There are thousands of spaces for moms to convene but the spaces aren’t as inclusive as you’d think.


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There’s layers to being a mom. We have moms of different ages, cultures, religions, color, lifestyle, and more. One space that wasn’t easily accessible on Facebook alone was a space for black moms. Tanya Hayles, Founder of Black Moms Connection noticed this and created a solution. Black Moms Connection started as a small group of black moms that just wanted to confide in each other, now that group consists of over 11,000 black moms all over the world!

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So what do you do when you connect thousands of people around the world? Give them access to connect in person! I had the honor to speak at the 2nd Annual BMC Summit in Toronto, Canada!

BMC Summit

Photo Cred: Eva Wilson

Thank you Tanya for the opportunity to speak on your Moms + Bosses panel and thank you KidBox for being the sponsor to ensure this experience would happen!

KidBox is truly a blessing. My son, Sidney, had a chance to apply to be on the Kids Board of Directors for KidBox and now he’s the Chairman! Not only is KidBox giving him access to give away $10,000 worth of brand new, name brand clothing to the community in 2019 but also supporting his muva as well!

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Thank you KidBox for supporting all of the kids around the world as well as their families. It was empowering to be able to gift all attendees of BMCSummit with a $20 gift card towards their first KidBox box! Wanna try KidBox? I still have a deal for you. Use code SidneyKeys at kidbox.com and save 20%!

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So what happened at the conference?? Ok here’s the tea:

-Topics: Mental Health & Wellness, Fostering & Adoption, Fertility & Rainbows, Keynote Fireside with Melanie Fiona, School & Education, Food & Fitness, Love & Sex, Mom & Bosses ( I said moms have layers right?? And black moms have layers that other ethnicities haven’t experienced).

The Intro!

Some of The Speakers!

IMG_79C1A41D961F-1My husband and I have a rule, that anytime we need to go to the school, that we go together so that way they know that this child comes from an entire support system. – Danielle Dowdy on School & Education

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One of the things we are trying to challenge is this mentality of social workers, that being black is a crisis. Single black parenting is not a crisis. Poverty is the crisis. – Tina Garnett, BMC Summit Speaker on Foster & Adoption

Keynote w/Melanie Fiona!

Now in this space he has to have a limitless perception but he also has to be aware of the climate. I just don’t want him to put the climate on himself. – Melanie Fiona speaks on raising her son in America.

 And I can’t forget about myself! When I was asked, “What brings you to Toronto?” I was excited to say, “Black Moms Connection.” Furthermore, that encouraged conversation about Books N Bros and KidBox which completed the story. I have been advocating for my child all of his life. I noticed more experiences of him being treated differently the older that he got. The assumptions that he’s old enough in the 3rd grade to talk about ‘What’s going on in Ferguson?’ as one of two black boys in his class during the unrests. Or the assumptions like, ‘Oh let me guess, basketball.’ from strangers that don’t relate to his skin tone. Conversations like these aren’t definitive to just being black in St. Louis. Attending the BMC Summit made me aware that black moms in Toronto, the UK and beyond experience similar situations on a daily. I am just honored to be able to advocate for my son full time now thanks to our development of Books N Bros. It hasn’t been easy and it still isn’t as funding is becoming minute and the need is bigger than membership fees can handle. But I didn’t come this far to stop. Maybe I could have planned better. Maybe I could allow others to help more (I’m working on it). But I am happy to have had the opportunity to share my testimony with the moms of BMC for a memorable experience. They even got a laugh out of my transparency…*whispers* maybe because it’s relatable.

I wish I could include EVERYTHING about BMC Summit but it was sooooo much. Like literally each session needs a separate blog post and Sidney will be home from school soon sooo Mama doesn’t have that much time but I’ll have another write up! Stay tuned! Subscribe. And for black mamas interested in joining Black Moms Connection, submit your request here.


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