Longtime NFL journalist John Clayton dead at age 67

Lumumba recalls having the idea in 2013 while pregnant with her first child and working as an assistant professor of English at Tougaloo College. This one stands out because Lumumba recalls that many of her students were also pregnant or raising children while they were in college.

Fueled by four years of inspiration and being pregnant with her second child, Lumumba took action to create a support system for young women to ensure they didn’t see pregnancy and children as obstacles to realizing their dreams.

“Some of them just need a word of encouragement or an office to pitch in,” said Lumumba, an associate professor of English at Jackson State University, where she chairs the Department of English, Foreign Languages ​​and Speech Communications and holds a post in Global and American Literature. “Others need gas bills to get themselves and their kids back and forth to school/daycare. Some students have to quit early to allow enough time off to give birth. Some women just want to feel like they have a place on campus. I realize these are things I can Response.”

In response, Lumumba founded Mothers Access to Justice and Opportunity (MOJO), a Jackson-based organization dedicated to empowering mothers with college degrees. Lumumba will present at 5:30 p.m. ET on MOJO’s efforts to launch a social justice speaker series. Tuesday, January 24 in the Gail Gunter Multipurpose Room at the John Clayton Fant Memorial Library. The University of Mississippi Women’s College of Culinary Arts, Fant Memorial Library, Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Housing and Residence Life, Office of Student Life and the Ina E. Gordy Honors College are sponsors of the series.

According to Lumumba, MOJO has sponsored 25-45 mothers in community colleges, four-year colleges and graduate schools, as well as women who have benefited from its fundraising efforts. Funding and resources the organization receives through grants and private donations help MOJO meet the full range of college mom needs, she said.

“Through listening sessions and surveys, we ask about their experiences and create programs that directly reflect their realities,” Lumumba said. “Previously, we provided parenting grants to help student mothers meet the basic practical needs of caring for their families (i.e. food, diapers, baby formula, baby wipes, clothing, etc.). We also provided education grants to student mothers to help them cover Tuition fees, purchase of textbooks and school supplies.”

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, MOJO provided emergency grants to college moms, allowing them to buy practical necessities like meals and sanitizing products for their families, as well as virtual learning technology, Lumumba said. Beyond tangible support, Lumumba said MOJO’s work continues to strengthen student mothers’ social, emotional and mental health support systems. She said support was crucial because it allowed student mothers to express their successes, setbacks and issues in a safe, inclusive space, and gave them the time and confidence to help them achieve their goals.

Lumumba earned her Ph.D. specializing in postcolonial literature in the global South and black motherhood as a movement of resistance. BA in English Literature from the University of Mississippi, MA in English Literature from Georgia State University, and cum laude from the BA in English Literature from Spelman College. She said she would not have been able to make this journey without the inspiration of her mother, Mary, who became pregnant with her older sister Kenya during her sophomore year at St. Xavier College in Chicago. With MOJO, Lumumba’s goal is to provide as many student mothers as possible with the resources and inspiration they need to complete their educational journey.