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Meet Our Grantee Partner — Melanin Mass Moms

A group of 14 mothers of color sitting around a table at Tet Cafe, some with their infants during a support group  gathering.
A support group hosted by Melanin Mass Moms

Melanin Mass Moms is a network of moms of color working to bridge the gap between community resources and health disparities for mothers of color as they navigate all stages of motherhood. The organization provides mental health resources, postpartum support, and avenues for advocacy aimed to increase access to community-wide resources.

Melanin Mass Moms is a recipient of our Movement Building Grant. We sat down with Julia Lotin, Executive Director, to learn more about how her postpartum experience inspired her to create the organization that today connects thousands of mothers across the state and what’s next for Melanin Mass Moms.

What led you to create this organization or take this leadership role? Can you tell us more about your connection to the work and the specific need you saw?

Six years ago, as a new mom, lost in the trenches of the fourth trimester, I found myself yearning for community and connection. I was excited to find new mom support groups in my area, which were great — but I quickly realized that my needs and experiences as a mom of color were not shared in those spaces as I was the only person of color in most cases. This experience sparked my interest to create Melanin Mass Moms (MMM) the social network. My vision for MMM was to become a hub of resources for moms of color to connect and feel validated in their experiences throughout the different stages of motherhood. There was a need for open conversations about the joys of melanin motherhood but also the scary and real experiences we go through as moms of color. There was a huge need for community, a safe space for diversity in dialogue and connection; that’s where MMM comes in.

Can you share more about how Melanin Mass Moms’ work is improving or supporting the health of women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals in the communities you serve?

Through the expansion of MMM from the social network to now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, our team of admins and board of directors saw this as an amazing opportunity to support our community of moms through their motherhood journey. Part of our goal was to build a collective where moms can provide peer support. As we continued to expand in the mental health and maternal health sectors, we learned about the extreme maternal health crisis impacting moms of color. Melanin Mass Moms supports the mental health of our community by providing monthly support groups where we can normalize the postpartum experience, support moms in all stages of motherhood, and connect them to resources such as mental health clinicians, doulas, etc. Our maternal health campaign has allowed us to shed light on this crisis through presentations with community leaders and providers who are doing the work to eliminate maternal mortality and providing access to doula care as an additional resource during labor and delivery.

What’s one thing people might not know about your organization?

Melanin Mass Moms is a unique organization, as we reach black and brown moms statewide through our online network. Over the past five years, word of mouth has grown our network to over 5,000 moms! The support and solidarity seen in our online community truly make this work rewarding. Our team of admins works hard to ensure this remains a space for us, by us.

What’s next for you? What project or goal is Melanin Mass Moms working on right now?

Melanin Mass Moms is thrilled to announce our 501(c)(3) Spring 2024 Doula Scholarship, designed to make a significant impact on the lives of four expectant mothers giving birth between March and August 2024. Our organization is committed to addressing health disparities and bridging the gap in available resources to mothers of color as they navigate the complex journey of motherhood.

Our mission is rooted in providing comprehensive support, encompassing mental health resources, postpartum assistance, and advocating for equitable access to community-wide resources for mothers of color. With this scholarship initiative, we aim to centralize the importance of doula care in addressing healthcare disparities, particularly during the crucial period of pregnancy and childbirth.

What does liberation look like to you?

Liberation for black and brown moms would be nothing short of safe birthing experiences, supportive and accessible mental health and wellness services, and existing in spaces of empowerment. Liberation looks like motherhood in bloom rooted in joy and safety. 


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