Mission Statement: Inspired by the storytellers of Ancient Africa and motivated by the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson the mission of this organization is to educate the masses about the history of African American People: By bringing a complete educational exhibit into educational environments to expose, enlighten and educate children and adults of all ages and all walks of life. To help transform the problems of prejudice into the promise of Unity.
photo credit: Toronto kidz
In 1996, after visiting her granddaughter’s elementary school; Asale Kimaada Founder of Grandmothers Who Help, Inc., realized that there was a lack of adequate Black History programs within the public school system. From that point, she set out to dedicate her time and talents to bring about a change. Early on, Asale realized that a part of the problem was the absence of resources which the schools utilized. So, she created an organization called, “Grandmothers Who Help (GWH)”, and began to produce a “Traveling Black History Exhibit”. African American History From Antiquity to Present Times.
Her two daughters helped with this vision, her youngest daughter Kimella Collins, help with research and development, while her oldest daughter Charise Collins-Hinton, supplied the materials and computer equipment necessary to assembly the exhibit. This venture was created with private personal funds. After advertizing and sponsoring free presentations, we began to request a small honorarium from the schools and organizations who booked our exhibit. Our organization has managed to build a valuable multi-media exhibit that contains over 200 pictures, children’s, books, adult books musical instruments and artifacts. GWH sponsor‘s essay and art contest, as well as producing a yearly student news letter, (Student F.Y.I) generated during presentations at various venues. We ask for donations from community business to be able to award prizes to the children who enter in the essay and art contests.
Over the span of ten years, GWH has enriched Black History Month for student and adults in over a hundred elementary, middle schools, and high schools and colleges throughout Northern and Southern California. Unexpectedly, the popularity of the exhibit grew quickly and began to expand outside the barriers of schools into other areas. Invitations began to flow in from libraries, churches, universities, hospitals, city sponsored events and Juneteenth celebrations some were paid some were not however we went. In 2004 GWH applied for a non-profit status and it was granted in 2006.
Asale has constantly strived to upgrade the exhibit with new books, more and larger photos with bios, and a variety of programming. This is the reason the exhibit can transform any room into a mini museum. In 2005 the exhibit was expanded to include pictures and bios of Great Africans during antiquity. In 2007 two additional people were added to help present the exhibit. A musician came on board, a saxophone player; each presentation now begins with the National Negro Anthem. Also a retired school teacher brings the human experience of growing up in the South during the Jim Crow era. Parents share their experience growing up in other countries. We always allow time for student and teacher questions and answers.