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.
Brief History - Grandmothers Who Help, Inc.
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 Kimmella 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, and donations of pictures and other historical information from private donors. After advertising and sponsoring free presentations, small honorarium from the schools and organizations who booked the exhibit were needed to keep afloat. They managed to build a valuable educational multi-media exhibit that contained over 200 pictures and bios of great people. Many people began to donate art work, pictures, children’s and adult books musical instruments and artifacts. To create closer community relations, GWH sponsor‘s essay and art contest, as well as producing yearly student newsletter (Student F.Y.I) generated during presentations at various venues.
Over the span of twenty years, GWH has enriched Black History Month for student and adults in countless, elementary, middle schools, 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 they 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 and a saxophone player. They began each program 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. They always allow time for student and teacher questions and answers, to help generate the Student News Letter.
In 2014 GWH added another upgrade to their exhibit, “Teaching Black History In The 21stCentury”. GWH was introduced to S.T.E.M.H. - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It brought the exhibit full circle, to the foundation of “African American History From Antiquity To Present Times”. GWH now offers S.T.E.M. tables at many yearly events, helping to bridge the “Digital Divide” and encourage African American children and other children of color to understand how to compete in today’s 21stcentury education and careers.