My wife is one of the founders of the Momference and District Motherhued. I’m a very proud husband

OPINION: A husband to a wife who is a creator and cultural curator: I love the front row seat I have to the work you do in the name of motherhood.

Panama Jackson and his wife, Simona Noce Wright. enjoy a day on the town in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy of Panama Jackson)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

By the time you read this, the Momference will be underway in Washington, D.C. What is the Momference, you ask? The Momference is a multiday conference for mothers of color (largely millennials), created and curated by District Motherhued, a non-profit based in D.C. geared towards (in my wording) bringing experiences and resources to largely Black and brown mothers in the Washington, D.C., area. I jokingly like to say that District Motherhued’s tagline should be, “District Motherhued, taking mothers from their families since 2016!” 

I mean that in jest, of course; I love District Motherhued. The organization (and its more intimate District Motherhued Society) has established itself as an amazing outlet and resource for the mothers who engage and interact. Between the many social outings, community service, and friendships and smaller communities created, the organization clearly fills a gap for women in the D.C. area. And I’ve had the opportunity to see the whole thing from the beginning: My wife, Simona Noce Wright, is one of the founders of District Motherhued and the Momference, along with her partner in motherhued, Nikki Osei-Barrett. 

I literally could not be more proud of what they’ve built. My wife is a publicist, event planner and people connector by trade. Nikki is as well, so when the two met—I believe Nikki reached out to Simona on Instagram, and the rest is history—no matter what they were going to do, they were going to be able to make sure, at the very least, the word got out the right way. And did it ever. Since starting District Motherhued, they’ve created amazing events like Mommy En Blanc, and they’ve been featured in all manner of press and various things by various people on various platforms. I’m only saying it this way because, at this point, it’s hard to point out all of the specific mentions. 

It all really comes together in the annual the Momference, which is now in its fifth year. This year’s keynote speaker is Kelly Rowland. Their team of moms—the MomSquad—puts on this amazing conference that is equal parts celebration and upliftment. Granted, I see it all from a slight distance, but the joy and camaraderie that I witness on my typical stop-through to show face and check out what Simona and Nikki have put together are palpable. It feels like a space full of love and one where all the women feel seen, and that is invaluable. Hell, I feel special being connected to it through my wife. 

It’s a lot of work putting together a conference. All of the tremendous women involved give up a ton of their time, drink a lot of wine and make sure that each and every woman who attends has the opportunity to have the best time possible. From stuffing gift bags and boxes and creating a whole marketing and aesthetic approach and appeal, the whole thing is really a *chef’s kiss* type of engagement. Everybody understands the assignment, and you can tell. 

I have a front-row seat to it all, and let me tell you something, my wife…I don’t know how she does it. She’s always ready to meet up with her friends or be a support system to a person in need (and I promise I don’t eavesdrop on any conversations; I actually mean that, too—I hate having non-contextual information where I only hear part of a convo). And most importantly, she’s a mother who is always ready to take the kids somewhere to make sure they have memories. She is a mother who still manages to enjoy her youth and be a great mother to kids who love her very much. That’s as good as it gets. And for her and Nikki to have tried to bring an organization to the public consciousness that does the same for Black and brown mothers in an intentional way, well, that’s the kind of thing that has me walking around bragging on my wife and all she’s done. 

I love that my wife has taken her selfless, out-going nature and converted that into experiences that double as both social events and community building. It’s a skill and a tireless pursuit, but one that pays dividends both personally and professionally. I love my wife, and I’m proud of what she’s created and put out into the world. It’s the kind of thing that once it gets going, who knows where it can go, and that journey is as exciting as the fruits it bears. 

I will, as is customary at this point, venture to the convention center to get a glimpse of what Simona and Nikki have turned into a ginormous thing that hundreds of mothers will enjoy. And I will smile and be proud. 

(And hopefully, catch a glimpse of Kelly Rowland.)

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).

Make sure you check out the relaunch of the Dear Culture podcast on TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network on Thursday, May 26, where I’ll be hosting some of the Blackest conversations known to humankind. You might not leave the convo with an afro, but you’ll definitely be looking for your afro sheen! Listen to Dear Culture on TheGrio’s app; download here.

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