Understanding the importance of having a positive perception of who you are, where you’ve come from and your place in this world can be attributed to a strong sense of belonging. We must question then, what happens when a child is not exposed to their own historical richness and the strength of the shoulders they stand upon? Grandmothers Who Help believes that such a void of this nature has severe effects and can be felt throughout the generations to come. It was that very concern that compelled a grandmother to take on a problem she felt had been neglected far too long.
It has now been over 23 years since Grandmothers Who Help (GWH) first brought its Black History presentation to the very first classroom with a mission, “To build upon the legacies, triumphs and accomplishments of African American people, both past and present; to inspire, encourage, educate and transform the presence of prejudice and racial divide into a promise of unity and hope”. In doing, we strive to plant the seed of self value , while creating a platform where both African American history and emerging technologies can both be used to help prepare African American youth for the 21st century’s competitive environment.
GWH has combined an old African tradition of the storyteller with the concept of a modern museum to create a traveling presentation consisting of more than 200 pictures, books, and artifacts. Throughout the years we have reached over 50,000 students ranging between grades K-12 and college throughout northern and southern California regions. By invitation, we have also been invited present at public libraries, universities, medical centers and local festivals throughout California.
Meet the Founders
After visiting the elementary schools of her grandchildren and seeing the lack of Black history being discussed, shown or even taught within their classrooms. Asale’ M. Kimaada, founded Grandmothers Who Help and set out to use her educational background in Human Development and African American Studies to develop a means to bring as much exposure to the accomplishments and journey of African American people.
In 1998, Asale launched her mobile black history presentation called “African American History from Antiquity to Present Times”. The presentation was not only to teach about the amazing triumphs African Americans accomplished within the United states, but also to make sure that black children understood that their history did not just begin in America. By creating an exhibit that she could travel with, Asale increased her ability to expose many more school children throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
“For all children, my presentation brings pride and understanding” Asale K.
Decades later, Asale’ is still passionate about the importance of knowing one’s history and is now working towards combining that concept along with S.T.E.M. education. For Asale, making sure that black youth have pride in themselves and are also prepared to thrive within a competitive future, is absolutely critical.