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On May 12, 2024, we were honored to have our CEO and President Jackie Broxton feature as a guest speaker with Wilshire United Methodist Church’s Multicultural English Ministry during their Sunday morning service.

In “The Persistent Woman,” Miss Broxton presented an inspiring retrospective of the life of Biddy Mason’s—our organization’s namesake whose unrelenting grit moved her from a life of enslavement to entrepreneurship. 

She discussed the uncertain landscape of early Los Angeles—which played home to enslaved people, free Blacks, Californios, and other diverse populations—and the root of Biddy’s lifelong pursuit of freedom, financial stability, and humanitarian outreach to vulnerable people and orphans. It was a fitting message for Mother’s Day.

“Biddy Mason came to California after being sold several times before being purchased by Robert Smith in Mississippi in 1844,” Broxton explains in the sermon, noting that Smith ultimately became the largest slave owner in the area despite the fact the California was a free state. While Biddy knew compliance with Smith’s commands would be the safest way to keep her three daughters close, she ultimately spoke up and sued for their freedom. 

“Biddy was a mother,” Broxton notes. “A major driver for Biddy Mason’s actions would have been not being separated from her children.”

That tenacity would bear fruit not just for herself and her girls, but for thousands across Los Angeles during Biddy’s lifetime and beyond as she became one of the most influential business people and philanthropists in LA. 

To access the full recording of “The Persistent Woman,” please visit the YouTube video here. Miss Broxton’s message beginning at 31:43. Please enjoy and share with others!

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