BELL COUNTY, Texas — There is a new calendar that highlights some amazing young men throughout Bell County.
It focuses on them being affirmed by one of the most important women in their lives. They say there is nothing like a mother’s love. That that is something playwright and Professor Kerry-Ann Zamore knows all too well. That is why she reached out to other moms to create a very special project
"So it is a calendar of 12 mothers who have black or brown children, and it's a picture calendar of them and their child. They speak positive affirmations not just to their child, but any black or brown child," Zamore said.
The Affirmations Calendar came about after the death of George Floyd, and a wave of racial unrest in America.
"And right at that time my youngest, Landon, who was 5, said 'I don't want to grow up,' and that kind of struck me,” Zamore said. “And I said why, and he said 'I don't want them to kill me.'"
Zamore knew something had to be done. When she reached out to other Central Texas moms, they immediately answered the call.
"As a mother it is overwhelming and nerve wrecking at times when you are watching the news and seeing so many Black men getting killed for no reason. It is disheartening,” Dr. Larissa Garth said.
Garth was excited about the project. She has been teaching her 5-year-old son to be a leader and not a follower, and about the importance of standing out amongst the crowd.
"I was grateful for him to have that experience where in this big world, where so many negative things happen, he is not alone and he is in the midst of greatness," Garth said.
That is something Yolunda Washington can agree with. As a mental health provider, she has been affirming her two son for years.
"It is important for us to pour into them, and make sure they know that just because this road didn't turn out where you wanted it, turn around and take the other road because you have the power to do that," Washington said.
She said it takes a village to help young men be the best they can be.
"I met so many amazing mothers that are raising great sons," Washington said.
Mothers like Elizabeth Jennings, who just launched a mentorship program called Boys Matter to Men.
"To really be a part of the Affirmations Project and highlight just how important it is to empower our boys, and for moms to have a role to speak life into them, it was amazing," Jennings said.
She said Zamore's project was necessary.
"Just the empowerment and the strength and the love that was shown with what we had this year - it was needed," Jennings said.
Zemore said she hopes the Affirmations Calendar will inspire all.
"This is a project I hope will really capture the hearts of several individuals; young people, old people, although the intent was for old people, it is applicable to anyone,” Zamore said.
Another part of the project, The Affirmations Documentary, will be ready at the end of January. If you would like to purchase the calendar and learn more about the project, click here.