I grew up seeing my mother beaten on a daily basis along with her children, so as a result, I was not able to see her as a role model. However, I was sent other powerful women throughout my life to be models of success. It was very painful to be raised in a domestically violent home, where my mother became the model for what I did not want in my life. Despite all, I was very blessed to be given other positive female role models.

From the time I was 12 years old, I had my first Mother Angel walk into my life, through my church. She nurtured , celebrated and gave me the first map towards self-sufficiency. She did not stay in my life long because like many of the others once my father got wind of this happening; he’d stop me from interacting with them. But my resolve for having positive women in my life continued to reach to heaven where a Mother Goddess is still in control, so she continued to send role-models into my life one after another. This is my motivation for wanting to start a Girls Rites of Passage Program in Uganda. You see, once you can see a thing, then you can begin to believe it.

In seeing these positive Mother Angels, consistently show up in my life, I was able to build the prototype model of the woman I wanted to be. These women gave me a hand to hold, shoulders to stand on and wings to fly with, and soar. When I turned 24, I was entrusted with the responsibility to help co-found the African American Women’s Conference on Tour, where I was able to meet some of the most powerful African women in the world, like Susan Taylor the past editor and chief of Essence magazine, and Rev. Dr. Barbara King, along with others. This experience made me realize that as an African Woman, I had a responsibility to nurture other women into the circle of Sister-friendhood. As men have had their closed brotherhoods for centuries, I realized we sister women, need to have our own.

Know little sisters, you are never alone, because there are Mother Angels waiting to teach you to fly and hold your hand past all the limits that stand in the way of your success!!

Take action! This post was submitted in response to My Story: Holding Hands.


Dr Edonna,

This is beautiful story - sad, hopeful and beautiful. I love this notion of Mother Angels, who are sent down by Mother Goddess to those girls and boys who need a role model, a loving hand to hold and a nurturing presence. Thank you for sharing this very personal story and giving us hope.

Love, Jade

You are most welcome, however I can only offer hope because of the hope that was extended to me. Now imagine every little girl being told or treated as an inferior having a Mother Angel tell her the opposite with love, and the effect that could have on her outcome as a woman?

Hello Dr Edonna,

Thanks for sharing your story. It speaks of the importance of having strong powerful female role models in our lives. Now you are able to be the woman that you wanted to be and through the Girls Rites of Passage Program, you are a strong role model for others.


Dearest Dr. Edonna,

It is an inspiration to think of you as a young girl with an inner determination to rise above sad and difficult circumstances, and to know that at an early age you recognized the helping hands that were reaching out to you. Your decision to use your life as a vehicle for positive change for others is extremely valuable.

You bring strength and beauty into this world,


Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I am wondering when they will announce the articles that will be chosen for the magazine? Can anyone help in locating this information, it seems like it should be due?

Hi Dr. Edonna,

As usual, we were overwhelmed by the caliber and quantity of stories that poured in on the theme of Holding Hands. And you were the very first woman to submit a story... so you have been waiting longest of all!

We are currently evaluating the stories based on the criteria we outlined in the guidelines. In the next weeks, our editorial team will choose those stories that they feel are the best fit for Embody, the next issue of World Pulse Magazine, and announce the top three which will also receive $100 honorariums.

There will be an additional 3-5 stories chosen for publication, but those will depend on the final layout of the magazine, so those additional stories won't be announced until closer to print date.

So we will announce the top three in the next few weeks... I know it's not an exact answer, but it's the best I have! Thank your for inquiring. And it was lovely talking with you this morning ;)

Hugs, Jade