It all started when Tracy Wilson Mourning saw a group of girls walking around their Florida neighborhood seemingly directionless, “babies raising babies,” as she described it, with their own children on their hips.
She saw something of herself in them and wondered where she would be without the people—especially the women—she had in her life believing in her.
“I wondered, ‘Which one am I?’ out of that group, had it not been for the mommy I had, had it not been for the amazing women in my life. And that’s when God placed it on my heart that I was supposed to do something with Honey Shine,” Mourning said at a cocktail meet-and-greet on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., that celebrated the organization’s national launch.
Founded in South Florida in 2002, Honey Shine is a nonprofit mentoring and sisterhood organization that focuses on empowering and reaching out to young girls of color and showing them that they can be even bigger than their dreams. What Mourning, 44, a Howard University alumna and former broadcast journalist who is married to NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning, wants to show these young women is that there is a world beyond what they know and believe. It’s a vision that Mourning is now planning to take nationwide, starting in Las Vegas, where she grew up.
“I know a lot of these young girls don’t have that mom that I had, don’t have those people pulling them up by their coattails or taking them outside of their neighborhoods. We have girls that come from neighborhoods called ‘the Graveyard’ where two out of 12 are graduating from high school. Not on our watch,” she said.