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Malaak Compton Rock Inspires Service; Makes Me Wonder

Black mothers who inspire me are always my new BFFs.

Which is why I am so loving Malaak Compton Rock. I had the pleasure of meeting Malaak a few weeks ago at the Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century gala awards in New York City. (Check out a few pics below. Paula Geddings, my fellow Amistad author was also honored for her historic book on my personal journalist shero, Ida B. Wells)

Malaak’s mom mantra is simple and borrowed from Marian Wright Edelman: service is the rent we pay for living. This is what she teaches her kids.

Malaak was fittingly recognized for her frankly phenomenal record of service to several organizations and founding http://www.angelrockproject.com/, an e-village promoting everything related to volunteerism, service, humanity and social responsibility.

Malaak’s latest project, Journey for Change: Empowering Youth through Global Service, which will be featured in CNNs Black in America 2 this summer, takes at-risk kids from Bushwick, Brooklyn and takes them to Johannesburg on a service mission to help impoverished and AIDS orphans (CNN’s Soledad O’Brien presented Malaak with her award). The lesson is clear: no matter how bad you may have it, there are those in worse circumstances who need your help.

Malaak thanked her hubby, Chris Rock for leading her to the youths in Bushwick and being super supportive. I loved that!

Listening to Malaak’s commitment to service, made me think deeply about what and how we teach our kids about giving back. Our children live relatively privileged lives. Even if you are struggling, there are children in Africa who would love to have your circumstances.

I often wonder if I’m doing a good job keeping my own children grounded and grateful. Am I even setting a good example? How do you instill service into your children? How are you doing personally? Please tell me.

Check out Soledad O’Brien’s CNN video on Journey for Change

In motherhood,

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