The Convener.

It all started when a couple of friends and I got together at a coffee shop in the white suburban community where we live in Woodbury, Minnesota, to talk about starting a book club. Therefore, the name “Mochas.” At the time, there wasn’t much racial diversity; we wanted to create a group of African-American women to share experiences, joys, challenges through the love of books written by African-American authors. We started as a book club and ended up creating gatherings where each member would host an event based on whatever she wanted to do (e.g., read a book, attend a movie, travel, etc.). In doing so, we became confidants, supporters, spiritual healers, sisters from another mother. Many Mochas have moved out of state, but we still keep in touch virtually or have visited or have taken trips together (before COVID-19). Our children were young when we started. They are now young adults creating a life of their own.

Mochas have become the emotional lifeline to many of us who are part of this group. There were a couple of years where we were on hiatus. I would get calls on when we were going to start again. As a friend of mine said, “The Mochas are good for my mental health.” She was right. There is nothing like a “sistahood.”

It is this sistahood that I embrace. It is this spirit of Mochas that I would like to extend to each of you on this platform.

Mocha Net is the opportunity for each of us to reach out, to learn from one another, to get to know ourselves, our loves, to become a resource—personally, professionally, or spiritually—to one another in an effort to be whole, to expand our universe that could include a different perspective, a way of living your life. Join us and unleash your Black girl magic!

Cheryle Rivers, Convener and CEO

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