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The Mary J. Blige Center For Women Opens In NYC

Submitted by on October 23, 2009 – 10:10 am6 Comments


Mary J. Blige speaks to the media and the local Yonkers crowd at the opening of The Mary J. Blige Center For Women

Yesterday was a momentous day for the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, as she opened The Mary J. Blige Center For Women in her hometown of Yonkers, New York.

A partnership between Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) and FFAWN (Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now Inc.), the MJB Center is committed to providing young women and girls in Yonkers with skills, knowledge, resources and supports empowering them to pursue their personal goals and become self-sufficient, confident women.

Alan Tragear, Executive Director/CEO of WJCS, said “When Mary talks, it’s just like she sings. It’s not just from her lips, it’s from her heart.”

“I always desperately wanted to help women to become CONFIDENT [in themselves]” Mary told the crowd. She broke down in tears at one point in her speech: “When I was five years old, a lot happened to me…I also used to see women beaten almost to death growing up in my building. But it’s not just in poverty that this happens – it happens to every woman.”


Mary cutting the ribbon with (from left) WCJS Exec Alan Tragear, Gucci’s Frida Giannini and FFAWN co-founder Steve Stoute

Located at 489 South Broadway (between Valentine Lane and St. Andrew’s Place), Yonkers, NY, the Center Opening was attended by Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, Alan Tragear, Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini and MJB Center Director Michelle Hammett.

Many young women in the Yonkers community lack the resources necessary to reach their potential. The MJB Center offers a supportive environment with educational, vocational, parenting, health and life skills components, all aimed at empowering women to overcome life’s obstacles and pursue positive choices.


Mary shares a smile and a wave with the local fans who came out to support her

FFAWN’s co-founder Steve Stoute (whom Mary thanked God for in her speech) told the crowd the MJB Center was the first of many, with the organization’s vision including outposts across the globe.

Gucci’s involvement was also touched on, with the brand’s philanthropic efforts heralded. “They did so much more than cut as a check”, a representative from FFAWN said. “We thank you [Gucci] from the bottom of our heart – we would not be here cutting this ribbon without you.”


A check for $125,000 is presented to WCJS for The Mary J. Blige Center For Women

Boss Lady had the chance to exclusively interview Mary J. Blige on the day – check back for video soon!

For more information on FFAWN, head to FFAWN.org.

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  • Denise Lowe says:

    Hello, my name is Denise Lowe and I recently started an organazation called It Takes A Community. I too am very intrested in helping women feel good about themseleves. I like so many women am a survior. Iam 55 yrs old and HIV Postive and have been since 1992 well maybe before that but I was dianoised in 1992. I live in Newburgh NY which is in the Mid Hudson Valley. Newburgh is an impoverished area, high crime , teenage pregancy, drugs, you name it
    we have it. My dream is to open a transitional housing for women coming out of prison. I already have the building what little work it needs can be done easily.What my problem is that I’m not getting the kind of response I should get. There are no services here for women, nothing to give them hope and support. I am not asking for money I need some support in this endeavor. Anything information you could pass on to me would be greatly appriciated.

  • Hello, Mary J. Blige

    I to share the same vision that you have. I’m in the processing stages at this moment. I have developed a website,501(c)(3) approved, etc. This vision came to me years ago;and I began researching for the need as well sufficient funding,for housing,clothing,food, health care,education,job training, and life long skills. I believe, like you that GOD has given us this unique mission in helping to reform these females given them hope, support and a future. This is a worthy cause and the women is in much need of help. If you I could someday network in order to help many other females coming out of prisons all over the states; what a great impact GOD’S KINGDOM would gain. I’m in the Georgia area here in Ellenwood. Pray to GOD about this contact and if you need to contact me please feel free to do so at 404-399-5237. Keep a clean and good heart just as you have been and GOD will see you through all endeavors.

    PS you may also visit my website:www.wowtransitionalcenterinc.com
    S. Royster/Pres.

  • Tunisia Moore says:

    Hello, Mary J Blige

    I have a very similar vision as yours for women and children. Currently, I am planning, researching, and praying that this dream of mine surface within the next year or so. I am a former educator of elementary school age children. I have 10+ years of experience working with special and general education students as well as infants and toddlers. I am currently employed as an Assessment Specialist at a one stop center where I administer a variety of assessments to those who are seeking employment, trainings, and or a higher education. I am a single hard working mother of two wonderful children. My career ended as an Elementary school teacher because of my ongoing struggle of two asthmatic children and no support. One day I cried out to the Lord saying “Lord as much as I love my students and want to do this, please guide me for my children sake because this is the second employer that did not support my challenge”. I stop teaching and ended up on welfare for a very short period. I applied for cash assistance and gained employment at the place that provided the assistance. I am still here, but I am ready to start my own tutoring service, etc. that caters to women and children. Please send me any information that you think would be of assistance to me via email [email protected] or contact me @ 850-491-5118 or 850-617-4647. Please continue on with your God given talent and mission! I am proud of you and sure as heck look up to you. Thanks for all you do and all that you plan to do from your special heart!

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