Sisterhood of Hope | Da'Miya Brown

Our

Mission

The mission of (Sister)Hood of Hope is to elevate the voices, power, and brilliance of Girls of Color through the community of sisterhood that breaks barriers, heals hearts, and changes lives. 

A Mother.

Da’Miya Brown was a mother, spoken word poet, scholar-activist, dear friend, and servant leader in her community. As a young girl making sense of life and motherhood, she graduated from East St. Louis Senior High School in the Class of 2021 after welcoming her two sons, Damir and Damari, into the world and was the definition of true love and care as she grew into her role as “mom”.

Remembering

Our Sister,
Da'Miya Brown.

Class of 0

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A Student.

As a student, she excelled in the art of poetry and found her voice as a student at Wyvetter Younge Alternative Center through slam poetry, performing at competitions and getting her words out some way, no matter how fast they came. After graduation, she continued to write and would often send messages with her newly-scripted verses to her teacher to communicate what was going on at the time and give them a window into her lived experiences. In December 2022, Da’Miya transitioned and left many questioning what to do with their grief–or, their love. Because that’s what grief is–all the love we can no longer express. (Sister)Hood of Hope was born out of the idea that community and sisterhood can change lives–just as Da’Miya changed ours. 

A Poet.

Briana Morales, Da’Miya’s high school English teacher and founder of (S)oH, reflects: “I taught Da’Miya in the 11th and 12th grade at Wyvetter Younge. I taught Miy Iesha as a junior and senior at Wyvetter Younge Alternative Center. Da’Miya was a brilliant and creative spoken word poet. She chose to write about difficult topics that had pained her in life, but in writing them down she was able to think through them fully and problem-solve. I teach my students that we are able to turn our pain into power by sharing our story with others. Da’Miya won second place at the Poetry Slam competition at East Side in 2019. She never stopped writing after that. She would scribble in journals, on sticky notes, keep fragments of poems in her notes on her phone, and then she’d send them to me. I recently presented some of Da’Miya’s work at a national conference for English teachers. I watched people who never met her cry over the words she wrote because her poetry touched them so deeply. She asked me if they liked her poems. I replied that they loved it. I actually said, “You’re always #1 to me.” 

"'We was girls together,' she said as though explaining something. “O Lord, Sula,” she cried, 'girl, girl, girl, girl, girl.'"

(Morrison, 174)

A Difference.

The story of Da’Miya’s life, motherhood, sisterhood, and Black girlhood are an inspiration to everyone who knew her because despite any obstacle placed in her way, she was full of joy and exuded the brightest light. She wrote in an essay to her younger self her senior year, ”Don’t change who you are because of your environment—add to it!”. Da’Miya wanted to be a change agent in her community and she did that the best way she knew how—by lovingly caring for her sons Damir and Damari, raising them up to know God and leading by example of what transformative love can do in a human being.

 

As I continue to mourn Da’Miya’s transition, I begin to feel peace because, even after all these years, I can look back on our time together, her life, and the legacy of love she left behind and still feel it all. I know she knew she was loved, and I know she loved us, too. Through (Sister)Hood of Hope, we envision a future for Girls of Color where they are as confident as Da’Miya was about the community that embraced her and the sisterhood that carried her through life.”

Get Involved.

In loving memory of Da’Miya Brown, her fire which still lives on through and lights up the lives of her two boys, and every Girl of Color navigating life as a sister and mother: we see you, we love you, and we are here to help you. As Da’Miya’s older sister Shawntae reflected on what stands out about her sister the most, she replied matter-of-factly, “She never asked for help, and she never complained. She just did it.” Da’Miya was a fiercely independent way-maker, and she would have changed the world if she had more time. The goal of the (Sister)Hood of Hope Mothers’ Memorial Fund is to provide four $500.00 scholarships to young mothers, ages 17-22, to be used as they pursue their postsecondary dreams. Scholarships will be awarded each spring. In pursuit of brighter futures for Girls of Color everywhere, consider joining us and making a difference by donating today!

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For questions or other inquiries, contact us any time through email: sisterhoodchangeslives@gmail.com