Malissa Thomas-St. Clair
I am a 48 year resident of the city of Columbus, Ohio. My heart is with this city. As a native resident I have a rich history that is rooted in Columbus. I was born at the former St. Ann’s hospital on Bryden road, I attended Catholic schools up until my sophomore year in highschool. I became a teen mother at 16, and a 1992 graduate of Eastmoor High School. My focus deepened on my purpose when I became a mother. With the support of my family, phenomenal educators, coaches, and city resources I successfully graduated at the top 50% of my high school class, graduated with honors in 1997 from Capital University, earned my first Master Degree in 2009, my second in 2018, and near completion of my doctoral degree. I am a 26 year veteran educator with Columbus City Schools, a coach, a mentor, and community advocate. I am a wife, and a mother of two sons.
My son Anthony was 22 years of age when a man senselessly took his life. Once my son was murdered I instantly went into community advocacy. I used my platform as an educator to speak to as many youth as I possibly could about choices, and their future. It was August 12, 2020 when my world in community advocacy was thrust into the entire city of Columbus as the founder of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children. A two year old was murdered in the community in which I teach by his uncle who was a 14 year old former student at the building I educate. That was my enough IS enough moment and my nonprofit was born. From that point I have collided with my Christian Faith, my own experience with the loss of a child to the violence in the city, and my passion for change to proactively put forth action to advocate for safety to return to our great city.
The heartbeat of the mission is PAIN 2 PURPOSE and LEARNING 2 LIVE AGAIN. I proactively model our pain to purpose and learning to live again philosophy. My mother embodies both of these foundational principles. I desire mothers to know there is a life after the tragic murder of their child that can be filled with guilt free joy and happiness. Our angels do not desire us to live in depression and despair. Putting our pain to purpose is the greatest gift we can consistently give to our child who was taken from us so senselessly. Leaving a legacy that erases the violence that took my son is my daily mission.
FOUNDER/YOUTH DIVISION DIRECTOR
Karla Elliott-Harris is Co-Founder of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children. She leads the Children’s Division--ages 11-14. Her goal is to be a voice for those in her age group--20s-30s. Karla aims to stand by all the mothers who have lost a child to violent crime in Columbus. Her efforts will show every mother that there are people who care and are willing to fight for all the souls that are gone too soon.
My main goal and mission with the organization Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children is to be a voice for those in my age group 20s-30s. I want to stand by all the mothers who have lost a child during the spike in violence in this community. Allow each and every mother to know THAT WE DO CARE! I am willing to fight this fight for all the souls that’s been lost.
Rhonda Y. Clayborn, mother of three sons, mawmaw to eight grandchildren, daughter, sister, auntie, cousin, friend, and a member of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children. I lost my son to gun violence on October 2, 2020, on the streets of Columbus, Ohio. I did not volunteer to be a member of MOMCC, but God had a different plan for my life. I was introduced to MOMCC by way of a phone call to show up at a “covering” on Livingston and Courtright. I showed up a like a deer in headlights, still in shock that I was there. I told myself I would not go back, but I found myself at the “covering” on the west side, and then at the covering on the south side. I continued to show up, to participate in community events. Over the past two and half years, I have found myself sitting in places, I never thought I would be. I have shaken hands with people I would not have imagined. I have been on the TV countless times. My son was taken from me, but God had a plan not for me to waddle in self-pity, but to get out of my comfort zone and hit the streets with boots to the pavement, to try to save our children and our city from gun violence. I am on a mission, with the help of my sisters and God, because ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – NOT ONE MORE.
Faith leader director
Years With MOMCC: 2 years 8 months
I joined MOMCC 10 years after the murder of my son,Bernard Allen Hawkins, who was 18 at the time of his murder, in 2009.The death of my son left me with a burning desire to be a part of the fight against Gun Violence and Gun Safety. I needed to be involved in some kind of way. My soul desired to be with people who feels as passionate about putting an end to the madness of Gun Violence and senseless killings of our youth in our city.
It is my hope to inspire other people to become involved and motivated, to join this crusade for a better tomorrow.
I’m passionate about working with parents who are now having to walk through the same storm I have had to weather since the murder of my son.
It’s important to me to spread the message to our youth of doing the right thing making better choices choosing their company wisely and taking 10 seconds before they react.
MOMCC has an awesome mentorship program, which I’m honored to be a part of.
I enjoy traveling to neighboring cities and supporting them in their mission to combat violence in their own city and bringing back resources to share with our communities.
As a group we work closely with parents,and youth as well as other community advocates, and city officials,all committed to seek and obtain safer Gun Laws and safer communities for our families.
Prayerfully we will, one day see the change we so desperately desire and need.
Mother division director
Jene’ Patrick is the Adult Division Director of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children. She is a single mother of three beautiful daughters from Columbus, Ohio. She understands what it’s like to lose someone to the senseless violence that is plaguing our communities. Forced to grow up too fast, in a drug infested environment, she has made it her mission to educate parents on what they expose their children to. She uses her voice to speak on generational trauma and the accountability we have to face to fix the problems we are facing in our community.
MOMCC has given me a platform to use my voice because our fight is one and the same! The goal is to save our children and restore foundations built on love in our families. It has been an honor to stand side by side in this fight alongside the most resilient women I have ever met. As we continue this fight let's continue to be the change we want to see in Our homes, Our Community and Our world!
Jene Monique Patrick
Adult division director