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Celebrating Black History Month

Mills Cities Community Investments (MCCI) + Foundation for Business Equity is proud to support many Black businesses today. However, we recognize that our work would not have been possible without the struggles and successes of Black entrepreneurs who have come before us. As we recognize and celebrate Black History Month, we would like to uplift a frequently overlooked part of Black history: the significant contributions made by Black business owners to their communities and respective fields, as well as their role in paving the way for future generations. There are many Black entrepreneurs whose stories we will never hear as their stories have been largely ignored and forgotten over time. Therefore, this Black History Month, we will celebrate the enduring legacy of Black entrepreneurs and leaders who have shaped history and continue to make an impact in the present.

TARTTs Daycare

TARTTs Daycare was founded in 1946 by Mrs. Bessie Tartt Wilson. At the age of 19, Mrs. Wilson moved from Alabama to Boston during a period when finding employment for African-American nurses was challenging. To address this problem, Mrs. Wilson established and operated her own nurses' registry. However, Mrs. Wilson was driven by her passion for caring for children, which prompted her to open TARTTs Nursery School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The center was renamed TARTTs Day Care Center & Private Kindergarten, and it became well-known in Boston for offering high-quality, culturally sensitive care and education. Currently, TARTTs is a multi-site program offering exceptional care and education to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers under the leadership of Mary L. Reed, Mrs. Wilson's daughter. Mary established The Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children (BTWIC) in 2008 to support and advocate for children and families across Massachusetts. The foundation was operational until 2016 and achieved remarkable success in advocating for the rights of low-income children in the state. With four generations of Mrs. Wilson's family owning and operating the organization, TARTTs serves as a reminder of Mr. Wilson's legacy as an example of how hard work and dedication can make a difference in the lives of children.

* Information and photo from TARTTs Daycare. Learn more here.


Founded by Omowale (Omo) Moses, MathTalk is an innovative organization that transforms stories, public art, and augmented reality experiences into engaging products and activities that inspire and foster a passion for learning math among adults and children. Omo's commitment to education and his mission to work with families and communities to create products that encourage children and their caregivers to enjoy math was inspired by his father, Bob Moses. Bob Moses was an educator, civil rights activist, and field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was also the founder of the Algebra Project, which uses math as an organizing tool to provide high-quality education for children across America.

Omo's experience as a math teacher and his work with The Algebra Project at Brinkley Middle School inspired him to co-found the Young People's Project. Since 1996, YPP has pursued their vision of offering high-quality education to every young individual, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or social class, preparing them for success. Omo's commitment to education deepened through his experience as a father, where he saw the importance of early math skills. Through MathTalk, Omo continues to empower children and advocate for the right to access and enjoy learning, continuing his father's legacy of using education to transform lives.

* Information and photo from MathTalk. Learn more here.


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