When’s the last time you made a difference? When’s the last time you made history? How about we change that answer to today and everyday until October 29th.
Several weeks ago, I got a call from a current client asking if I could come and meet with him and another potential client. I remember being sweaty from working out, but agreeing to get there in 30 minutes. I had no idea that day that I would get the chance to be a part of historic change in my community. Today, I’m asking for your support to bring that change to pass.
The potential client ended up being the executive director, Gerri Marion McCord, of the Ruth Hartley Women’s Memorial Center. The challenge, if I chose to accept it, was to help create copy and content to be utilized in correspondences as well as informational, promotional and marketing literature to help the center win critical preservation funding.
Partners in Preservation
Mrs. Marion had applied to, on behalf of the center, and had been selected as one of 20 finalists by the Partners in Preservation 2019 campaign to celebrate unrecognized women, who were instrumental in their Main Street communities. Heightening my sense of urgency was the fact that we were under an embargo and were unable to speak about the competition until said embargo was lifted on September 24th. At that point, we would be off to the races working to secure the most votes during the voting period from September 24-October 29th.
Leaving the meeting, I remember calling my husband and telling him that I had an amazing opportunity, but I couldn’t tell him anything else about it. I remember driving home in a daze reflecting on all the articles, paintings and intricate architectural designs I had just seen at the center.
I replayed Mrs. McCord’s voice explaining how badly the center needed the funds, as she took me on a tour of the home and pointed out the structural, floor and wall damage. I heard her clearly telling me how the funds would lead to the center’s repair and expansion of the classroom areas, inclusive of purchasing additional computers, providing more programs for the community and on and on. With each recollection, I determined to put every fiber of my being into helping the Ruth Hartley Mosley Women’s Memorial center secure this money they desperately needed.
That same evening, I immediately poured myself into learning all I could about the center and the indomitable woman who had seen to its establishment.
The Ruth Hartley Memorial Women’s Center was once only the exquisite home of Mrs. Ruth Hartley Mosley. Mrs. Mosley had a passion for traveling and had decorated her home with the finest trappings, such as chandeliers from her travels. To help you understand the history of the house, I guess I better tell you the history of Ruth Hartley Mosley or Ruth Price as she was born.
Ruth Hartley Mosley
Ruth Price was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1886. Both her parents worked with their hands and were industrious. Her father was a boot maker and her mother a dressmaker. Unfortunately for the Prices, Mrs. Price died in 1898, when Ruth was only 12 years old.
After the death of her mother, Ruth was sent to live with family in New York. She stayed there for several years before returning to Savannah. Ruth then completed several educational programs, culminating in earning her diploma to become a registered nurse in 1910. As i that wasn’t a large enough accomplishment for an African American woman at the time, Ruth Price became, at age 24, the first African American head nurse of the Colored Female Department at the Georgia Sanitarium in Milledgeville Georgia.
This, however, was not to be her last taste of being first. After marrying Richard Hartley and moving to Macon,Georgia, Ruth joined her husband as a partner in the Central City Funeral home and secured her second first, when she became one of the first females who had earned a mortician’s license in the United States.
Undeterred by her prior success, Mrs.Hartley Mosley entered the realm of politics in Macon. She was a key member in the civil rights movement planning and participating in sit-ins. She also a leader in the Macon NAACP movement. Of immense note is the fact that Mrs. Mosley opened her house, during a period of intense violence, in the 50s and 60s to prominent civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr, Ralph Abernathy and Thurgood Marshall.
Those who knew Ruth, spoke often of her intelligence, insightfulness and fortitude. She did not shy away from challenges and instead spurred others to act with courage and do what was best for her beloved community.
The fire I had already felt to give the center everything that was possible for me to muster multiplied with each new article or account I read of Mrs. Mosley.
She was great at giving sound advice and is noted for saying, ““You are as good as anybody. Never stop fighting. Never accept anything less than first. Never let the fact that you don’t have anything keep you from achieving. Let your obstacles be your stepping stones”. This quote is inscribed below a fountain in Tatnall Square, one of Macon’s renowned parks, as a reminder to all who visit of the remarkable will power of Ruth Hartley Mosley.
One could say that her love for her community was definitively solidified in death. Mrs. Mosley established two trust funds prior to her death. The first provided scholarships to impoverished women who desired a future in nursing or healthcare. The second trust fund established the center in her beautiful home to ensure that women and families would always have a place in the community to seek help and get assistance to reach their full potential.
You’re probably ready to open up your checkbook and make a donation now, right? Well, that is not at all what I’m after. Though the center does accept donations and would not turn away your support, if you feel so inclined, I am seeking your support in another way.
5 Easy Ways to Help
Today I write to ask for your support to help this unrecognized woman be catapulted into the national spotlight. I ask that you help to highlight the tireless work of the Ruth Hartley Mosley Center and keep their operations afloat, I ask that you vote everyday from September 24th- October 29th, from every email account you possess, up to 5 times each at http://voteyourmainstreet.org/macon.
Being greedy, I also ask that you follow the Ruth Hartley Mosley Women’s Memorial Center on Twitter @ruth_women and on Facebook @RHMCenter and help to share the message of this phenomenal woman and center far and wide. Encourage those that you know to vote daily during the voting period.
The Ruth Hartley Mosley Women’s Memorial Center opened its doors in 1978 and has provided invaluable opportunities and experiences for the community. Mrs. Mosley is a testament to the power of education and resilience. She fought doggedly to implement change and I ask that you join me as I try to do the same with the RHM Center.
Visit http://voteyourmainstreet.org/macon every day from September 24-October 29th and vote for the Ruth Hartley Memorial Women’s Center. Your vote also gives you an opportunity to win the sweepstakes prize.
Help the RHM Center remain standing to serve the citizens of Macon for another 41 years. Don’t allow this historical treasure to continue to fall into ruin. Vote today and everyday, until October 29th, to save the Ruth Hartley Women's Memorial Center!