Patterson’s chapter of International MOMS Club – referred to as International, has decided to leave the organization after International’s refusal to publicly share an anti-racism collage made by the Rancho Santa Margarita chapter.
The collage depicts 19 families of the Rancho Santa Margarita chapter holding a sign with a different word. The collage reads, “We stand with all moms and pledge that racial discrimination will stop with our kids. MOMS Club of RSM.”
Patterson’s MOMS Club President Vanessa Atkins tells the Irrigator that all 26 board and non-elected members met virtually on multiple occasions before deciding to separate themselves from the organization. Members perceiving the anti-racism collage as humanitarian were dissatisfied with the organization’s declaration that it was “too political.”
With full support from their members, they have re-branded as “Patterson Moms Support” and will continue their group with much the same structure as before.
The group is now a source for mothers, both at home and those who work outside the home. They will continue park play dates and field trips once restrictions allow, but for now, have been using Zoom meetings to follow social distancing guidelines while maintaining relationships.
Atkins also expects the support group will continue their tradition of adopting a family to provide holiday gifts as part of the group’s community service project dedicated to children.
Dozens of International MOMS Club chapters across the country have disbanded due to International’s decision not to share the collage.
The organization claims, “Making political statements is a political activity. Because this is a vague category, we take the most narrow view possible to ensure that we do not divide our membership nor violate nonprofit law unintentionally.”
International MOMS Club is a 501(C)(3) public charity group whose tax-exempt status extends to local chapters. Each chapter is expected to follow the organization’s bylaws to maintain the integrity of its tax-exempt status and the organization’s original goals.