Mom of three creates an app with black moms in mind
There is no shortage of parental apps in the digital world. It’s not hard to find a place to get advice on everything from diapers to discipline. But if you’re a black parent or caregiver, you may feel like the content just isn’t for you. A black entrepreneur and mom of three hears you loud and clear and has developed a digital village for black parents and caregivers every step of the way. And she’s got some celebrity help spreading the word.
Leigh Higginbotham Butler knew most parenting apps didn’t include black carers, and she wanted to create a space where they felt welcome and understood. “As mothers of black children, we navigate a particular set of circumstances. From doctors to caregivers, teachers, principals, police and other parents, we must stand up for our children in a unique way,” Butler said. “The truth is, it takes a village to raise a child – and every woman deserves access to that kind of community.”
She started Akina, which means “strong family bond” in Swahili, as an online community for black mothers to deal with the unique challenges they face while raising their children. The idea turned into Meet Akinaa multifunctional application available for download on Apple and Google Play.
When developing the app, Butler said she wanted to create a space where every black mother or caregiver felt included. “We were really intentional to make sure the app touched wherever you were in your experience, whether you were considering parenting a grandma and all the stops in between,” she said. “Because at the end of the day, whether you have kids or not, at some point you’re supporting a black child. She says what sets Meet Akina apart from some other social platforms is that it’s an uplifting and empowering community where moms feel supported rather than judged. “We’re not here to judge or tell you that you’re wrong,” she said.
In addition to connecting with other parents and guardians, Meet Akina users also have access to exclusive lessons found within the app. Courses range from mental health support, advice on starting a business, and exercise videos, all to add value to the user experience. And Butler says all courses are expertly produced with black women in mind. “You know what you’re getting here is tried and true because we’ve checked everything. We wanted to make sure everything was specific to the black motherhood experience. We are the Wakanda of black moms. Whatever you are looking for, we have it,” she said.
Since launching in November 2021, Meet Akina has grown rapidly. They even got their first celebrity brand ambassador, actress and singer Deborah Joy Winans. “As a black woman, I believe in the mission of Meet Akina. Too often we are ignored; our needs, challenges and concerns are ignored by those to whom we entrust our health, our education and our children,” Winans said. “Meet Akina is on a mission to empower Black mothers and mothers of Black children to stand up for themselves and their families. We deserve to do everything we can to not only ensure that we live our best lives, but also that our children thrive and become amazing, productive adults who will continue to shape this world and make it a better place. .
Meet Akina is free for users, which Butler says won’t change. “We want to make sure users can always access what’s available,” she said.