Mautra Staley Jones has been named 2021 National Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc. (Courtesy Photo)

By AFRO Staff

HBCU vice president and mother of three Mautra Staley Jones has been named the 2021 National Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc. during their 86th National Convention held virtually this year.

Jones said being named the 86th National Mother of the Year is a dream come true. 

“I knew that once I became a mother I wanted to just give everything I could to my children and make sure that their lives were full, and have more happy times than sad ones,” she said in a statement

The 86-year-old nonprofit has been using the annual award to spotlight mothers and their integral role in communities since its inception. Every year, inspirational mothers across the U.S. and its dependencies are chosen to represent each state and one chosen by a panel of judges composed of diverse individuals from the business, education, government, religious and non-profit sectors for the singular national honor.

This year’s honoree is vice president for institutional advancement and external affairs at Langston University, a historically Black institution based in Langston, Oklahoma. She also serves as executive director for the Langston University Foundation, and in that position and with other affiliations she has been able to positively impact many young people, using her background as a source of inspiration.

“I am a walking example that demographics don’t define your destiny,” said Jones. She added of her interaction with others, “When you have someone who understands the realities of growing up in extreme poverty, of having to really fight through and remain positive and cheerful. To remain an eternal optimist, it shows that life is what you make it. And, being a mother allows me to manifest all of that positivity.”

She added, “There’s power in the words of our testimony—power to heal and help others, power to encourage or just simply give someone a spark of hope.”

Known as one of Oklahoma’s youngest thought leaders, Jones is married to U.S. District Judge Bernard M. Jones II with whom she has three children. Jones also holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s of business degree and a doctoral degree in education.

She dedicated her honor to her late mother and grandmother. 

“Being a mother is not for the faint of heart. It comes with its challenges. It teaches you tenacity, patience, flexibility, knowing that every single day looks different,” she said. “But I think those challenges make you stronger. And I can say that being a mother has made me a stronger professional, a stronger community servant. I bring everything along with that amazing maternal energy, and I get to put it into play every single day.

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