How Olympic Gold Medallist Sanya Richards-Ross Is Helping Black Moms Through Mommi Nation
Sanya Richards-Ross is a Jamacian-American Olympic track gold medallist, 6x World Champion, and the newest addition to Real Housewives of Atlanta. What you may not know is that she is also a brand ambassador for Nike (and has been for over 20 years), a serial entrepreneur, a sports analyst on NBC, iFit Partner, and the founder of Mommi Nation, a site that is creating a much-needed community for Black mothers.
The Golden Mindset
Richards-Ross shared that crossing the finish line and getting her Olympic gold medal gave her the extra boost of confidence she needed to feel as if she could accomplish anything she put her mind to.
“It was like, I set this goal, worked my butt off, I went through and endured the highs and the lows, and I did it, which means I know I can tackle motherhood, entrepreneurship, anything I want to do. I can do it if I put my mind to it,” she told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
The Birth of Mommi Nation
When Richards-Ross became a mom, she wanted to be a mom at that time in her life more than anything. She and her husband, college sweethearts, had been together for 12 years and wanted to start a family.
“I felt like I was prepared in every way. And I’ll never forget the first couple months of motherhood – how challenging it was for me.”
She felt like she had read all of the books, and because she had her mom to guide her and her sister had just become a mom, she thought she’d have everything she needed.
“I was like, wow, there were still so many things about motherhood that I wasn’t prepared for and I didn’t know. And simultaneously, it was right before the time that there was this social uprising with the George Floyd situation and all these things happening in the world, and I thought to myself, “Wow, it’s hard being a mom, but it’s particularly hard being a Black mother in America. I’d like to start this community specifically for Black moms because I needed that.”
The Rise of Mommi Nation
Richards-Ross shared that when she was successful on the track, it was because she had community.
“I had people around me who loved me, who poured into me, who supported me, who were like-minded. And so, I thought to myself, man, if I have resources, I’ve got a husband, and I’m struggling in motherhood, I can only imagine all the women out there who might be doing it with limited resources. Or without a partner, how hard that might be for them.”
Mommi Nation allows its community to remove the disclaimers and start with where they’re struggling. “There were resources out there. But very limited and not specific to the Black Mom Experience, so I’m very proud to provide that for Black women.”
The Olympian started with a blog, where she had 25 moms writing their stories. She shared,
“I know when you feel seen and heard, and when you feel connected, that encourages and inspires you. So, it started as a blog that has just transformed into something so much more. We have a vibrant Instagram and social media community. We’re over 130,000 strong. We are nearing a million views on our blog, we’ve done incredible events. We do challenges online. It’s just blowing my mind and it is the thing that is my passion project. The thing I most love doing and really want to continue to grow…. And hopefully reach a million moms all around the world.”
The Future of Mommi Nation
The track star is on a mission and her goals for Mommi Nation go far beyond a blog . Richards-Ross shared, “I want to see Mommi Nation reach the goal of serving over a million Black moms all over the world, hiring over 100 Black moms, and really supporting Black mothers in a way that no other organization is currently doing.”
Aside from Mommi Nation, Richards-Ross is also assisting her community through an iFit series where she is a trainer alongside her husband, football champion Aaron Ross. As well as through her books Chasing Grace, Run with Me and Right on Track.
When asked what inspired her to join Real Housewives of Atlanta, she shared that when she received the call with the opportunity, she spoke to all the people that mattered most in her life. Richards-Ross really thought about where it fit into her brand, and about all the things she still wanted to do. Ultimately, she decided to go through with it as she knew it was an awesome opportunity to be exposed to a new audience. She’s really passionate about Mommi Nation, and a huge part of RHOA fanbase is Black women and mothers.
“To be able to expose them to what I was doing there felt like a great opportunity.”
It has indeed helped.
“The growth has been exponential.”, Richards-Ross exclaimed.
She’s not done, though. She’s also a sports analyst on NBC and would also love to do more hosting and hone in on her journalism skillset in a big way.