Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, named Coco Moms founder Kei Kei Lee as his Santa Clarita Valley Black History Month honoree in a ceremony at City Hall on Friday.
In attendance, aside from Lee and Wilk, were Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, Valerie Bradford, president of the NAACP’s SCV Chapter, and representatives from the offices of Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita.
“I’m a little overwhelmed,” said Lee. “I am a little bit emotional. When Coco Moms started as a thought I didn’t ever, this was not it. It was just to help mommas like me over time. It’s become a very humbling experience and just to partner with folks like business owners and other organizations in the community to support our efforts is monumental.”
Coco Moms was founded in 2020 — aimed to meet the needs of Black women children in the Santa Clarita Valley by providing resources and support.
A recent example of this was just before Christmas last year — when they provided necessities, Christmas gifts and more than $5,000 in aid to a single mother of 12 children at an event held at Egg Plantation.
“I’m really thrilled to honor Kei Kei here today for Coco Moms, that help Black women get the services and the help that they need to prosper,” said Wilk. “Because really, when you look at the scheme of things, the most important governmental unit there is, is the family. So whatever we can do… you strengthen moms, you strengthen families.”
Lee stood proudly with her son, Kameron, as she received her award.
Schiavo thanked Lee for the sacrifices she made that are necessary for hard work, which sometimes includes being away from your loved ones.
“I really appreciate the important work you’re doing,” said Schiavo. “As the mom and stepmother of Black daughters, I know what a different experience it can be for Black girls, and how important it is to support them and their moms. And so… personally, thank you and just thank you for making the sacrifice.”
Lee said the work she does is not for herself and that, when the time comes, she hopes it creates a legacy of continued community service.
“This is not for me, it’s for Santa Clarita,” said Lee. “Because even when my leadership is succeeded by someone else, the organization still stands on its own. And that foundation of having that support in the community is pivotal.”