Save Our Sons: An Invitation to Reconciliation
Who We Are
We began as two Mamas with one mission, to see our husbands and sons come home safe. Save Our Sons has become a gathering where real people, who serve a real God, link arms to break bread and shatter paradigms. It’s a place where parents partner with pastors, community leaders, and law enforcement to discuss race, religion, and reconciliation.
Our initial quest was to create an environment in which the most misunderstood creatures (young black males) could freely speak, ask questions, and just be kids. We launched smack dab in the middle of numerous police-related shootings of unarmed black men. Our sons were scared and angry, and in search of answers. With all the violence and unrest that was taking place, we had our own list of questions, so we weren’t surprised to discover that our sons had an entire book.
Where We Are
We held our first meeting at the Huntsville Inner City Learning Center. We invited African-American Christian men to answer their questions, calm their fears, and redirect their thoughts towards Christ. Though our goal was to teach, soon enough we learned that it truly does take a village and God was building one right here in the heart of Huntsville.
Months passed, more shootings occurred, and more questions plagued the minds of our sons and their peers. We could see that racial tension was on the rise and trust in law enforcement was at an all-time low so we decided to host another panel. This time we gathered at The Cooper House and invited believers of all races, social statuses, ages and mental stages.
We gathered to discuss:
- Who are we?
- Where are we?
- Where do we want to go?
- What do we need to do as Christians to get there?
(As a community of Believers)
Save Our Sons is a place where we fight for one another, rather than against each other. Our panel discussions are dialogues, not debates. Our panelist come with the intent to tune in, not just broadcast. Our Diversity Dinners are a time in which we share potluck dishes, poetry, and perspectives. We believe that you don’t change the culture by complaining about the culture. You change the culture by creating a new culture. The arts have a way of bypassing the head and touching the heart. Each time we gather the pen proves its power over the sword.
We lean in and listen, to learn from each other. We are not afraid to talk about difficult topics; our only fear is what happens in our community if we don’t talk about the issues that divide us. We always bring the focus back to Christ. With boldness, we gently address some of America’s most sensitive topics. Save Our Sons is a safe place.
Our approach is simple:
We listen carefully.
We keep an open mind and heart.
We respect the speaker even if we don’t respect their views.
Where Do We Want To Go
We wish to revise the redundant racial rhetoric that has been rehearsed for decades. Save Our Sons is not a black, white, or even a blue thing; it’s a blood thing. We want to be true ministers of reconciliation that see times of racial unrest as an opportunity to share the light and love of Christ. Our goal is simple, to love every nation, every tribe, and every tongue, as we love ourselves. We believe that you prepare for times of war during times of peace. If a tragedy occurred in our community, coming together would not be awkward because that’s what family does, we do life together.
What Do We Need To Do To Get There
We have a Facebook page where we share compelling videos, articles, and insight about social justice issues and racial reconciliation. In between meetings we regularly engage through sharing scripture, prayer requests, commenting, and commending one another. Our “Save Our Sons Huntsville” page is a place where everybody “plays nice.” By the time a panel discussion or Diversity Dinner rolls around, it’s like a family reunion. We always linger in each other’s presence, take our signature group selfies, and many of us connect for lunch or dinner dates outside of our bi-monthly meetings.
If you are a local change agent that would like to connect with our dream team, we welcome you and your crew (all ages welcome.) Teamwork makes the dream work. Join our tribe you will love our vibe!
To R.S.V.P. for our December 12, 2017, Diversity Dinner send us an email:
Please Include the information below.
- How many in your party?
- What dish will you bring?
- Would you like to be added to our list to share a poem or perspective?
- If so, please include the title of your poem.
Join us at 6:30 pm
The Cooper House
405 Randolph Street
Huntsville, AL 35816
“A Poem For The People Who Are Prejudice Against Poetry”
Bring your family.
Bring a dish.
Bring a friend if you wish.
You don’t have to like our rhyme.
But please bring an open mind.
“And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 (NIRV)
About the Co-Founders
April Boddie and Toya Poplar are local change agents that love people to life. They live simply so they can give generously and love without limits. Both enjoy fostering environments in which people get what they need from God and what they don’t know that they need from each other. Two things they share is humility and humor. If you let them tell it, they would say “We put the “hood” in sisterhood.”
Together they have hosted sister sessions, diversity dinners, staff retreats, pajama parties, panel discussions, fundraisers, family nights, album release parties, and book launches. They believe that teamwork indeed makes the dream work and know that they are better together because their gifts complement one another so beautifully. You will often hear April say that many hands make light work. Their collective goal is to create atmospheres that foster creativity and collaboration to combat the criticism and competition that exists in the world.
April and Toya are both wordsmiths who teach journal writing to 6th-grade girls and contributing writers for Our City On A Hill. In the six years that they’ve known each other, they have touched the lives of over a gazillion people. Keeping their marriages and families first is their #1 goal. There is a total of 11 children between the Boddie & Poplar households, and there is never a dull moment, but neither would change a thing even if they could. To God be the glory for all that he has to through the two of them. April and Toya were recently honored with the Sisterhood Award by Premiere Leadership Foundation.
Special thanks to our husbands, Chad Boddie & Melvin Poplar. Because we are so well loved by you, we can love others well. To the rock stars we get to roll with Russell Sisk, Pastor Alex Shipman, all of our parents, youth, officers, community leaders, sponsors, and Central Presbyterian Church, WE APPRECIATE YOU!