Women Making History: Mama Hazze

This post is  part of a special Women’s History Month series highlighting 31 community advocates (one for each day in March). The words on the feature image above were chosen by the interviewee when asked to select three words that best describe her role in the community.

For more information on how you can get involved, follow the links provided at the end of each interview.

Full name and age: Melba Gilkey aka Mama Hazze, 65

Hometown: San Fernando and Pacoima

Your cause(s)/organization(s)/profession(s)/passion project(s):

Bringing people together to express their thoughts via a monthly spoken word poetry and open mic event called Mental Monday.

Hip-hop culture is the only universal culture, so my cause is to help it be known that it is a positive movement.

I’m also the executive director of the Hazze Hip-Hop Culture Dream Center in San Fernando and a long-time community organizer with a passion for helping others succeed and realize their dreams.

Why do you choose to focus on the Valley and do the work that you do?

This is where I grew up and the Valley most interests me because I recognize the need.

If you had one wish for the San Fernando Valley, what would it be?

For ALL cultures to come together and gather for more of a unified, diverse and informed society here in the Valley. It can be done; we are one and all connected.

Where can we find you online?    


written by

i am san fernando is April Aguirre, a writer born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. April bounced around the Valley throughout her upbringing and lived outside of California for a quick minute but always felt most at home in the city of San Fernando. To get at April's heart, FedEx puppies to her door, offer In-N-Out cheeseburgers by the dozen or introduce her to a beer tastier than the last.

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