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It Takes a Mom: Interview with Rev. Dr. Ronné Wingate Sims, 2021 California Mother of the Year®

May 30, 2024

‘It Takes a Mom’ interview series highlights our recent Mother of the Year® honorees by sharing their stories every week. These moms from across the country contribute to our collective voice as mothers. They show us how they harness their maternal energy and how it really does take a mom to do it all! Here’s our interview with Rev. Dr. Ronné Wingate Sims, 2021 California Mother of the Year®.

What does it mean to you being selected Mother of the Year® for your state?

It’s an absolute honor, and one that I didn’t really expect. But I am honored. California is such a wonderful state. We have a lot of great moms and families all across this state and its such a diverse state as well. It’s just fantastic that I’m able to represent and advocate for moms all across the state and be a voice that people can really trust when it comes to issues that moms are facing.

What do you love most about being a mom?

I love that I’m able to give love and to sew into three different people in ways that are just tangible. I really love showing them the world. I love traveling with them. I love watching them learn and watching their personal worlds open up through all the things that we do with them. It’s exciting watching them learn and grow and become these people.

Dr. Ronné Wingate Sims with her family

How do you encourage your children to not give up and to keep pushing?

were in preschool and elementary, we would go to the school around certain holidays and bring treats to the students and encourage the students. I’ve done a few things with his class, but we also participate in our church, where we have done a variety of things like working to take care of folks who are unsheltered. We have participated in political protests. We have done a lot of things.

At American Mothers, the Golden Rule Movement provides a platform for women who embody the selfless caring spirit of motherhood, and who are using their maternal energy to make the world a better place. How would you say you exemplify the golden rule in your everyday life?

One of the things that I have been intentional about the last few years is having the conversation about trauma and mental health in the community, and the ways in which it shows up in our families. I have been working and hosting numerous workshops and healing and wellness opportunities for women in particular, and those have impacted our community. What I would say is that, as the California Mother of the Year®, I am advocating that we pay closer attention to mental health for moms and our families, and particularly now in light of this pandemic. There needs to be more opportunities for equitable access for everyone because oftentimes mental health care has been something that has been quite expensive and not particularly supported. So what I would say is that I am definitely interested, invested, and engaged in health, mental health and wellness for every mom.

How do you relax and pamper yourself?

I am intentional about getting a massage every now and again. That is the one treat that I just love and regular meditation. That keeps me on my feet besides prayer, but meditation on a daily basis as part of my everyday and then prayer—those two things are not just self care, but they are necessities.

Rev. Dr. Ronné Wingate Sims is an ordained minister, teacher, and activist. She curates spaces for healing from intergenerational and ongoing trauma. She is Executive Minister at Imani Community Church in Oakland and prior to that, she spent almost two decades serving youth and young adults in non-profit and faith-based settings. Rev. Sims started her undergraduate studies at Howard University and eventually earned a BA in Sociology at CSU East Bay. She completed a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and earned a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary in The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. Doctor of Ministry cohort in African American Centered Religious Thought. Her doctoral thesis, “Embracing the Wisdom of the Ancestors: A Trauma-Informed Afrocentric Model of Pastoral Care” focuses on ancient practices such as meditation, African dance, and using herbal medicines as modalities for healing trauma. This is the basis for her consulting work.