Known as one of Oklahoma’s youngest thought leaders, Dr. Mautra Staley Jones has been named the 2021 National Mother of the Year®. She was awarded this honor by American Mothers, Inc. on May 1 during their 86th National Convention held virtually this year. American Mothers, Inc. (AMI) is an 86-year-old non-profit organization whose mission is to recognize mothers and their positive impact in communities through the annual Mother of the Year® award.
Jones is a mother of three, and serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at Langston University and the Executive Director for the Langston University Foundation. “I hope that being named Mother of the Year, if nothing else, serves as encouragement for other moms out there as well as people who are just going through trials and tribulations. I am a walking example that demographics don’t define your destiny,” said Jones.
She says that the honor of being recognized as the 86th National Mother of the Year is a fulfillment of a dream. “I knew that once I became a mother I wanted to just give everything I could to my children and make sure that their lives were full, and have more happy times than sad ones.”
At Langston University and through roles in various organizations, Jones has played a significant part in impacting the lives of community members, especially children and young adults. “When you have someone who understands the realities of growing up in extreme poverty, of having to really fight through and remain positive and cheerful. To remain an eternal optimist, it shows that life is what you make it. And, being a mother allows me to manifest all of that positivity,” she said. “There’s power in the words of our testimony—power to heal and help others, power to encourage or just simply give someone a spark of hope.”
For over eight decades, American Mothers has had the honor of recognizing inspirational moms from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. From these state honorees, the National Mother of the Year® selection committee selects one to be named the National Mother of the Year® annually. The committee is comprised of diverse individuals from across the country who represent the business, education, government, religious and/or non-profit sectors.
“The decision is never easy as the mothers who represent each state embody all the admirable qualities for which the first Mother of the Year® was named in 1935. We are excited to see Dr. Mautra Staley Jones join the legacy of our historic organization and the work we do. We believe she will be a strong representative to carry forward the voices of moms from across the country,” said Connell Branan, President of American Mothers, Inc.
Jones said that she dedicates the honor to her late mother and her grandmother. “Being a mother is not for the faint of heart. It comes with its challenges. It teaches you tenacity, patience, flexibility, knowing that every single day looks different. But I think those challenges make you stronger. And I can say that being a mother has made me a stronger professional, a stronger community servant. I bring everything along with that amazing maternal energy, and I get to put it into play every single day.”
Nominations for Mother of the Year® are accepted annually, Mother’s Day, May 9 – September 15, at AmericanMothers.org/nominate. For general media inquiries or to set up an interview with Dr. Mautra Staley Jones, contact email@example.com
Dr. Mautra Staley Jones is known as one of Oklahoma’s youngest thought leaders. She serves as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at historic Langston University. Mautra leads the University’s Oklahoma City campus as site administrator and is the executive director of the LU Foundation. Married to U.S. District Judge Bernard M. Jones II, with three children, Mautra holds a BA, an MBA, and a Doctor of Education. She has been appointed by Governors Kevin Stitt and Mary Fallin, and OKC Mayor David Holt. She also serves as a board director for StitchCrew and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Mautra has held numerous offices with philanthropic and civic groups, earning multiple accolades within a broad assortment of agencies. The Journal Record honored her as the 2020 Woman of the Year, named her as one of Fifty Women Making a Difference in the state of Oklahoma for the past three years and inducted her into its Circle of Excellence. She was named the 2018 Woman of the Year by the Women of Color Expo presented by Perry Publishing and Broadcasting. She has been recognized as an Achiever Under 40 by The Journal Record, OKC Biz and Oklahoma Magazine. She has served as a board director for Rotary Club 29, the Oklahoma County Bar Auxiliary, Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc., Storm Inc., and Metro Technology Centers Foundation. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., board of advisors for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce; a Salt and Light Leadership Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City, Class XXIX. Mautra is a member of MSI Aspiring Leaders, a program developed by the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions, which prepares the next generation of MSI presidents. (Information provided by Dr. Mautra Staley Jones)