Akina — a social gathering community for Black mothers, aunties, bonus moms and caregivers, launched Nov. 11.
Swahili for “strong family bond,” Akina (formerly known as Kijiji), is a first of its kind social experience that nurtures Black mothers and women in an online environment that connects, educates and inspires. With more than 20,000 women on the waitlist, Akina launched as one of the largest platforms to date where Black moms can connect in a community.
Founded by veteran communications specialist and mother of three Leigh Higginbotham Butler, the all-in-one platform will act as a safe, nurturing space where mothers can come and garner support and essential resources — something Butler desperately needed, following her own set of tragic circumstances that came just shy after the birth of her youngest son.
“As moms of black children, we navigate a special set of circumstances. From doctors, to caregivers, to teachers, to principals, police, and other parents — we have to advocate for our children in a unique way,” said Butler.
“The truth is that it takes a village to raise a child — and every woman deserves access to that type of community. This is where Akina was born. Swahili for ‘strong family bond,’ Akina is now that village realized.”
The new Akina app will offer several interactive elements catered to the needs of Black mothers and the unique challenges they face. Highlighted perks will include on demand content, chats, meeting rooms, live streams, events, networking opportunities and more. The Akina live element will be the ultimate reward, as an artful blend of social powerhouses Clubhouse, Google Meet and Instagram Live all rolled into one, unique, easy-to-use feature.
Studies over the decades have continuously stressed the disparities Black women face surrounding their maternal health. Oftentimes, Black women experience death during pregnancy or childbirth, fibroids and other maternal complications, at a devastatingly higher rate than white women. As such, the Akina app will be at the helm to offer content and resources from all-star experts ranging from doulas to doctors to mompreneurs and educators, to make the community of Akina women stronger, wiser, and better equipped to take care of herself and the children she loves.
The current Akina village includes support by Milk Space, LLC, Black Moms Connection, the Dem Black Mamas podcast, and a wealth of other brands. Just recently, Akina solidified an official partnership with American pro tennis star, Taylor Townsend to amplify the platform and to spotlight its efforts.
The Akina app launches officially on Nov. 11, and will be available to download on devices in the United States and Canada via Apple and Google Play. It will celebrate the milestone by donating to the National Black Child Development Institute, The Allignment Chapter, and Black Moms Connection with additional philanthropic efforts to be announced in the future. For more information or to join the community, visit MeetAkina.com or follow @MeetAkina on social media.