Crutcher family matriarch’s legacy of love lives on in gift to Tulsa mothers

by Nate Morris
Leanna and Tiffany Crutcher
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Leanna Crutcher, the mother of Terence Crutcher, consistently sought to uplift those around her. When her son was killed by a Tulsa Police Officer in 2016, Leanna transformed her pain into purpose. She worked alongside her daughter, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, to launch the “A Mother’s Love” initiative. The initiative works to support, uplift and provide resources to mothers who have lost their children to violence.

In January of this year, however, the Crutcher family suffered another tragedy when Leanna lost her month-long battle with COVID-19.  But just as in life, Mama Crutcher’s influence and love continue to reach across the city.

Initiative pays off fines and fees for five Tulsa mothers

On Saturday, in honor of Leanna’s life, A Mother’s Love supported five Tulsa mothers by paying their outstanding fines and fees.

In a statement to the Black Wall Street Times, Leanna’s husband and the foundation’s co-founder, Reverend Joey Crutcher, said the effort was an example of the spirit of the holiday.

“The Christian faith hinges on one thing: agape,” Rev. Crutcher said. “Regardless of what obstacles come our way, love will always prevail. The Terence Crutcher Foundation is honored to show a little love at Christmas to these deserving mothers.”

The event was also an example of the foundation’s commitment to ending fines and fees for all Tulsans. In a press release sent Friday evening, the foundation called fines and fees “arcane practices” that perpetuate “economic and social disparities that overwhelmingly affect Black, Brown and impoverished people and families.

Vanessa Vann, one of the mothers who had their fines and fees paid, called the gift “amazing”.

“I always wanted my life back, but I didn’t know how I was going to get it,” Vann said. “I think you [A Mother’s Love] just helped me get to where I need to be.”

In addition to paying fines and fees, the foundation also gave cash gifts to help the mothers purchase Christmas gifts for their children.

This is the type of work Leanna lived out. In spite of the tragedies and adversity Leanna faced, her focus on loving and serving the needs of others remained steadfast. That focus continues on in her spirit and memory.

Saturday’s event was “a powerful demonstration of A Mother’s Love, Mrs. Crutcher’s legacy and of embodying Jubilee,” said Crutcher Foundation Chaplin Tamara Lebak.

“Until we change the system, this too is the work of love and seed planting”

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