Aelicia “Chocolate” Watson employs a mix of compassion, courage and tough love to support the women of this South Dallas community
In the South Dallas neighborhood of Bonton, jobs are scarce. Transportation and fresh food are rare, as well.
But an equally rare woman is making a difference in the community. Aelicia "Chocolate' Watson knows what poverty feels like, and knows how to help others find their way out of it. Chocolate moved to Bonton and founded the non-profit, Redeemed Women, to help lift the women in the community out of poverty and learn to lead independent lives.
As the Executive Director of Redeemed Women, Chocolate's goal is to transform women to lead independent lives by building relationships and addressing their spiritual, physical and vocational needs.
A survivor of a tumultuous childhood in West Dallas that included sexual abuse, homelessness, parents who were drug and alcohol addicts, a teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and cancer (not once, but three times), Chocolate is all too familiar with the issues and obstacles the women in the Bonton community face and must overcome in order to discover their potential.
She founded Redeemed Women in 2017 and began to address the pain, suffering, brokenness and obstacles women who are victims of generational poverty face, such as homelessness, hunger, sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, educational deficiencies, transportation, physical and medical needs, unemployment, lack of a viable support system, and exploitation.
Chocolate draws from her own life experiences of being a teen mother and working to support her daughter -- all while graduating from the Dallas Can Academy and earning an associate’s degree -- to help transform the women in the community. She works to equip them with the tools and resources to rise above their surroundings, value their lives, know their worth, see their beauty, and empower them to be vibrant women serving others and giving back to their neighbors and community.
Women are naturally drawn to Chocolate’s warm smile and outgoing personality, as well as the pure joy that radiates from her. Women see in her their own pain and are encouraged that they, too, can survive and thrive. She builds trust as she reaches out in kindness and love and listens to each woman’s story; then, helps her find ways to rebuild the brokenness in her life and look forward to tomorrow, the next day, and then the next … one day at a time.
Chocolate is a light in her community - chasing away the darkness of despair with hope and disease with passion for life. The one-year anniversary of Redeemed Women’s launch was celebrated in May, and a book about her life, entitled Anointed, A Survivor’s Story, was recently released, as well.
To learn more about Chocolate and the Redeemed Women ministry, visit www.redeemedwomen.org or search @redeemedwomendallas on Facebook or Instagram.