Happy Birthday Mama (to my Foster Mom)


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Emma Lily Mitchell was Exavier Pope’s one and only foster parent. Many foster youth do not have the same fortune, and may live in upwards of 25+ foster home placements. Mama is picture here on the wall of her beloved church Burnside Community Baptist Church, where she once sat on the church’s Mother’s Board, a council of elder women at the church.


Happy Birthday to dear Mama, Emma Lily Mitchell (August 28, 2016 – July 24, 1990).

A wonderful human being, humanitarian, voice for the voiceless, village Queen, community rebuilder, big Sunday soul food dinner  everybody in the neighborhood get a plate, folks coming back to stay for a night after they grown cause that’s always home Foster Mother.

You saved the lives of countless people, helped families in crisis, and loved me as your very own son when I entered your home at 6 weeks old. You taught me the value of a good education, love of God, acceptance and love of all people, service to mankind, and I was special.

Not a throwaway kid, but a set apart, blessed manchild with a unique position in life to prepare me for greatness. You even backed that up by showing me the great people through history and in my Bible discarded people, seemingly misfit people who were the people who changed the world. Moses. Joseph. I BELIEVED it. Still do. It’s my driving force in this world.

It’s the reason the colors of foster care, blue, white, and gold are in my law firm’s logo. The foster home you raised me in is located at 528 East 92nd Street on the south side of Chicago. That’s why my production company is called 528 Media Group. And the numbers reversed is your birthday 8/25. My nonprofit of mentoring young people is called The Lily Pad. Everything I do is to build a legacy so great as to make sure you are never forgotten. Your legacy lives in the Pope bloodlines and bylines forever.

Although I only had 14 years with you, the wisdom, faith, confidence, joy, service and love you put in me equipped me to maneuver the rough terrains I’ve faced in my life’s path to ensure I live a life worth feeling you would be, and, are proud of me.

As time has passed I realized I will never stop missing you.  Yes, I would want you around. Not suffering obviously, but just to love you, hug you, and say things I have always wanted to say.

I have always called you my guardian angel, giving an extra word to God pleading on my behalf when I fall short of my calling, or asking for an extra dose of grace to lead me in new stratospheres aligned with my purpose.

You will always be with me. I treasure you and honor you.


Your Son,

Exavier Brandon Pope I, Esquire

P.S. I officially declare August 25 National Foster Parent Day. We have May as National Foster Care Month, but we don’t have a special day on the calendar to honor and uplift foster parents like a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. As of today, August 25, 2016 now we do. This is in honor of the many Emma Lily Mitchells out there loving on all as their own. 

Foster Care Facts:

Less than 3% achieve a four year college or university degree

Nearly 50% graduate from high school

Over 50% are homeless at 18 years of age

1/3 of the US homeless population are former foster youth

Former foster youth suffer rates of PTSD on par with combat veterans

Support programs benefitting foster kids placement, well being, being adopted, and pathways to college:

Dave Thomas Foundation: http://davethomasfoundation.org/
First Star: http://www.firststar.org/

Thank you. EBP

Exavier B. Pope I, Esq. is an award-winning attorney, on-air legal analyst, media personality, Fortune 500 speaker, content creator, writer, tastemaker, thought leader, and yoga teacher. Mr. Pope is the host of #SuitUP Podcast and Radical Inspiration Podcast for his production company 528 Media Group.  Mr. Pope has over 200+ appearances on air, including international television on BBC and Al Jazeera English; national television on Fox News Channel, HLN, NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera America, WGN Morning News, Fox Business Channel, and Huff Post Live; Top 3 Local Media Markets on Fox, CBS, and NBC; international radio on BBC Radio; national radio on ESPN Radio, Clear Channel Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio; written and contributed digitally to The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, Huffington Post, Jet,  Black Enterprise, and Wanderlust Media; and has appeared in other media outlets nationally and internationally. Mr. Pope is represented by top media and literary agency RLR Associates.

© 2016, Exavier B. Pope I, Esq., 528 Media Group.

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