Ansonia activist recalled as selfless defender of neighborhood

ANSONIA – Maliqa Mosley-Williams sometimes finds herself trying to text or call her mother, Malika Mosley, out of habit.

“I’m like, Well, I wonder what my mom would think about that,” Mosley-Williams said.

Mosley-Williams was one of Mosley’s three children, along with siblings Malique, 27, and Maqila, 16. She remained in constant contact with her mother until the morning of June 27, when Mosley died at age 47. Now, Mosley-Williams wonders what her mother would have thought of a GoFundMe fundraising page the 19-year-old started to cover the costs of her mother’s funeral.

The page surpassed its $10,000 goal, raising $12,360 from 129 donations as of July 6.

The Ansonia resident recalled that her mother had been involved in a variety of causes, from being a tenant activist to teaching children how to use computers. She did it while feeling good about herself.

Mosley-Williams said her mother was free-spirited, almost literally dancing to her own beat. It made her feel safe, she said.

“You’re never really concerned about fitting in or trying to do what was right,” Mosley-Williams said. “My mom, she used to walk around a lot, put on her headphones and dance across the street listening to her music.”

David Morgan, CEO of Valley-based TEAM Inc., saw a different side to Mosley.

“Loved by countless people in our community, Malika was a selfless advocate who always cared for others and our neighborhoods,” Morgan said.

According to an obituary posted on the city’s Facebook page, Mosley was born in 1975 and moved to Ansonia from New York in 2001. She would later become the president of the Riverside Tenants Association. She advocated for residents of the former Olson Drive apartment complex, asking the city to take better care of the dilapidated units which, by then, had become stereotyped as a crime hotspot. The buildings will then be demolished.

She often spoke at community meetings, Mosley-Williams said. But she said many people didn’t know her mother was terrified of public speaking. Still, her concern for others helped her overcome her fear of public speaking, Mosley-Williams said.

“Mom was an incredibly selfless person. And I think if she allowed those things to get in the way of what she did and what she was able to accomplish, she would be a whole different person,” Mosley-Williams said.

Mosley also taught children to use computers, having done so as a volunteer at the Tinney Community Center and later becoming a special education aide at Prendergrast Elemetary School.

Superintendent Joe DiBacco said he didn’t know her personally, but was aware of who she was and the impact she had on others.

“She was the beacon of her family and she empowered her children to be civic advocates and true community advocates,” DiBacco said.

Mosley was not just a community activist. She was also fun to be around, Mosley-Williams said. The two regularly cooked together and even competed to make the best dish with one of her sisters choosing the ingredients. They took regular walks, something Mosley-Williams didn’t like to do on his own, but being with his mother made it fun.

Even after Mosley-Williams moved to Hartford for the summer, her mother checked on her frequently. When she attended the New York Pride Parade on June 26, her mother asked if she was traveling alone and checked in to see if she was still home.

She remembered the last thing her mother had said to her.

“She just told me to be sure she loved me,” Mosley-Williams said.

The next morning, unable to reach her mother, she learned from her grandmother that Mosley had died. But the words didn’t really sink in, she said.

“In my head. I was like, ‘Okay, I don’t feel like she’s gone. I’m just learning that she’s gone,'” Mosley-Williams said.

She still does not know the cause of death and autopsy results may take some time to come back, she said.

In the weeks following Mosley’s death, dozens of people reached out, including a former Prendergast student who said Mosley was the first friend he made after immigrating to the United States. . People saw her as a second parent, she said.

Still, Mosley-Williams said, the thought of going through life without her mother is overwhelming.

“What am I doing for Thanksgiving?” Or what do I do with the accommodation? Just a realization that I never made a decision without talking to my mom about it,” she said.

But although she no longer has her mother, Mosley-Williams said she still has the lessons she passed on.

“I’m an adult, I do this,” she said.

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