about us

who we are and our story


Our Mission

We are a health, fitness and wellness based 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to empower youth to move their minds, bodies and souls.


Our Vision

We envision a day when children regardless of their background or circumstance, will grow up with the motivation, education and tools to live healthier, happier lives.


Our Focus

Our focus is obesity prevention particularly among urban youth. Recent research has shown that although obesity affects everyone, African-American women and adolescent girls are disproportionately affected by obesity and overweight, and are more physically inactive than their racial and ethnic counterparts. In response to this, we have narrowed our focus and developed programs and interventions for this population.

what we do

Led by educators, researchers and community leaders in touch with the latest cultural health research, standards, and needs of our urban youth, Move it Nation provides schools with instructor trainings and after-school program curriculum to get your school moving physically, mentally and spiritually.

Our diversity inclusion workshops promote cultural awareness, cultural appreciation and are designed to address today's current racial climate in and out of schools. We serve a wide range of clientele, including parents, school staff, organizations and students. 

Our work depends on the generosity of donors, child health advocates, parents, and community leaders like you who believe in our hair and health programs.

Most schools are underfunded and teachers often pay for school supplies and equipment for their students. Your donation ensures that schools in Newark, NJ; Boston, MA; and NYC are equipped with the tools, resources and programs to empower their youth to move their bodies, minds and souls.

Move it Nation is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Thank you in advance for your tax deductible donation. 


In 1995 Move it Nation CEO and Founder, Patti O'Brien-Richardson moved to South​ Africa for ten years. Patti meets Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey and collaborates with her and her crew on their Christmas Kindness project for orphans. Patti is inspired to continue this important work.

By 2005, Patti moves back to the United States. Back in the states, to stay connected to her projects in South Africa, Patti starts It Takes a Village Foundation to fund-raise for Bethany Children's Home and provide support and in-kind donations to the orphanage.

After recognizing the enormous obesity problem in cities across America, Patti changes the name of the foundation to Move it Nation in 2006, to encompass efforts to decrease childhood obesity in her hometown, Brooklyn, NY and gets national health, fitness and wellness certifications. 

In response to the overwhelming rising obesity rates among women of color, Patti launches women's wellness programs: Roots-n-Riddims (2008) & the "Thick Girls Move" campaign (2015) to encourage women everywhere, of all body shapes to be more physically active.

Bethany Children's Home & Sipo Scholars

Help us continue to write our story, make a difference and support childhood obesity prevention in U.S. urban communities and promote educational initiatives among children in South Africa.

We continue to support the Bethany Children's Home in Umtata, South Africa, home to babies affected by HIV/AIDS. We know first hand what the needs are here because we've volunteered here for years. The little people of Bethany Children's Home are always in need of plastic underpants, blankets, babies and children's clothes and donations to help pay for food and formula.

Once the children reach school age, they are taught in the Thembelihle Home School. A one room trailer school on bricks behind the orphanage. Here, children of various ages are taught by volunteers from all over the world. They are always in need of school supplies, computers, white boards, paper and donations to help pay for shoes and school uniforms.

A few years ago, we tragically lost a vital, amazing close friend and member of our team and family, Sipokazi Tezapi. She was passionate about her people, her country and her God. We've named our student scholarship/bursary fund in her honor. Donations to the Sipo Scholars fund help to further the academic dreams of youth in South Africa who would otherwise not have the financial means to to do. To make a tax-deductible donation, simply press the button below.