Monday, December 17, 2007

More green commitments.

You can check out earlier entries here. And keep checking back for more!!

We have reduced the number of plastic shopping bags we use by now using reusable shopping bags. Many local grocery stores sell them for about $1. We live about 4 miles from the ocean and know the effect on sea life that the plastic bags have. --Melissa, of Phippsburg, ME

We commit to buy less and give away more. We committed and reached our goal of raising and fishing for all our meats and fish for the winter. We have two full freezers of organic meats that we have raised ourselves :) --Linda, of Olympia, WA

As a single Mother and a Professor of Teacher Education I am committed both personally and professionally to setting a Green Example for my daughter and my college students. I am dedicated to driving my hybrid in the most fuel efficient fashion possible. I am dedicated to buying only paper products that are fully post-consumer. I will continue to reduce, reuse, and recycle anything and everything that I can.I will continue to educate my friends, family, and students about Green choices we can make on a daily basis. --Michelle, of De Pere, WI

I have been committed to this issue for quite a while. So far I pack my daughter's lunch in a laptop lunch box which avoids the waste of packaged foods ( I cancelled all catalouge and almost all of my magazine subscriptions. I bring the hangers back to the cleaners. I use only canvas bags at the grocery store and the mall. I use biobags for kitty litter. I drive a PZEV (partial zero emission vehicle). What else??? I shop at the local farmer's market and try to avoid buying packaged foods. I line dry my clothes which is not always convenient for everyone! Next year I plan to compost in my backyard! And one more thing.... I use a stainless cup when I get a cup o Joe at Starbucks!!!!!--Ericka, of Van Nuys, CA

We will bike when we can, wait til we have three errands to drive, turn off lights when not in use, keep our car tires inflated, get ALL good lightbulbs, turn our heat down two degrees. --Beth, of Boulder, CO

Friday, December 14, 2007

MAU Go Green Commitments from November action.

Replace ALL my light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; start riding my bike to work; plant a garden this spring. -- Judy, of Albuquerque, NM

I am an apartment manager and will initiate conservation programs throughout our community. We will install low-wattage light bulbs, encourage reporting leaking faucets, etc. Personally, I will be more vigilant and recycle 100%, as well as install smart strips that shut off power to appliances, etc.
-- Kris, of Broomfield, CO

I run an infant nursery in Milwaukie, Oregon that aims to nurture the whole child and family in body, mind and spirit. We are making a commitment to live a green life by doing a few simple things. We are reducing waste by putting cloth diapers in reusable and washable vinyl pouches instead of plastic bags that get thrown out. We are also using cloth towels instead of paper. We have recently switched from using plastic bottles that contain harmful toxins when heated, to using glass bottles with either latex or silicone nipples. We also only use our garbage service once a month, so we recycle and compost the rest of our waste. This is a start for us here at the nursery. I'd love to be inspired to do even more for our children and our environment!
-- Traci, of Milwauki, OR

I pledge to shop organic when I can, to wash 4 out of 5 loads in cold/cold water, to turn off all the lights and appliances in the house when not in use, and to research the feasability of purchasing an electric car or having my existing car converted into an electric car. :)
--Nuria, Bellvue, WA

I pledge to eat and serve fewer animal-based products to my family, to shop for locally-grown produce whenever possible, and to grow as much of my own produce next year as possible.
--Karen, of Parma, OH

My family and I have made a committment to ourselves to recycle all of our magazines, by donating them to art programs to be used in collages and other projects. We are also going to begin taking our scrap crafting items to retirement homes to be used for their personal projects.
--Luisa, of San Antonio, TX

My house will be an ongoing green work in progress. No barefoot child will come into my yard and absorb poisons into their bodies. They can come into my home without worry of breathing toxins. As a mother of two now grown children I will work to make the world safe for the children being born in this generation and for those following.
--Sara, of Dickson, TN

I commit to significantly reducing our propane usage this summer by keeping our thermostats lower, insulating trouble spots, and using more wood heat.
--Jennifer, of Rodney, MI

Reuse, and no plastic water bottles!!!
--Felicity, of Irvine, CA

We pledge to shop less, because we really do have what we need. We pledge to shop second-hand when at all possible instead of introducing more eventual "new" trash. We pledge to make more gifts of time and energy to each other rather than gifts of stuff. -- Paula, of Brooklyn Park, MN

I will cloth diaper my children, exclusively. We will try to eat as much locally grown food as possible.
--Jennifer, of Minneapolis, MN

The other night during dinner, we all went around the table and made our pledges to each other: Mike -- instead of taking his lunch in a paper bag everyday will invest in a reusable lunch bag. Sarah (or Auntie Sarah to Kiran) -- wash out and reuse plastic bags (the ziploc kind). Anjali -- will hang the laundry out to dry whenever possible. Continue to replace all the light bulbs in the house to fluorescent ones. Continue our switch from regular cleaning supplies to more environmentally friendly ones. Kiran (6 years old) -- will try to remember to shut off the bathroom and bedroom lights whenever she leaves those rooms. Also, instead of using new sheets of paper for every homework assignment, she will use the backs of the paper and will explain to her teacher why she has done this. Meera (14 months)-- will poop and pee less so that we use fewer diapers....(just kidding). Most of Meera's clothes are her big sister's and we plan on continuing this trend. --Anjali, of the Bronx, NY

I have two children and we have switched to using safer and greener products for our family. We buy local when we can, we buy recycled products- such as tissue, paper, etc, and we have started having our children be a part of recyling what we use and teaching them where it goes
. -- Kathleen, of Waunakee, WI

I am making the attempt to reduce the carbon footprint that my family and I are making. I am starting by having a home energy audit, so that I can get some direction about where to go. I've already installed a hot water heater blanket, a programmable thermostat, and switched to all compact fluorescent bulbs. We compost all food waste, and recycle everything that we're able to in our community (which is quite a lot!). I will also make the effort to commute more by bicycle, and leave the car at home! -- Becky, of Boulder, CO

I recently have committed to "Go Green" by recycling the items myself, that cannot go into my recycle bin. I called my local recycling co and they told me that even though some items cannot go into my recycle bin, they have a place where they can be dropped. So, I have a seperate bin for these items now (in my area this includes coffee cups, yogurt cups, baby food jar lids, and more) and I load them up in my car to recycle the same day I put the bin out to be picked up. --Janna, of University Place, WA

Friday, December 07, 2007

Northern Michigan MAUs raise more than 45 K at Alternative Gift Fair!!

To you lovely, spunky, inspirational MAU Mavens,

A quick but emotional email full of gratitude from the MAU's in northern Michigan. We wrapped up our big year-end event last Saturday with our second annual Alternative Gift Fair, and we're pleased as punch to say we raised more than $45,000 for 14 local non-profits (and Heifer--the kids choice, and FINCA, the crafters choice) in just five short hours. Far more than that, however, more than 300 people came to the fair and many stayed for an hour or more, simply visiting with friends and neighbors, and relishing the spirit of community that was so palpable that day. We truly owe our ability to stand up, to use or voices and harness our passions, to Mothers Acting Up. The strength and determination you demonstrate is contagious, and we feel blessed to be part of this greater community of mamas. As I prepare to welcome baby number three into the world, I realize just how grateful I am that there are strong, grizzly-roarin' women who are all around us, working tirelessly to make sure all the world's children have a safer, warmer, better world.
Grace and peace and so many thanks, Kate on behalf of northern Michigan MAUs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Changing the Story: YES!

handbookIt's time to shop, reflect, give thanks, eat! During the upcoming feasting and holiday celebrations, may we celebrate in particular the individuals who are changing the world's story with the strength of their commitment; a story in which currently every other child lives in poverty, almost half of all war casualties are children, and global warming threatens every child's future.

Let's take time to honor mothers like the late Dame Anita Roddick who said, "I want to connect with people who share my outrage…But I also want to tell — and hear…stories that lift our spirits, that celebrate how glorious our planet is. Outrage and celebration — let's run this gamut together." Inspired leaders like Greg Mortenson who says, "When I look into the eyes of the children in Pakistan and Afghanistan, I see the eyes of my own children full of wonder. I hope that we each do our part to leave them a legacy of peace." Mamas and community builders like Tiffany Bellah, who says, "Having a baby changes everything. Since that wonder-filled day 6 years ago when Grace entered this world, I have been reaching out of my comfort zone. She has made of me a responsible revolutionary, and my role as her mentor and mother has propelled me to take an active part in forming the world she will be inheriting."

People who, when our common family is threatened, find the courage and strength to change the story. This holiday season, Mothers Acting Up* cheers, stomps, whistles and in every other way honors the individuals around the world who are taking action on behalf of our future generations. YES!!!!

Purchase the 2008 MAU Handbooks for story-changing individuals,
information and actions:

*mothers and others, on stilts or off, who exercise protective care over someone smaller

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mamamade 2007: Nashville.

I'll be on hand all day tomorrow at Mamamade 2007 to sell MAU Handbooks (think of it as the Passport for the Movement, honoring the promise of our children's lives!). I'll have Nashville MAU aprons and recycled tees (see photos here for examples-- each is different!) and I'll have MAU bumperstickers, too: they're green and round and look great on strollers, water bottles, guitar cases, and wagons (both the Volvo and the Radio Flyer version). You can go home with a bumper sticker for a buck and a pledge (of your choosing) to lessen your carbon imprint and do something to green up your family's life.

With me through the day will be my boy, Ziggy, and a few of the Nashville MAU mamas; we'll be ever so glad to answer questions about our local community, help you fill out voter registration cards, sign you up for national and local action and news of community building, and in general, cheer you on... You go, mama!! Remember, being one of many Mothers Acting Up takes on many forms and is not so much one more dang thing to do, but just part of the fabric of how we live....

The 2008 Mothers Acting Up Handbook: YES!

The world's children have found a brilliant new advocate: mothers*. We're stretching our traditional roles to include publicly advocating for children and the world's children shout YES!

The 2008 Handbook includes the inspirational voices of Marion Wright Edelman (founder of the Children's Defense Fund!), Anita Roddick (The Body Shop), Harry Belafonte, Dolores Huerta, Ann Crittenden, Joan Blades (Moms Rising), Patricia Foulkrod, Muhammad Yunus, Representative Jan Schakowsky, Massouda Jalal and a whole cast of mothers* sharing their personal insights.
Designed to uniquely appeal to mothers, the Handbook addresses two of the biggest challenges to mother activism: lack of time and how overwhelming the problems seem. By offering a daily entry point (with simple actions and accessible information set in a beautiful, inspirational and lively format) the Handbook provides tools in a language that engages everyone, policy wonk and new activist alike!

Full color, 6.5 X 9 inches, soft cover & spiral bound, two year-at-a glance section.
Price: $20.00

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Listen Up.

Mothers Acting Up on the radio with Liberadio(!)'s Mary Mancini & Freddie O'Connell, right here!....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

MAU on WRVU's Liberadio(!) this week.

Stay tuned for the podcast and syndicated showtimes, and in the meantime, check out the Mary Mancini's post here about MAU and this weekend's Nashville activities.

Beth Osnes' (M)other gets Critic's Pick in Nashville!

Maternal Devotion

(M)OTHER Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project co-sponsors this one-woman show by Beth Osnes, co-founder and program coordinator of the Colorado-based national organization Mothers Acting Up (MAU). Osnes explores issues of mothering in a cross-cultural context, with focus on a fictional UN program called “Baby Swapping,” in which mothers from seven nations exchange their six-month-olds for one month. The result is an intimate look at the maternal experience across international boundaries, including an analysis of the interconnectedness between the women, their children and their countries. In conjunction with her performance, Osnes presents a Nov. 3 workshop that uses theater as a tool to empower maternal voices for public expression and civic participation. For more information, contact Paige La Grone Babcock at 7:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Church —MARTIN BRADY

Mothers Acting Up works to ensure the health, safety and education of the world’s children by mobilizing the political strength of *mothers.

*mothers and others, both on stilts and off, who exercise protective care over someone smaller

Mobilizing Mamas Project in Top 100 for Case Foundation Grant!

Thrillingly, my project proposal to the Case Foundation's Make It Your Own Awards for Mothers Acting Up made it to the TOP 100 out of nearly five thousand applications! This is hugely exciting for MAU, and for me. See the kind of amazing company I'm keeping in this list, and click on my project Mobilizing Mamas to see what it's all about! You can see the widget over at Ms. Booty Homemaker Explains It All To You. More on that soonest!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Support the Dream Act: Call your Senators today!!

Oh my heavens!

After today's Roadway arrival, the note I sent along to Juliana Forbes: mentor, coworker, Mothers Acting Up co-founder and Midwife Maven to the Annual MAU Handbook:

My truckload of 20 boxes of 2008 MAU Handbooks has just arrived in the rain… they now sit on my front porch, save for the one box I brought into the house and ripped into immediately to take a look. And I’m just BAWLING…. THEY. ARE. SO. BEAUTIFUL. I’d love to call and tell you so, but I don’t think I can speak for being a blubbering mess of gladness.

Love and lots of it.



(I have always been of the sensitive persuasion, but since having become pregnant with my son, and then these two years after his birth, even, I am just a walking jangle of happy-sad-beautiful-crazy human-ness, both tender and tough, with a penchant both for laughing and weeping uncontrollably. The already wonky world goes a bit madder in motherhood, I find.)

MAUs are everywhere!

We’re committed to woman to woman contact at MAU. And what women you are!! Your visions inspire, incite, ignite. I’m hearing from you increasingly from Portland, OR, Dallas / Denton / Fort Worth, the Carolinas and the Heartland. Messages from both Northern California and New Hampshire have come over the transom of late…. And we’ve got a new community pulling together in Bend, Oregon by the former Charleston MAU Maven who’s passed the torch there due to her family’s move. A Halloween gathering is in the works for Portland, ME. The Bronx mamas are revving up for some renewed year-round action and Temecula, CA’s community organizer is looking for a co-organizer. Several communities participated in Chalk for Peace last month (send pics!), Boulder MAUs just hosted a wang dang doodle of a Stand Against Poverty event, and Northern Michigan MAUs are gearing up for their annual Alternative Gift Fair. MAU will be in Memphis at the end of this month at the Gandhi-King Conference, presenting the workshop MAU Now: Mobilizing the Mamas – send me word if you’ll be there, too, and if you’d like to help wo-man the table of MAU goods including the hot of the presses 2008 MAU Handbook & Engagement Calendar. And MAU Live! Theatre for Empowerment (one of MAU’s FIVE national programs) is hitting the boards in Nashville the first weekend of November, and has upcoming dates in Austin, Denver and elsewhere. (Interested in bringing co-founding MAU Maven Beth Osnes and (M)other to your city? Holler at Beth: beth (at) mothersactingup (dot) org.)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Celebrating Mothers.

A PROJECT OF MOTHERS ACTING UP, Celebrating Mothers: Global Portraits to Inform and Inspire will showcase 20 mothers of young children around the world who are involved in social advocacy and are initiating positive change in their communities. Please see our website and send us your stories of exemplary mothers who are making a difference. Submission deadline for nominations is October 12, 2007. Contact:

MAU speaks and acts up on SCHIP veto!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Northern Michigan MAUs rally for our children's health!

Hello MAUs,
Please read the following, issued from the Children's Defense Fund about the vetoed bill that would have protected many of our country's uninsured children. The increase in funding for the bill's renewal would have come from a rise in the cigarette tax. Today at 6 p.m., a protest is being staged against this veto at Northern Michigan Hospital by the organization Move On and Northern Michigan People for Peace. For more information on the bill, visit the Children's Defense Fund website.

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) today denounced President Bush’s veto of legislation that would have provided health coverage to one-third of the more than nine million uninsured children in America and urged Congress not to give up until it covers all children. The House and the Senate reached agreement last week to increase spending on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by $35 billion over the next five years to insure an additional 3.1 million low-income children. This bill would have re-authorized CHIP with new funds for this expansion and program improvements. President Bush vetoed the legislation today, citing his ideological opposition.

"There are more than nine million uninsured children in America today and this legislation would have provided critical health coverage to a third of them," said CDF President Marian Wright Edelman. "This veto is further evidence that President Bush would rather play politics with children’s lives than find real solutions to a growing problem. One million more children are uninsured today than two years ago and every day that passes without action is a day we gamble with more than nine million precious lives. Congress must stand with the American people and with our children. Congress must not compromise further. It must fight for a strong CHIP re-authorization while working toward ensuring all children have access to comprehensive health coverage and a real future."

--Kate Bassett, for Northern Michigan MAU

Boulder MAUs rally for our children's health!

Rally for Our Children's Health Care, TODAY, Thursday, Oct. 4, 6pm, 6th & Main in Longmont, then march to Marilyn Musgrave's office.

From President Bush just vetoed health care for children. In only his fourth veto ever, he blocked health care coverage for millions of uninsured—and mostly poor—kids. The Washington Post is calling this "the biggest domestic policy clash of his presidency."

Bush is totally out of step with public opinion—even 61% of Republicans support the children's health care bill.3 We need just 15 more Republicans in Congress to break with Bush to override the veto.

This is a rapid response event, so some people won't even get this email in time. That means we'll need every last person who can possibly come to help show that the public is upset about this veto. If you're reading this, please come!

Tomorrow, can you put the pressure on at our emergency "Rally for Our Children's Health Care" in Longmont?

Where: 6th and Main, then march to Marilyn's office (in Longmont)
When: Thursday, Oct 4 2007, 6:00 PM


Friday, Oct. 5, 6pm, Boulder MAU Potluck, 945 Grandview Ave, call 303-442-7628 with questions. PLEASE COME, bring your family and your favorite potluck dish!

This Mon. Oct. 8th is the next Mothers Acting Up gathering!
Parenting Place, 1235 Pine St., 1-3 pm

We'll talk about upcoming events and social actions,
Generate ideas for addressing the Millennium Development Goals,
including an upcoming Oct. 17 local action to eradicate poverty in
conjunction with the Millennium Campaign ( and the ONE Campaign (, and the Nov.3rd Step It Up campaign ( to cut carbon emissions, and reverse global warming.
Please bring any and all concerns of yours.
Let's have fun changing the world!!

In spirited partnership,
Jeanne, Jen and Beth

Nashville MAUs rally for our children's heatlh.

Prioritizing the wellbeing of children is worthwhile! It will be important to have as many families as possible to represent that. Please try to come for just fifteen or thirty minutes. Small children can be kept safe in strollers, backpacks, slings.... Please share widely!

Subject line: In Nashville, October 4, 2007, parents and kids rally at Centennial Park

MoveOn.Org and Nashville Mothers Acting Up

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: CONTACT: Priscilla Craig 491-1137 MoveOn

Thursday, October 4, 2007 Paige La Grone Babcock 495-1879 MAU

***Local media event-this Thursday at 6pm***

Parents and Kids in Nashville to Rally for

Children’s Health Care

As Billions Are Spent in Iraq, Bush Vetoes Children’s Health Care in Tennessee

Rep. Cooper and Congress Passed Children’s Health Care

MoveOn and Mothers Acting Up Call on Rep. Cooper to

Over-Ride Bush’s Veto

Nashville-On Thursday, October 4, at 6pm, local parents and kids will hold a “Rally For Our Children’s Health” at Centennial Park across from Borders bookstore. 225 similar events are happening around the nation.

Congress recently passed the “Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.” Congressman Cooper voted for this bill, which would ensure that many Tennessee children have health insurance and can see a doctor when sick. President Bush vetoed the bill this week.

Local MoveOn and Mother Acting Up members thank Representative Cooper for standing strong against President Bush’s attempt to block health care for Tennessee children, and will urge him to vote to over-ride Bush’s veto.

“President Bush and his administration are blocking health care for our children,“ said Paige La Grone Babcock, National Outreach Coordinator and community organizer for Mothers Acting Up. “This is a question of priorities. Bush is spending billions per week on the war in Iraq, but he won’t protect the health of our kids back home. We need Representative Cooper to over-ride Bush’s veto and stand up for our kids.”

This legislation passed the House on September 25, by a 265-159 vote--approximately 290 votes are needed to over-ride a veto. It passed the Senate September 27 with a 67-29 veto-proof majority. A new poll reveals 72% of Americans support the bi-partisan proposed $35 billion for children’s health care.

“Rally For Our Children’s Health”

Who: Parents and kids from Nashville area, members of and Nashville Mothers Acting Up

What: “Rally For Our Children’s Health” rally urging Congressman Cooper to stop Bush from blocking health care for our kids

Where: Sidewalk in front of Centennial Park across from Borders bookstore

When: Thursday, October 4, 2007, 6:00pm


Friday, September 28, 2007

MAU Live heading south!!

CONTACT: Paige La Grone Babcock; (615)-750-3780, (615) 495-1879 (cell)

***SAVE THE DATE: MAU LIVE! comes to Nashville Nov 2 & 3***



“Once you get hooked on MAU’s positive breed of activism, the Nashville MAU community will be there with you to keep it going and growing.” –Paige La Grone Babcock, MAU Outreach Coordinator & Community Organizer

WHEN: Nov. 2, Friday at 7:30 PM

WHERE: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1808 Woodmont Blvd.

WHO: Mothers Acting Up (MAU), working to ensure the health, education and safety of the world’s children by mobilizing the political strength of mothers.*

Nashville’s MAU community is honored and excited to bring MAU LIVE! and MAU co-founder Beth Osnes to town!!

WHAT: MAU Live! Theatre for Empowerment: a one-woman performance by MAU co-founder Beth Osnes, (M)other explores what it might just take for the mothers of one country to authentically care about the mothers and children of another country. The fiction that the “other” is not part of the “mother” is washed away. What remains is a powerful affirmation of our interconnectedness in both our challenges and our solutions as a global community.

A Workshop for Empowering Mother* Voices: Nov. 3, Saturday 9AM-Noon, also at the First Unitarian Universalist Church

Beth Osnes will lead a workshop using theatre as a tool for developing our voices for effective public expression – of vital importance for any kind of civic participation. Goals of this workshop:

*teaching skills for effective vocal expression

*using our voices to ‘rehearse’ activism

*engaging all participants in actively devising solutions to obstacles

*conveying a model of activism that is positive and proactive

Mothers Acting Up (MAU) works to ensure the health, education and safety of the world’s children by mobilizing the political strength of mothers*. MAU inspires, educates and engages mothers (a gigantic force to be reckoned with) to prioritize children in our corporate and public policies through monthly Web actions, annual Mother’s Day events, field trips to elected officials, Girlcotts, and daily inspiration and tools found in a weekly calendar. MAU brings a new breed of activism to the political landscape; one that is positive, accessible and supports mothers in making informed personal choices, inspiring collective action and influencing decision-makers. MAU, founded in 2002, is based in Boulder, CO. MAU believes that when mothers lead, generations of global citizens will follow.

Let us:
whisper this to each other, sing it out in the streets,
yell it from our rooftops, declare it in our houses of government:
we will protect our children with our personal and political strength,
wherever they live on earth!

* mothers and others, on stilts or off, who exercise protective care over someone smaller.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Egg money.

You can line MAU's apron pockets with a little egg money by using Good Search! Just enter Mothers Acting Up as your charity, and get to gettin'! Search away....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Worldwide: children's mortality rate going down!!

UNICEF recently disclosed the good news: our investment in children's wellbeing pays off.

Global mortality rate for children under five is on the decline!

Global Action for Children, formerly a campaign, now a full-on organization, tells us all about it in their hot off the presses press release!

Congressman Cooper on the policy of the Iraq war.

Noting that everyone he talks to / hears from in Nashville (consider that Nashville's MAU community has been visiting his office every Tuesday for months!), Cooper talks tough in Sunday's Tennessean.

We like her. We really really like her.

“Surely this [award] belongs to all the mothers of the world. May they be seen, may their work be valued and raised. Especially to the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait. Wait for their children to come home from danger, from harm’s way, and from war. I am proud to be one of those women.“ --Sally Field, accepting her Emmy on September 16, 2007

So what did you think of Sally Field's acceptance speech (for lead actress in Brothers & Sisters) at the Emmys on Sunday night?

It's been a hot topic around the MAU offices with emails and links pinging from screen to screen, passionate dialogue ensuing.

Ultimately, though she screeched (wild Grizzly mama, anyone?), though she stammered and got flustered (don't we all at some point do that, particularly when we are passionate?), though she cursed (placing the God before the damn, something -- which, whether you'd choose to speak that way publicly yourself or no-- not even deemed censorship worthy by the FCC (in a 2004 ruling)), Sally spoke up for and about and *as* a mother. Both as a fictional mother of a son departed for war, and as a real life mama.

Could she have been a better spokesperson with more modulated tones and less alienation from the cursing? Sure. I thought so at first. And I was so bummed that her entirely eloquent words about mothering got lost in the brouhaha.

But in talking and talking about it, and in weighing and measuring what the Fox network found so reprehensible (censoring, for what it would appear, the personal-is-political content of Fields' speech by cutting the camera away and going to silence), I've come to see that in so calling attention to Fields' gaffe in the the field of societal mores, Fox helped assure Fields' position as not a lightning rod, but a beacon of light itself, to be heard and seen again and again expressing completely appropriate outrage that the children which have been passionately loved and mothered so well, the children for whom we wait to return from war, even go in the first place!!

Were it up to us as a whole, we mothers would declare ourselves and our children-- be they twenty months or twenty years of age-- free from the violence and the outrage of war. We would find another way.

Sally, we thank you for speaking from the Mother Heart when in this present day world it is so unfashionable to do so. We thank you for wearing your Mother Heart on your tear stained sleeve, and for daring to deliver a message for which you will be both reviled and championed. A mother's work, never done, should not ever be a popularity contest, and is, in the end, done for the sake of our childre. ALL our children.

If mothers ruled the world...

Local mothers continue their worldly role

How is it that a handful of local women take on the task of benefiting the world's children when their main office consists of a carriage house near downtown Boulder?

The four founders of Mothers Acting Up (MAU), a grassroots organization whose mission is to passionately and publicly advocate for children around the world, make it possible by following their own recipe for change.

Five years ago, Beth Osnes, Joellen Raderstorf, Juliana Forbes and Erica Shafroth decided to bring some joy and positivity into their activist work. They were disturbed by the decisions their federal leaders were making and how the consequences - ranging from environmental degradation to exploding military budgets - were affecting children everywhere. These mothers combined their proactive desires and determination to be heard in the political sphere and thus created MAU.

"Activism is often thought of as aggressive, angry, dangerous and risky, (more here....)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

MAU at Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking.

The Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking takes place this year at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. Nashville’s own Naomi Tutu (!!) will be the event’s keynote speaker. In its fourth year, the 2007 conference is themed Building the Beloved Community. Today, September 14, is the last day for a price break on an adult conference goer’s registration. Tomorrow, price goes from $50 to $75.

Mothers Acting Up will have a Saturday morning workshop called MAU Now: Mobilizing the Mamas, the Joy of Activism for mothers (and others) who want to build community in advocating publicly and passionately for the world’s children. MAU will have a Nashville MAU presence specifically, as well as MAUs from other locations. We’ll have a table with MAU literature and goods including the hot off the presses 2008 Handbook & Engagement Calendar, the 2007 edition MAU bumpersticker, as well as Nashville Mothers Acting Up tee shirts and mamamade aprons.

The conference should be a big time for ALL wanting to gather in the name of peace with justice. I’m bringing my family (husband and two year old), and encourage that you bring yours, too.

Volunteers for womaning the MAU table are needed! Please shout at me as per below if you are able and willing to take a shift or two.

In peace and in the spirit of community,


paige (at) mothersactingup (dot) com

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fall Calls to Action!!

At a recent United Nations summit meeting there was special session focused on improving the lives of the world's children. It was agreed that no authentic progress would be made until one fundamental question had been addressed: how do we get the people of one nation to actually care about the children of another nation?

From (M)other, MAU Live: Theatre for Empowerment

It's time to prove to the world, especially the U.S. Congress, that we DO care about the children of another nation AND are willing to make time in our hectic lives to prove it.

Congress will soon vote on ANOTHER $145 billion dollars for the war in Iraq (President Bush may ask for $190 billion, in addition to the $100 billion allocated at the beginning of the summer.) Our children and the children of Iraq are not safer and cannot afford this war, financially, emotionally or morally. It's time we expose the disproportional impact of war on children!

For ONE WEEK - Sept 14-21 - CALL your Members of Congress EVERY DAY to demand that we stop funding the war in Iraq (horrifically impacting hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children), and start spending our vital resources on protecting the world's children. SCHEDULE 10 minutes RIGHT NOW in your calendar, every day for one week, to call both your Senators and your Representative.

Your messages could sound like this: "My name is ______, I am a Mother Acting Up and I passionately urge the Senator/Representative to vote NO on the Iraq War supplemental spending bill. One of many reasons to Vote NO is: _______________. This war is not making our children safer; vote NO on more war funding. Thank you." (If you want to add a Mama Grizzly Bear growl to further get your point across, go for it.)

Click here for MAU's top ten reasons to VOTE NO and all you need to make your FALL CALLS TO ACTION.

Take action with your children: Chalk messages for Peace in public places with your children and/or friends. Bring activism into the daily life of your family. Along with beautiful peace signs and words of peace, give a call to action: "Ask Representative X at xxx-xxxx to VOTE NO on WAR FUNDING, for children's sake!"

Prioritizing the world's children is our charge mamas. Gentlewoman: practice your message aloud, stretch your fingers and begin dialing!

In spirited partnership,
The Mavens at MAU Central

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Nashville MAUs put together 41 school kits for the MCC!!

This just in from Kate at Nashville Mothers Acting Up:

WOW! I set a goal of 5 school kits early in August, and by the end of the month we'd made 41! When the kids and I dropped them off at 10,000 Villages yesterday, the volunteers and assistant manager were overwhelmed by the bags and bags full of kits we kept lugging through the door. While we helped to unload them in the back room, Priscilla, one of the volunteers, told us what would happen to them next. They'll take a ride up to Indiana, where the MCC home office is, and then will travel by ship over to Iraq, where they will be distributed by the MCC workers over there. I'd love to see how they're received by the children themselves, and what they allow the kids to do in school. Such a small gift, but I'm sure it means so much to them.

At Suzanne's encouragement, we'll continue to work with the MCC and branch out into other types of kits. Here's a list of all the kits they request and distribute . I recommend that we make newborn kits next... More on that soon.

In the meantime, thanks to all of you who participated in this project -- it's quite an accomplishment, and so beautifully illustrates our mission to advocate for the world's children.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Grace Paley passes on.

Today, activist and writer Grace Paley passed on. She touched many lives.

Pictured here, L to R on Mother's Day at Strafford, Vermont's Mother's Day Reclamation Parade are: State Representative Margaret Cheney, former governor Madeleine Kunin, state poet laureate and event speaker Grace Paley, and Vermont Mothers Acting Up Organizer Danette Harris.

What a glorious group of women!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bianca Bean on Beth!

Beth and M(other) is the word on the blogging mama street....

and yes, Bianca, and all, her show is available to come to you. Just ask how!
Holler at MAU

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This just in from a UK MAU man...

Hi Joellen,
Just a note to say I am still watching and marvelling at your progress.
It is great to know that you are getting so many volunteers up high on stilts although many of your photos show your ladies holding on to their spotters. Stiltwalking is like skating. You need courage to let loose of the support and once free the feeling is superb. But stilts need regular practice if only to remind your body functions about the change of centre of gravity which affects ones balance.

I do not expect any of your stilters to be as eccentric as me, but I did hope that one of your stilters would contact me back in 2003. I was a little disappointed when I heard from no-one. If you have time, have a look at YouTube and do a search for 'lampwort' to see some of my exploits on 2ft & 3ft peg stilts.
Also do a search for 'bicycle13' to see a 6yr old girl on 3ft & 4ft peg stilts. She only started stilt walking about 10 weeks ago and is enjoying the experience of being so high. She may give inspiration to some of your stilters.
Watching & supporting MAU from a distance.
Keep on acting up. Today's children are our future.
Roy Lambeth

Monday, August 13, 2007

MAU looking for Development Coordinator.

Development Coordinator, Mothers Acting Up

Reply to: Joellen Raderstorf, Executive Director

Starting Aug 15, 2007

If you have an appetite for raising money for social change, this is an outrageously great opportunity: great mission, great organization, great team!

Flexible hours, can work from home.

Volunteer position with potential to move into a paid position.

Become the Development Diva of Mothers Acting Up (MAU), a movement of mothers publicly and passionately advocating for the world’s children. MAU inspires, educates and engages mothers* a gigantic force to be reckoned with to prioritize children in our corporate and public policies. MAU believes that when mothers lead, generations of global citizens will follow. The organization is in its fifth year with a strong foundation and well-connected team.

All the raw materials are in place, awaiting someone who is inspired!

* mothers and others, on stilts or off, who exercise protective care over someone smaller


  • Love raising money for social change
  • Development, Marketing and PR experience
  • Familiarity with grant funding sources and processes
  • Donor cultivation knowledge and/or experience
  • Passionate commitment to a peaceful, child-friendly world
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Computer savvy
  • Event planning knowledge and/or experience

Major responsibilities include:

  • Work with MAU team to create development plan
  • Pursue sponsorship opportunities for MAU’s 5th annual Handbook
  • Support marketing and distribution of MAU Handbook
  • Assist in planning, coordination and implementation of fall fundraiser
  • Research and apply for grants (corporate and foundation) for MAU
  • Maintain and enhance current donor tracking/management systems
  • Provide donor cultivation guidance

Check out MAU at

PO Box 1244

Boulder, CO 80306


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mother puts the 'act' in acting up.

(M)other and Beth Osnes are leading up to a grand opening in September!!

Read all about Beth's new one woman show here. And by all means, if you're interested in bringing Beth's show / workshop / girlcott trio to YOUR MAU community, let us know:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

2007 Gandhi- King Conference on Peacemaking.

MAUs from all across the Southeast (and beyond!) are encouraged to attend this wonderful conference. We plan to have a strong showing of mobilized mamas from across the state and elswhere!! Want to hook up with us? Contact Paige:

2007 Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking "Building the Beloved Community"

October 26-27

$20 - Students and Low Income ($30 on or after September 15) $50 - Adults ($70 on or after September 15)

Friday, October 26
7:30 am Registration opens in Theatre Lobby (ongoing throughout the conference) 8:30 am - 12:30 pm Youth Conference

Youth Component
The Gandhi-King Conference is teaming up with BRIDGES PeaceJam to bring local high school youth an innovative and interactive youth component which will occur on Friday of the conference weekend. Friday morning will begin with a plenary address by Rosa Clemente, followed by a selection of workshops specifically designed for youth.

Workshop topics include: Influences of Mass Media, Being Creators Not Consumers, Fair Trade, Alternatives to the Military, Voting, Global Citizenship, and Creating Our Communities.

The youth component continues Friday evening with a community performance event to be held at BRIDGES, during which artists will be sharing their messages of peace and visions of beloved community through music, spoken word, visual art, and dance. Youth sessions and Friday evening performance are open to all conference participants.

Monday, August 06, 2007

MAU at Maine Peace Fest.

The Maine Chapter of Mothers Acting Up was founded earlier this year by Helyne May with the goal of providing support for mothers who wish to advocate for peace but may not be able to attend weekly or evening meetings. The group began with the Mother's Day Reclamation Project to re-establish the original meaning of Mother's Day, according to the Mother's Day Peace Proclamation written by Julia Ward Howe in 1870.

Full article here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

MAU on Mothering Mag's Mommy Chats This Week!!

MAU outreach coordinator & Nashville MAU community organizer is on Mothering's Mommy Chats this week: Wednesday June 13 at 1 PM Eastern. Come by and talk about community building, mother activism, and summer family field trips to visit elected officials.

And here's the transcript from last month's pre Mother's Day chat.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Code Pink Granny for Peace & MAU supporter in Tennessee Voices.

From the Tennessean

Sunday, 05/13/07

Honor mothers today by speaking out for peace

Tennessee Voices

As we celebrate Mother's Day to honor the most important person in our lives, let us not forget the history behind its origin in our country. In the years after the Civil War, a young Appalachian mother named Anna Jarvis worked to heal both the physical and emotional wounds of families on both sides, calling for a Mother's Work Day to improve living conditions for all and build reconciliation between neighbors.

Inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, took up the cause. When the Franco-American War began in 1870, Howe used her fame to send a call to women of all nations to recognize their common humanity, seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts and take a firm stance against any and all wars.

She issued a proclamation calling for a Congress of Women, stating, "Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience."

Across the years, Julia Ward Howe's words speak as true today as they did then. The conflict in the Middle East affects Tennesseans deeply, with tragic loss of precious Tennessee soldiers and the terrible reality of the wounded in body and soul who come home to the lack of proper medical and psychological care.

Five years ago, a group of Tennessee women, led by founders of PeaceRoots Alliance and More Than Warmth, came together with Middle Tennessee women to honor Julia Ward Howe, and remember that Mother's Day began as a call for our children's future and a call for peace.

Today, Mothers Acting Up (MAU) will bring mothers and their children together in Nashville with church and civic groups and a growing number of families to oppose the war and work for peace.

"My hope is to fully embody the inclusive message of peace for all," says organizer Paige La Grone Babcock, national outreach coordinator for MAU. "The action will be aimed at appealing to the Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi to be an advocate for the mother of all agendas: dealing with poverty, global warming and striving for peace."

Honoring our mothers is a good thing. Honoring the strength and fortitude of mothers who demand peace and stand for the protection of all children and families is the true meaning of Mother's Day.


On Special Day, Mothers Act Up

On special day, mothers act up

Boulder group marches on behalf of world's kids
Javier Manzano © News

Dario McCormick, 4, stands with his mother Michaela for a moment of silence in remembrance of the suffering of people around the world before a parade organized by Mothers Acting Up began Sunday in Boulder. With them, from left, are Nancy Doty, Sam Hay and Patricia Shannon.
BOULDER - Margrith Muhlheim told her family to skip the flowers and candy for Mother's Day.

Instead, she wanted to march with her daughter and granddaughter in Boulder for better neighborhoods and access to quality education for children, not only in Colorado but across the globe.

Muhlheim, 78, said she wants her 13-year-old granddaughter, Margrith Mooney, to grow up in a safe neighborhood where people.... (for more of the story, go here)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's ON!!

“Having never organized anything before in my life, I have to say that I hope that I am emblematic of a piece of some mothers/others can take away from this event: I'm doing this, essentially, by myself. And if I can do this, in the name of trying to step in the right direction on behalf of my two little girls, anyone can do it. I believe that these times provide fertile ground for the type of activism that MAU gives us the opportunity to be a part of, and I'm hopeful that I can help be a part of that work.” Helen Maye, (brand new!) Community Organizer and Mother’s Day Reclaimer: Portland, ME

Dear Reclaimers of Mother’s Day,

From the tips of the toes through the shimmy of my hips and on up up up…. I want to dance when I read Helyne’s words of empowerment, above. Yes, and yes, and yes!

To paraphrase Beth, one of the co-founding MAU mavens, never doubt that YOU are the perfect and most right one to speak out (and joyfully so!) on behalf of your children and ALL of the children.

So hold this kernel of knowledge in your hearts, sock it away in your bosom and add a little pep to your step as you heed Julia’s call to take it to the streets this weekend! Your town and her town and my town: we are one large wave of community, a force of mobilized mamas to be reckoned AND LAUGHED with. For we are Joy Warriors engaged in a magnificent apron string revolution to honor the promise of our children’s lives.

This Acting Up, it is serious business, and is most potent and most lasting when done from a place of enjoyment and togetherness. Throw your head back and sing, sing it loud, and with abandon, as in community we sow the seed our song in the fertile ground of hope.

Oh, and take pictures, will you? Write down what you see and feel and observe? And share it all with us later? Because we think not only do you look smashing, but know you are dizzyingly beautiful when you own your Mother Leadership. Really, we do. And that is something to celebrate all year long, and into next.

That the great human family may live in peace….

Paige for the MAU Mavens

Peace is not the absence of war.

Portland, Maine organizer Helyne May speaks to Maine Things Considered on public radio about Mother's Day reclaimation in her community.

Friday, May 11, 2007

MAU Maria Sanchez Morning Show.

Listen to a conversation between Ventura County, CA's Maria Sanchez and Nashville's Paige La Grone Babcock on a segment of Maria's show about Mothers Acting Up.

Mother’s Day: To interfere or not to interfere, that is the question

Mother’s Day: To interfere or not to interfere, that is the question

Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters, to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?”

Julia Ward Howe – famous for writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic – wrote this in her journal in 1870, just after the Civil War. She said this one question “haunted” her and responded by writing a Mother’s Day Proclamation, calling all women to rise up and oppose war on a day she named “Mother’s Day”. Today, as we mourn the deaths of our soldiers, embrace sons & daughters returning home scarred from the Iraq war, and hear reports of Iraqi casualties ranging from 30,000 (Bush Administration) to 650,000 (John Hopkins School of Public Health), it’s time to ask this question again and reclaim the original vision of Mother’s Day.

Howe wrote, “Arise, arise, all women who have hearts!” but somewhere along the way, breakfast in bed eclipsed this fiery call to activism. But all is not lost! After decades of burnt toast and loving messages, mothers have been sufficiently fortified and indeed are fulfilling Julia’s vision of uniting for our global family and are finding individual and collective ways to interfere. Mother’s Day is again becoming a day when we not only honor our mothers, but also their role in affecting social change in our world.

The Mother’s Day Proclamation urges women to “solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace”. Many of us know the grim statistics about our family’s and especially our children’s wellbeing around the world, yet often mothers – due to laws, societal norms or simply because we haven’t seen it as our role to speak out – have remained outside political circles. But in a world in which every other child lives in poverty, global warming poses an irreversible threat to future generations, and almost half of war causalities are children (source: UNICEF), the world needs mothers to interfere.

Let’s reclaim Mother’s Day this year by calling on congressional members and urging them to freeze military spending (the US military budget is already bigger than all other military budgets in the world combined). And begin to use some of those funds to find peaceful solutions to our conflicts, like contributing to building schools worldwide, funding our promised share of the Millennium Development Goals (eight international targets to end extreme poverty), and addressing global warming.

There’s no time to waste mothers – the United States has a new $699 billion* military budget, (renamed “security budget”) awaiting congressional approval, without a penny of that money going towards the three issues that pose the greatest threat to our global family: poverty, environment and the impact of war on children. Children's wellbeing is at the top of every mother's agenda. It's time to bring it to the top of our political agendas.

Recently, the first mother Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was criticized for interfering by traveling to Syria to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad. In response she said,As a mother, I will exhaust every remedy for Peace.” It’s hopefully a refrain we will hear more and more often, on Mother’s Day and whenever mothers interfere.

* includes supplemental spending for the “Global War on Terror” (source: Office of Management and Budget)

Juliana Forbes is a mother of two and a cofounder of Mothers Acting Up, a movement of mothers (and others) publicly and passionately advocating for the world’s children.