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.

Jen Caltrider's Progress Now Action blog....

sings the praises of MAU over here.

Progress Now is an organization Mothers Acting Up supports and has partnered with in the making of both the Julia video, seen both below on this blog, and at Jen's blog linked above. MAU and Progress Action teamed yet again for the wonderful Grizzly video you see to the left in the sidebar of this blog. Haven't watched it yet? Check it out.

Local "Mother Power" Author Joins NYC Mother's Day Rally

Local "Mother Power" Author Joins NYC Mother's Day Rally

by Joan R. Simon

(May 9, 2007) Dr. Jackie Plumez, author of Mother Power and career columnist for the Larchmont Gazette, will be joining a group of women leaders on Mother’s Day, May 13th, for the 5th annual Mothers Acting Up (MAU) rally. The festive event will be held from 2:00 to 6:00 pm at the LaGuardia Place Community Garden at Bleeker St. in Greenwich Village.

Read the rest of the article here....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Media Advisory for Mother's Day.






WHEN: Mother’s Day: Sunday May 13, 2007

WHERE: Events will take place in public parks and squares across the country in cities including: Flagstaff (AZ); Los Angeles (CA), Temecula (CA); Boulder (CO), Carbondale (CO); Portland (ME); Harbor Springs (MI); Minneapolis-St. Paul (MN); Manhattan (NY), The Bronx (NY); Oklahoma City (OK); Portland (OR); Philadelphia (PA); Charleston (SC); Nashville (TN); Austin (TX); Strafford (VT); Hartland (WI), and Milwaukee (WI) with more cities being added every day.

WHO: Mothers Acting Up (MAU): a national movement of mothers (and others) moving from concern to action on behalf of the world’s children.

WHAT: MAU’s 2007 Mother’s Day Reclamation Parades and other events (picnics, rallies, cake walks) celebrate Mother Leadership and the gigantic political power of mamas!
All events will include mothers (and others) — both costumed and on stilts — festive families of all kinds and other organizations. All will gather to honor the promise of our children’s lives, as we collectively kick off of a national postcard action aimed at Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to use her Mother Leadership in being an advocate for the Mother of all Agendas: to Protect our Global Family by championing the Millennium Development Goals; to Preserve our Planet by addressing global warming; and the True Cost of War by freezing U.S. military spending.

WHY: In 1870, Julia Ward Howe started Mother’s Day to unite mothers for peace and the wellbeing of ALL children. Her cry to action is still relevant in 2007 - mothers realize that we live in a world that does not prioritize or protect our children's wellbeing. This will not change without mothers (and others) finding the courage and commitment to speak out on behalf of not only their own children, but all the world’s children. MAU will reclaim the original meaning of Mother’s Day in communities nationwide — wresting the holiday from the hold of Hallmark — to passionately and publicly advocate for the world’s children. Everyone from shy visionaries to exuberant shakers & movers are welcome!


Mothers Acting Up is a non-partisan mother-led, mother-fed movement of mothers and others publicly and passionately advocating for the world’s children.

In peace.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mother's Day Reclamation in Southern California.

OrganizerTiffany Bellah is buiding a new MAU community in Temecula, CA and is creating the area's first Mother's Day Reclamation event as outlined below, from the Press Enterprise.

Woman to promote mothers' group at fair

A Temecula woman will be promoting a national organization dedicated to helping women and children at the Antique, Art & Flower Faire on May 13, Mother's Day, in Rainbow.

Tiffany Bellah is a volunteer for Mothers Acting Up a national movement of mothers moving from concern to action on behalf of the world's children.

She will be at the fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It will be held at Rainbow Oaks Marketplace, at the corner of Highway 395 and Fifth Street in Rainbow, four miles south of Temecula.

The first 50 moms to visit will get a free Mothers Acting Up handbook.


--Sean Nealon