Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Dearest Mothers Acting Up Community:

For years we’ve talked about creating a “magnificent revolution” led by mothers stepping into new public leadership roles on behalf of the world’s children. Today there is clear evidence we’re living inside that revolution—from Shayne Moore’s book Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World is Easier Than You Think to theupcoming 3-year film project Women and Girls Lead, from the glorious voices atWorld Pulse, CARE, ONEMoms, and The Motherhood, to individuals as famous as Julia Roberts or Christy Turlington Burns and as familiar as you and your neighbor.

In light of this, it is no longer necessary for Mothers Acting Up to be out in front, waving the MAU flag, (even though it is a really beautiful flag … ) and we’ve chosen to close Mothers Acting Up as an organization.

Not that our work as mothers acting up is over—far from it—it’s just that mothers are taking action into our own capable hands. Mothers clearly got the memo that we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for and are Acting Up without need of a third party. There is currently atremendous amount of coherent, effective work being done on every issue impacting the world’s children, as well as opportunities for mothers to engage directly with organizations. In addition, the Internet is bringing mothers around the globe into conversations with each other—across every boundary imaginable—to share challenges, solutions & resources, and create personalized entry points into activism. In effect, we are each leading the revolution.

When Mothers Acting Up started ten years ago, this was most definitely not the case. Activism was a very suspicious activity—somewhat akin to terrorism—and definitely not appropriate to include children in or really even speak about in polite society. Not a single person we encountered wanted to be called an activist; there were many who visually blanched. Few of us used money to “vote” for the world’s children, or saw children’s lives as interconnected, fewer still had found our public voice on issues we were passionate about—or found agency in our mothering roles, or communicated with our Members of Congress. Suffice it to say, no one was blogging. Today though, when mothers look in the mirror, we don’t see a person solely defined by her private roles, we see a powerful global change agent. Or, if we don’t quite see her yet, we certainly see our friends as change agents, and can see ourselves in them.

MAU has been immensely proud to be part of this transformation by offering inspiration, education and engagement in the form of principles for exuberant activism; daily, weekly & monthly actions; tools and recipes that ranged from how to take a field trip to your MOC to how to build stilts; templates for glorious Mother’s Day parades and events that engaged hundreds of thousands; annual calendars featuring hundreds of organizations and individuals; coaching mother leaders, action groups & MAU communities; presenting the MOTHER tour to inspire personal transformation and strengthen the voices of mothers; contributing through the personal story and scholarship of MAU co-founder Beth Osnes to the wildly evocative movie on population, Mother: Caring for Seven Billion; and sharing intimate portraits from the MQs.

We’ve been especially honored to do all this with you; your actions, feedback, financial support and friendship have guided and inspired not only the organization, but our personal lives as well. We’re grateful to every mother and other who has been a part of this journey, stepping outside of comfort zones and sharing courage, challenges and triumphs. We celebrate this magnificent revolution with you in mind.

As written years ago in one of the calendars:

we are mothers, sisters, family
wrapped in different cloth, standing under the same wide sky
and we’ve come to the very end of our silence

together we’ve found our voice
and it is loud
and it is beautiful

and it sings a love song for our children

In the last few years, we did come to the end of our silence, and we have found our voice. So keep your ears tuned … someone near you is singing. When you hear them, join in and crank up the volume, because it is precisely this song that will shape our world’s future and touch all the lives that are to come.

With deep gratitude and in spirited partnership,

Karen, Juliana, Anjali, Joellen, Amy, Stacy, Beth, and Erica

P.s. Please read the other posts featuring a few of the individuals and organizations that MAU has been honored to partner with. You most likely are familiar with them, if not, visit their Websites and engage in their incredible work.

P.s. We wanted to share our final MAU photo—interestingly enough, it is as strange as our first! Also, some information: PLEASE leave any and all messages here in the comment box and elves will make sure the entire crew sees them. This Website will be live until April 2012, so no worries—you can still find that recipe on how to take a field trip to your Member of Congress, or read the MAU Principles again to commit them to memory. MAU co-founder Joellen Raderstorf will continue tweeting @actingupmama and The MOTHER tour will be accessible at Finally, the MAU FaceBook pagewill continue sharing the thoughts and actions of our MAU network for the foreseeable future—including the Acting Up of the MAU Central group—so please keep contributing your thoughts and actions on that page.

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