30 September 2011

Farewell from Mothers Acting Up

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 www.MOTHERtour.org. Finally, the MAU FaceBook page will 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.

12 September 2011

Woman to Woman

Today, there are few things as hopeful as the number of women engaged in a global conversation to uphold the dignity, rights and wellbeing of our global family. MAU has been blessed to partner with some of the women who have initiated this conversation and made sure every woman is invited to speak and be heard.

Photo: Andrea Leoncavallo

Jensine Larsen had a vision that has blossomed into World Pulse. Don’t waste another minute reading this sentence, but instantly visit their site and then order the current edition of the World Pulse Magazine. Your very blood will feel cleansed and energized, to say nothing of your heart and brain.

From their Website: World Pulse is a global media and communication network devoted to bringing women a global voice. We broadcast and unite women’s voices from around the world into a powerful force for change.

We produce a print and web magazine as well as host an interactive community newswire,PulseWire, where women can speak for themselves to the world and connect to solve global problems.

It’s a revolution that has already begun.

In light of all this, the MAU Board & Staff give our Heartfelt Seal of Gratitude and Respect to World Pulse and recommend MAU Mavens check it out.

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MAU also cheers Cooper and Emily who started The Motherhood.com, a wonderful online conversation that seeks to connect mothers on diverse topics. Join it today, because there is a generosity of spirit, humor and an appetite to change the world, that is infectious. Because as they say, “We know/Becoming a mother means becoming a wholly new human being/And that transformation can be overwhelming, exhilarating, confusing, wonderful, challenging.”

From the Blog: In TheMotherhood we are all about helping each other make life a little better every day. TheMotherhood is organized around Circles and Talks.Circles are on-going conversations started by members on any and all topics. Join the circles that interest you, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, start one! Neighbors are the amazing women who make up TheMotherhood. You won’t find a nicer, smarter, funnier, more supportive, resourceful, authentic, friendly group of moms anywhere. Become a fan of TheMotherhood on Facebook; Follow us on Twitter: @TheMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann.

In light of all this, the MAU Board & Staff give our Heartfelt Seal of Gratitude and Respect to The Motherhood and recommend that MAU Mavens check them out. May these circles continue to inspire, educate and engage.

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Beth Osnes wrote, performs and travels with the MOTHER tour, as well as being featured in a new movie on population, Mother: Caring for 7 Billion. In all her work, Beth intends to support the emergence of a global community of mothers moving from concern to action on behalf of the world’s children. It is happening …

In light of all this, the MAU Board & Staff give our Seal of Gratitude and Respect to the MOTHER tour and recommend that MAU Mavens check it out. Plus, any interaction with Beth brings delight.

08 August 2011


There are about six people who DON’T know about CARE, and that’s because CARE has been around since 1945 offering life-saving support to children and families in crisis—with an increased recent focus on partnering with women. AND their materials are positive, beautiful and tremendously accessible. We are HUGE fans ofCARE.

Here’s what they say: 
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of disease, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.

Our Vision
We seek a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security. CARE International will be a global force and a partner of choice within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. We will be known everywhere for our unshakable commitment to the dignity of people.

Do you see why MAU is a bit crazy in love? In addition, CARE has recognized the importance of engaging generations of activists, so be sure to check out CARE’s annual conference in the Spring, which MAU Maven Anjali Kochar and her daughter Kiran (10) have attended for years.

In light of all this, the MAU Board & Staff give our Seal of Gratitude and Respect toCARE and recommend MAU Mavens check them out. To get involved contact Giulia McPherson at the CARE Action Network, gmcpherson@care.org, 202-415-8285.

13 July 2011

The White House Project

For years, under Marie C. Wilson’s brilliant leadership, MAU has been partnering and appreciating the work of The White House Project. Now, with a brand new Director, Tiffany Dufu, the work of The White House Project continues to galvanize the ingenuity, intelligence and leadership of women and girls. Our hats are off to this magnificent and effective movement. From Ms. Dufu, “My life’s work is to advance women and girls … and I’m eager to show our nation the progressive change that can happen when The White House Project arms millions of women with the tools to create new outcomes that benefit us all.”

From the Website: The White House Project, a national, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization, 501(c)(3), aims to advance women’s leadership in all communities and sectors, up to the U.S. presidency. By filling the leadership pipeline with a richly diverse, critical mass of women, we make American institutions, businesses and government truly representative. Through multi-platform programs, The White House Project creates a culture where America’s most valuable untapped resource—women—can succeed in all realms.

To advance this mission, The White House Project strives to support women and the issues that allow women to lead in their own lives and in the world. When women leaders bring their voices, vision and leadership to the table alongside men, the debate is more robust and the policy is more inclusive and sustainable. By supporting women and the values that allow women to succeed—the full range of health options, security platforms that utilize all our resources, economic stability for all—we work to create an equitable culture.

YES! In light of all this, the MAU Board & Staff give our Seal of Gratitude and Respect to The White House Project and recommend that MAU Mavens check them out!

30 June 2011


MomsRising has done an incredible job at engaging mothers and others on issues that impact families in the United States. MAU has been in awe of the sheer power and momentum of this network (no pun intended.) Their recent partnership with Christy Turlington Burns on maternal health, especially endeared the network to us, as once we get informed about national statistics on maternal health (which are sobering enough), we’ll learn about global maternal health statistics, which are even more sobering, and then the global mother network will really rock.

What they say: Since 2006, MomsRising has been working to bring together millions of people who share a common concern about the need to build a more family-friendly America. Our members are bringing important motherhood and family issues to the forefront of the country’s awareness. Together, we are working to create both cultural and legislative change, on both the national and state levels.

Last year alone, MomsRising’s members took over a million actions in support of families, and in the process, were covered in the media over 1,000 times. Together, we are making major progress—policies at the Congressional and state levels that have been stuck for decades are now moving forward, and some have already become law. For example, MomsRising played a key role in securing paid family leave in New Jersey, Washington, and paid sick days in Milwaukee. Our efforts also helped pass legislation, which removes highly toxic phthalates from young children’s toys and products, and the Consumer Product Safety Reform Act that will better protect our families from toxic substances.

In light of all this, the MAU Board & Staff give our Heartfelt Seal of Gratitude and Respect to MomsRising and recommend MAU Mavens check them out. Continue the upward RISE!