My involvement with Mothering Justice came by way of divine alignment. At the time, I was searching for opportunities to learn how to organize that weren’t connected to an institution or political party. I was initially attracted to Mothering Justice’s dedication to “returning decision making power to the ones affected by these decisions the most.” While this statement is a noble one, it was their method of accomplishing this that inspired me to sign up. Mothering Justice’s extensive trainings (I am currently a fellow), paid stipend, and expansive network of resources are exactly what are needed in order to properly equip mothers in Michigan to be effective advocates for their families.
As a governor-appointee to a statewide commission and as board member of local organizations, I do most of my policy work in insulated spaces. With the exception of the work I do around poverty alleviation, the issues that are addressed in these spaces are done so in a fairly one-dimensional manner. Thus, I chose to become involved with Mothering Justice because the issues addressed by the organization are multifaceted. This includes everything from advocating for paid sick days and affordable childcare to training mothers in Michigan on how to use their voices and personal experiences to effect change.
I saw the Mothering Justice Fellowship as an opportunity to increase my personal network of women of color who are in the same place as I am: We have neither adequate political representation at the local, state and national levels nor enough collective wealth to directly influence the political process. What I have—and the other ladies in my cohort do too—is “enough sense” to know that a lot of policies in Michigan are preventing Michigan families from obtaining necessary resources and information, which as a result, keeps them impoverished. At the time the fellowship opportunity presented itself, my soul was crying out to work alongside “the people.” But not just in a “how can I help you” way, as I had in the past; but in a “Iet’s do this!” way. While we have only met once, it is clear that the ladies in my cohort are fired up and ready to work.
Since I have been a part of the Mothering Justice network, I have learned of similar efforts across the state, been added to various email lists, and even presented with opportunities to attend other activist trainings and expand my network. This past weekend, I attended the Babies Over Billionaires Conference put on by 482foward. The information I obtained and the connections I made there have already proven to be valuable to me in the work I am doing on the west side of the state. I even learned of initiatives in my own community of which I was not previously aware. If these experiences are any indication of how my time as a Mothering Justice fellow will be, I welcome the opportunities to learn all that I can and to build with the ladies in my cohort.
Movement Fellow 2018