For many parents, our days are filled with putting food on the table, wrestling limbs into snow gear and checking in on school work. Often our busy lives prevent us from taking a leading role on the larger issues at play in the world in which we are raising our children. Many parents share a profound sense of despair in the face of climate change, yet feel powerless to act. By building “Mother Up!: Families Rise Up for Climate Action,” we at 350VT are engaging parents to take action in both their own communities and those most affected by the fossil fuel industry. We believe parents are powerful voices in fighting for the health and safety of our collective future. If you’re a parent, join us at an upcoming event or meet-up (listed below). You can also join our active Facebook group, which currently has more than 650 members.Questions? Please reach out to our project coordinator, Abby Mnookin, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-490-6393.
Why Mother Up!?
The name “Mother Up!” was inspired by Sun Dance Chief Rueben George, who, on behalf of his First Nation, was a co-coordinator of the fight against the Kinder Morgan proposed tar sands oil pipeline and tanker expansion. Chief Rueben’s mother, Amy George, a Tsleil-Waututh elder, told him to warrior up! In the fall of 2014, activists from Rising Tide Seattle were granted permission to adapt this phrase to “Mother Up!” and we have been granted permission to extend its use here in Vermont. Solidarity in action! As a climate justice movement, we must make sincere efforts to be inclusive to families and to actively seek out the voices of parents in all aspects of our work. “Mother Up!” is intended as a verb – to mother – as opposed to a noun. We believe that “mothering” the Earth by all people and genders is part of the solution. The subheading of “Families Rise Up for Climate Action” denotes our mission to be inclusive. Our vision is to build locally-based parent networks across Vermont that not only participate in climate justice work, but also become leaders in it. We will support these groups by providing leadership development, educational opportunities and logistical support. As a tool to facilitate one-on-one conversations with Vermont parents, we began with a survey that asked parents to reflect on their family structure, the challenges that they face as parents, and what climate change means to them. Nearly one hundred parents participated from Southern & Central Vermont, in addition to Chittenden County. The results of the survey were used to understand common concerns, chart existing parent networks within communities, and to identify potential parent leaders. Join the movement!
Mother Up! groups meet monthly in Burlington, Montpelier and Brattleboro, and a vegetarian meal and childcare are provided at each meeting.
Burlington Mother Up! – 3rd Thursdays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, First UU Society of Burlington Contact: Maeve McBride, email@example.com for meeting details in Burlington and Chittenden County.
Montpelier Mother Up!– 3rd Fridays, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, North Branch Nature Center Contact: Geraldine Vatan, firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting details in Montpelier and the Central Valley.
Brattleboro Mother Up! – 4th Mondays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, KidsPLAYce Contact: Abby Mnookin, email@example.com for meeting details in Brattleboro and Southern Vermont.
MU! Lobby Day at the State House
Thursday, February 15, 2018
We’re excited for our 2nd Annual MU! Lobby Day. Our legislators want to hear what’s important to us, and when we speak out, they listen. This day will be an opportunity for parents and families throughout Vermont to come together to let our legislators know that not only is climate change a top priority for us, but also that NOW is the time to lead the way with bold climate solutions. After all, our children are counting on us.
Tentative schedule for the day:
10 am – Arrive, visit Committees, alternative meeting with Legislators
11 am – Meet with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (His office)
11:30 am – Alternative meeting with Legislators
12 pm – Present to Climate Solutions Caucus (Room 10)
12:30 pm – Alternative meeting with Legislators
1 pm – MU! recognized on the House Floor (House chamber)
1:30 pm – Alternative meeting with Legislators
In the morning, we’ll be using the Ethan Allen room (near the cafeteria) as our base. In the afternoon (after the Climate Caucus), we’ll be using Room 10 as our base. We’d love for you to join us for some part or all of this day. Parents and kids are welcome, and pizza lunch and childcare will be provided! RSVP’s strongly requested, but not required.
Four-day family trip to learn firsthand about the impacts of climate change on coastal communities, coastal fisheries, coastlines, and coastal ecology; have fun in a beautiful setting while strengthening the ties within our Vermont MU! community; hear from Maine families who have been directly affected by our changing climate and return to Vermont with stories to share.
2016 summer trip
In 2016, five families traveled to Northeastern Pennsylvania to see first-hand some of the effects of fracking. Read more about their story here.