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 advocating 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).
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 resistance 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. In addition to being a reference to “Mother Earth,” the phrase “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!
We are tremendously grateful to all of our donors. Funding for MU! has been provided by 350VT, the Vermont Community Foundation‘s “Modesty Is My Best Quality Fund,” and a growing list of donors. Click here to make a donation to help bring more families into the climate movement. Thank you for your support!
*NOTE: We have temporarily suspended in-person meet-ups and will be meeting online at varying times instead. We will update this note when in-person meet-ups resume.*
Mother Up! groups meet monthly in Brattleboro and Montpelier, with a vegetarian meal and childcare provided at each meeting.
Brattleboro– 4th Mondays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, KidsPLAYce
Volunteer-run Mother Up! groups also meet monthly in Burlington; these meals are potluck and childcare is shared among attending families.
Burlington– 3rd Thursdays from 5:30 pm or Sundays following from 4:30 pm, location varies
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or send google group request to email@example.com
Lobby Day at the State House
Our legislators want to hear what’s important to us, and when we speak out, they listen. This day is 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. To find out who your legislators are based on your town, go to https://legislature.vermont.gov/people
Our 3rd annual Lobby Day on February 14, 2019 was a tremendous success! Dozens of parents and children from across the state spoke out for climate action beyond lip service, delivering “Love Letters to Mother Earth” in honor of Valentine’s Day to all 180 lawmakers. Check out these photos and this video from our press conference. Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who spoke at the press conference, also wrote about our visit to the State House in his newsletter.
Deep gratitude to Sherri Mitchell – Wena’hamu’gwasit and the leaders of the incredible Healing Turtle Island ceremony! And thank you to all of the MU! families and friends who traveled to Nibezun, Maine, “sacred ground of the Penobscot people…along the shores of the Penobscot River, providing a gateway to the traditional way of life of the Wabanaki peoples.” We were part of the ceremony alongside people from all over the world who gathered “to heal the common wound that we carry from our shared history of violence; to heal the wounds carried by Mother Earth, and; to heal the imprint of those wounds in the energy field overlaying the land.” Stay tuned for more reflections and report-backs. Plus, we hope to return next summer! More information, including links to a donation page, here.
August 2016 In 2016, five families traveled to Northeastern Pennsylvania to see first-hand some of the effects of fracking. Joanna Macy’s description of the three dimensions “The Great Turning” applied to this trip – resisting fossil fuels, building new systems, and changing of consciousness. Read more about their story here.