Mother Up!

Families Rise Up for Climate Action




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).

You can also join our active Facebook group, which currently has more than 700 members. Questions? Please reach out to our project coordinator, Abby Mnookin, at or at 802-490-6393

Why Mother Up!?

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!

Grant Funding and Donations

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,” the New England Grassroots Environment FundTimberHomes Vermont, 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!

MU! Monthly Meet-ups

Mother Up! groups meet monthly in Brattleboro, Burlington, Middlebury, and Montpelier, with a vegetarian meal and childcare provided at each meeting.

Brattleboro– 4th Mondays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, KidsPLAYce

Contact: Abby Mnookin,

Burlington– 3rd Thursdays from 6 – 7:30 pm

Contact: Maeve McBride,

Middlebury– 3rd Sundays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Middlebury Recreation Center.

Contact: Ashley Laux,

Montpelier– 3rd Fridays, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, North Branch Nature Center

Contact: Géraldine Vatan,

MU! Lobby Day at the State House

Thursday, February 14, 2019 

Our 3rd annual Mother Up! Lobby Day on Thursday, February 14th was a tremendous success! Dozens of parents and children from across the state traveled to the State House and delivered Valentine’s (aka “Love Letters to Mother Earth”) to all 180 Vermont legislators calling for bold climate action now.

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.

Timeline of our day:

10 am: Arrive, meet & greet, prep for testimony (Lobby; Ethan Allen Rm)

11 am: Press Conference (Cedar Creek Rm)

12 pm: Testify to Climate Solutions Caucus (Rm 10)

1 pm – MU! recognized on the House Floor (House chamber)

To find out who your legislators are based on your town, go to

To find out more about our 2018 day at the State House, check out this blog post and this Vermont Public Radio commentary, Parents as Activists.

And mark your calendars for our 4th Annual Lobby Day on Thursday, February 6, 2020!

MU! Summer Trips

Our 2019 summer trip will be traveling to Healing Turtle Island, Friday July 12 – Monday July 15 at Nibezun Farm, Passadumkeag, Maine. This ceremony takes place on “sacred ground of Maine’s indigenous people for over 10,000 years, serving as a historical meeting place for Wabanaki tribes and an ancient camp used by their ancestors, the Red Paint People, for gathering red ochre.” Sherri Mitchell writes, “Our ancestors tell us that the Eastern Door is where we will gather to begin the healing of this land. It is here in the East where first contact was made between the Native peoples and the newcomers. It is here that the first blood was spilled between our people, and the long history of violence began. And, it is here on this same land that the healing must begin.” More information, including links to a donation page, here. More MU! details coming soon….

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.