Mother Up!

Families Rise Up for Climate Action


MU! Monthly Meet-ups

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: Katherine Quaid, or Abby Mnookin, for meeting details in Burlington and Chittenden County.

Montpelier Mother Up! – 3rd Fridays, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, North Branch Nature Center Contact: Géraldine Vatan, for meeting details in Montpelier and Central Vermont.

Brattleboro Mother Up! – 4th Mondays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, KidsPLAYce Contact: Abby Mnookin, for meeting details in Brattleboro and Southern Vermont.



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 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, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, the Natural Mattress Company in Shelburne, 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! Lobby Day at the State House

Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Our 2nd annual Mother Up! Lobby Day on Thursday, February 15th was a tremendous success! Dozens of parents and children from across the state traveled to the State House asking for bold climate action now.

Check out photos, video of our testimony to the Climate Caucus, and read all about our day at the State House in this blog post . You can also hear more about it with this Vermont Public Radio commentary, Parents as Activists.

Timeline of our day:
10 am – Arrive, mingle, and get oriented (Lobby –> Ethan Allen Room)

10:30 am – Meet with Sen. Becca Balint (Ethan Allen Room)

11 am – Meet with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (His office)

12 pm – Present to Climate Solutions Caucus (Room 10)

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

1:30 pm – Walk over to Governor Scott’s office

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

MU! Summer Trips

Friday July 27 – Sunday July 29, 2018

Registration is open for our Mother Up! family trip to Wheelock Mountain Farm and Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, which will be happening from Friday July 27 – Sunday July 29th. These are some of our trip goals:

* Have fun in a beautiful setting while strengthening the ties within our MU! Community 

* Learn about what’s happening related to climate in the NE Kingdom

* Grow our connection to Wheelock Mountain Farm

Explore questions, such as “How do we prepare the children in our lives to be visionary, and to love nature even when the changes are frightening and incomprehensible?” inspired by adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy

* Come back with stories to share!

Our exact itinerary is still in the works (and we’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas), but here’s a rough sketch of what our days might look like. All meals will be shared.

Friday July 27: We’ll get settled, explore Wheelock Mountain Farm, and play a group game.

Saturday July 28: In the morning we’ll visit Lowell Community Wind Farm or Pete’s Greens; in the afternoon we’ll learn about the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe and their tribal forestland in Barton; in the evening we’ll have a song circle or group discussion and enjoy some free time.


Sunday July 29: In the morning we’ll visit Green Mountain Monastery or The Monastic Academy for the Preservation of Life on Earth, talk with SunCommonabout community solar, or take a hike / swim; in the afternoon we’ll attend a Bread + Puppet Theater show in Glover at 3pm before bidding farewell.

Fees for this family trip include two nights of accommodations at Wheelock Mountain Farm, all shared meals, most group activities, and staff time. You are responsible for covering your own travel expenses (ie gas), as well as additional activity fees (ie Bread & Puppet on Sunday). The fee for the trip will be $200 per family, with the option to pay more to help subsidize other families, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The “true cost” of the trip is hard to calculate until we know how many families are coming; any payment collected above the total cost will support our ongoing Mother Up! programming. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about payment.

In order both to reserve a spot and to ensure that there are enough families to run this trip, please fill out this registration form by Monday, June 25th. If you have any questions, email Abby at At 350VT, we often talk about the 4 R’s of changemaking: reform, resist, reimagine, and recreate. This family trip provides an opportunity for us to slow down from our often busy schedules and do some reimagining and recreating: What kind of world do we envision for our children and how might we get to work (re)creating it? Our voices as parents and families are powerful, and we’re stronger together!

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.