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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Abby Mnookin, 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: Géraldine Vatan, firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting details in Montpelier and Central Vermont.
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.
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 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!
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)
Save the date for this summer’s weekend trip to Wheelock Mountain Farm in the Northeast Kingtom. We’ll use this time to strengthen relationships between MU! families from around the state and to learn about what’s happening related to climate action in northern Vermont. Possibilities include exploring Lowell wind farm, talking to anti-pipeline activists, learning about the region’s Nulhegan Abenaki tribal forestland, and visiting Bread & Puppet (shows every Sunday at 3pm). Look out for an e-blast 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.