Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mother's Day wrap up!

Dearest Joy Warriors & Apron String Revolutionaries;

The MAU Mother's Day stories and photographs keep rolling in! Thousands of mothers acting up gathered in cities and hamlets across the nation to celebrate the day in the spirit of Julia Ward Howe: advocating for the world's children. We've gone public with press aplenty, witnesses to the powerful force that is mother leadership! And in a year when many events partnered with 1Sky on their collective Mother's Day Action, it's no surprise that the weather played a large role in the festivities. Here are a few reports:

From Teresa in Snohomish, WA: Our Mother's Day Gathering for Peace was a huge success! We had well over 125 people and it didn't rain! Our tradition is to have a girl/woman from every decade read a portion of the Mother's Day Proclamation by stepping up onto a tree stump. We even had our spry, mid-70s grandmother step proudly up on the stump!

From Kate in Northern Michigan: A great group of area women came together to celebrate and collaborate during our annual Northern Michigan MAU Mother's Day event. This year, we focused on a simple recipe for success with our theme, "Just Add Water." We honored five local women who have been passionate advocates for our lakes and rivers, and were fortunate enough to hear their inspiring stories of activism. Our bazaar brought in $8,000 -- a fantastic kick off toward our $14,000 goal to bring a PlayPump well system to a village in Tanzania.

From Paige in Nashville: Gale force winds (up to 30 miles per hour) radically altered our plans for our 3rd Annual Peace Parade. Two trees fell while we were at the park to set up. Mother Nature was to be respected and lived with in all her wonder. We opted to go out for coffee instead of setting up, then gathered for our parade and cake and a spirited reading of the proclamation. We had a surprisingly large crowd, given the weather. It was wild and great and we went from one stilt walker last year to two this year. We nearly blew away. But didn't.

From Juliana in Boulder: Mother's Day began the week before in Boulder with Girlcotts celebrating local fair trade stores, a performance of (M)other and Janna on TV! Then on Sunday, the Raging Grannies led a parade of stilt-walkers and strollers to gather for music, kids activities, cake and a thousand fair trade roses from Transfair/USA. Eight other organizations joined MAU in the celebration; talking with participants and hearing the eloquent words of MAU Co-founder Erica Shafroth and Jen Parsons. The entire crowd enjoyed stirring music from Danea Shanti and Ancestral Voices, including a troop of belly dancers! A festival atmosphere prevailed, culminating in an hour-long interview with Dr. Daddio!

From Kate in Bend, OR: I am very inspired and unbelievably satisfied: we had a splendid Reclaiming Mother's Day event. Our first annual MAU celebration of Julia Ward Howe's original vision started off with gusts of wind, snow and chilly temps. No matter though: families still came to picnic, play and participate in the movement.

David in Oklahoma City: In the midst of a rainy month we were blessed with an absolutely beautiful sunny afternoon and had a crowd of 75-100 people -- women, men and children -- who enjoyed being on the grass and even under a large shade tree, so everyone stayed comfortable. [We had] a wonderful speech by State Senator Connie Johnson, whose birthday it also happened to be. Our two elementary-school essay contest winners read what they had written on the subject, "I Want To Live In a World In Which . . . " and they each received $40 in gift certificates for their efforts.

Laura in Austin, TX: Adorned in colorful tutus, feathers, and flowers, Austin mamas marched across the pedestrian bridge, which spans our beautiful Town Lake, declaring, "There ain't no power like the power of the mama, and the power of the mama don't stop!"

Cheers to mamas, papas, mini-MAUs and all who answered Julia's call to "Arise!"

Yours for the JOYFUL revolution,
The Mavens at MAU Central

P.S. MAU Central gives a huge shout out to Paige for all the encouragement, support and guidance she dispatched along the planning route to Reclaiming Mother's Day. On June 1 MAU Central will say goodbye to Paige as Outreach Coordinator, sending love and blessings to her next adventure. On behalf of all MAUs who have been touched by her spirit, we thank Paige for her incredible leadership, passion, exuberance and her wonderful laugh! We hope to hear it often in the years to come...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Potluck social & salon AND Compass Conference this weekend!!

Dearest Nashville area MAU families,

Thanks to the many of you who came out to enjoy 2008's Mother's Day Peace Parade-- our 3rd Annual local reclaimation celebration!! It was a very beautiful event.

Gale force winds (up to 30 miles per hour) rather radically altered our plans. Two trees were felled during the time we were at the park to set up. We opted not to put up any of the tents or do our carefully planned actions, and we also put off the children's activities and presenatation of the 2008 Julia Ward Howe Award. All of that was fine: Mother Nature was to be respected and lived with in all her wonder. We opted to go out for coffee instead of setting up, then gathered for our parade and cake and a spirited reading of the proclamation. We had a surprisingly large crowd, given the weather. It was wild and great and we went from one stilt walker last year to two this year. We nearly blew away. But didn't. The remarkable Contrarian Ensemble played anyway, just for love and cake and lemonade. It was a really wonderful day. We'll do the actions and award ceremony and our raffle and everything else on Friday night at our post parade potluck instead. Free raffle tickets for all mothers who attend!!!

YA'LL COME!! Bring your mothers, friends, sisters, children, neighbors....we'll be celebrating, feasting, and acting up....

Friday May 16, 6 PM: Post Parade Mother's Day Potluck Social & Salon

at the Nashville Friends Meeting House, 530 26th Ave N

Bring a dish to share, wear festive attire (parade hats encouraged!) and prepare to revel in our community. Sherry Knott will receive the 2008 Julia Ward Howe Award, actions and activities will take place. We're a welcoming community for ALL kinds of families, including those with or without children. $3 suggested donation goes to the Meeting House for utilities and upkeep.


Saturday May 17 is People's Day at Compass!! (Early registration deadline and pricebreak has been extended to today!!)

Nashville MAU Organizer and MAU National Outreach Coordinator Paige La Grone Babcock will be on the afternoon panel for the Democracy in the Media Track where she-- along with a group including Liberadio's Mary Mancini, Stand for Children's Andy Spears, and Gathering to Save Our Democracy's Bernie Ellis-- will address the topic Crafting Your Message And Making It Heard.

A great event, not to be missed, Tennessee Alliance for Progress puts together the annual Compass Conference as a means to mobilize, inform, and network our state and region's progressive community. As they say: We're all in this together.

See you this weekend!!

The Nashville MAU Mavens

Healthy Child, Healthy World.

No one organization will make the changes we need to be and see in order to have the world's children best cared for. That's why it's so very important to know the truth of We're all in this together! It will take all hands on deck from domestic to international efforts, sometimes one baby step at a time, to co-create the kind of world and social environment that we want for our children. ALL our children.

Here's but just one such domestic organization's message of hope.

Nashville MAU participates in 1Sky collective action.

Click here for more information about how Nashville MAUs (and other local MAU groups from Portland, ME to Chicago, IL) are part of over 455 groups in this country and beyond to participate in massive collective actions about global warming and climate change through the combined efforts of leaders in action Green Peace, True Majority, and 1Sky!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Top Ten Ways to Reclaim Mother's Day.

What is the sound of mothers Arising?

This Mother's Day, MAU Mavens across the country will be strapping on stilts, baking pies for elected leaders, hawking fair trade roses and singing in the streets! Reclaiming Mother's Day events - now in their sixth season - celebrate Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation. This year, MAU invites YOU to celebrate her call to Arise by gathering your family and community together through cakewalks, letters to the editor, Standing Women events, mama's open-mic nights, or . . . the sky and your imagination is the limit! When mothers* publicly express our commitment to children, our communities, media and government sit up and take notice. Let's sing it out in the streets, "We will protect our children with our personal & political strength - wherever they live on earth."

Thanks to MAU Mavens and partner organizations, MAU is excited to present the very 1st ever "Top 10 Ways to Reclaim Mother's Day":

1. Holy Symbolism! Step outside your comfort zone, and get up on stilts. Parade, prance and promenade with a loyal spotter by your side. When we lift our voices AND our bodies together on behalf of the world's children, we become a GIGANTIC force to be reckoned with.

2. Dare to be a Joy Warrior! Deliver pies to your local members of Congress as part of the Department of Peace's 4th Annual Mother's Day National Action: Peace Wants a Piece of the Pie Campaign.

3. Posies with a purpose: Ask for or send fair trade flowers through Transfair/USA. Fair trade benefits every person along the path, from seed in the ground to blossom in the vase.

4. Review Save the Children's State of the World's Mothers Report (2008 report availably May 6). Learn simple solutions to stop the deaths of nearly 10 million children a year; educate your community with a letter to the editor on this topic.

5. Part your purse strings, because giving matters. Donate to MAU, inspiring and mobilizing mothers* to advocate on behalf of the world's children. Your donation, in honor of a mother or other, allows MAU to reach out to a million mamas with templates, tools and recipes for actions that prioritize the lives of our children.

6. Press the candidates for Prez to take action for the world's children. Take a photo of your family at brunch this Mother's Day and send to the presidential candidates, letting them know you are a Mother Acting Up who wants Global Action for Children.

7. There is an elegant beauty to simplicity. Stand with Standing Women at 1 pm (your local time) on May 11 in support of a better world for our children.

8. Host a 1Sky climate change event, make a banner calling for serious climate action and then upload pictures and drawings of your children and families alongside the banner as part of a national call to action to Congress.

9. Join with CodePink mamas at the Mother's Day Picnic for Peace in Washington, DC's Dupont Circle, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, or gather at Merchant's Gate at Columbus Circle in Manhattan for the 2nd Annual Mother's Day Peace Stroll.

10. Find a MAU Mother's Day Reclamation event near you, and revel in it, mama! Gather round, hand out Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, eat cake, birth strategic plans to act locally and think globally. Together, we can change the world.

Most important, report word of your reclamation activities to MAU Central!

Arise, all women who have hearts!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Weather and preparation....

Weather for Sunday, May 11 -- MOTHER'S DAY-- calls for scattered thunderstorms. On our Third Annual Mother's Day Peace Parade, it's essential to be prepared for the elements. Bring sunscreen, bugspray, AND umbrellas and slickers....

Additionally, one might also think about bringing:
camping / lawn chairs
lawn games
harmonicas / finger cymbals / drums / tambourines
picnic goodies
water canteens
hula hoops
peaceful positive message signs or banners or flags
festive hats, boas, aprons, fairy wings and other costumery
strollers, wagons, trikes, bikes, unicycles, pogo sticks, etc.

Nashville’s 3rd Annual Mother’s Day Peace Parade

Nashville’s 3rd Annual Mother’s Day Peace Parade

Hosted by Nashville’s Mothers Acting Up community

Sunday May 11; 2-4 PM @ Dragon Park, sign making and stroller / wagon / trike decorating begins at 1:30!

MUSIC from Nashville’s very own Contrarian Ensemble!!

Raffle for beautiful handcrafted items, movie tickets and other goodies!! FREE raffle tickets for all attending mothers!!

  • Bring lawn chairs, blankets, picnic lunch or supper, come early, stay late.
  • Children’s activities! Music! FREE CAKE and other refreshment! Mamas on stilts, belly dancing, and hooping!!....
  • Wagon, stroller, and tricycle decorating supplies provided.
  • Bring drums / harmonicas / penny whistles and finger cymbals, hula hoops, signs / flags and banners with peaceful messaging, bubbles, and joyful spirits.
  • Costumes and festive hats highly encouraged.

Known and beloved to many in greater Nashville, Sherry Knott -- mother, active Nashville and Bells Bend community member, and Director of Abintra Montessori School-- will be honored by Nashville MAU and presented with the 2008 Julia Ward Howe Award at the Mother’s Day Parade! Come out and support Sherry and join with us in celebrating exemplary mother leadership right here in our home city!!

The Mother’s Day Parade is fun for the whole ding-dang family (all ages, stages and formations thereof!). Nashville MAU casts a wide net: if you aren’t a mother, you HAVE one. When mothers lead, generations follow!

For more info, contact

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Nashville to Reclaim Mother's Day.

Contact: Paige La Grone Babcock,, 615-495-1879

Grassroots Movement Mobilizes Mothers* To Move From Concern To Action

(Nashville, April 30, 2008) Nashville’s Mothers Acting Up community announces Nashville’s 3rd Annual Mother’s Day Peace Parade. Mothers Acting Up (MAU) is a mother-led, mother fed grassroots movement of mothers (and others) publicly and passionately advocating for the world’s children, beginning right here at home.

The MAU hosted Peace Parade & Reclamation Celebration will take place on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11 from 2-4 PM at Fannie Mae Dees (Dragon) Park. Stroller and wagon decorating and sign making (supplies provided!) begin at 1:30 PM. As in previous years, gaily dressed, apron-wearing participants will utilize the sidewalk to parade — on and by foot, wagon, stroller, tricycle, wheelchair and stilts!! — from Dragon Park (at 2400 Blakemore Ave.) down Blakemore, through the heart of Hillsboro Village, and back up Belcourt, ending at the Park where there will be family friendly activities, music provided by the Contrarians Ensemble, refreshments and FREE CAKE.

Nashville’s MAU community has been going strong for two years with regularly occurring play and action groups, potluck social and salons, and congressional visits with babes and children in tow. As its proudest community achievement, the local group of mothers* successfully led the call to fully reinstate 2007’s severe proposed budgetary cuts to the Nashville Public Library, a fate that would have diminished much of our city’s finest family offerings by way of the main branch’s stellar children’s programming.

Around the world, mothers and others are uniting into a gigantic, educated, noisy and powerful lobby to reclaim the original peaceful purpose of Mothers' Day and mobilize for the wellbeing of all children all year long. Nashville Mothers Acting Up invites you to be part of this exuberant revolution.

Reclaiming Mother’s Day events are inspired by the life, words and actions of Julia Ward Howe. In 1870 she wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation and called for a day when the world would honor what mothers hold most dear: the lives of our children, of all children. The events celebrate the vision that Julia spoke of 100 years ago: mothers everywhere rising up together around that which unites us rather than divides us — our global family.

Known and beloved to many in greater Nashville, Sherry Knott -- mother, active Scottsboro / Bells Bend community member, and Director of Abintra Montessori School -- will be honored by Nashville MAU and presented with the 2008 Julia Ward Howe Award at the Mother’s Day Parade. Join with us in celebrating exemplary mother leadership right here in our home city!!

Arise!! Our Mother’s Day collective action piece sees Nashville MAU affirming the need for protected greenspace over development of a mini-city in the Bells Bend community, preserving this local piece of Mother Earth for the children of both today, and tomorrow! Families of ALL kinds and in all stages welcome. Free raffle tickets with fantastic prizes for all attending mothers. Folks are invited to pack a picnic to come early, and stay late. Costumes, festive hats, stilts, hula hoops, skates, and trikes highly encouraged!

When mothers lead, generations follow!

For more information about the celebration, contact: Paige La Grone Babcock,, 615-495-1879 or Kate Wingate,, or visit

About Mothers Acting Up: Mothers Acting Up exists to inspire and mobilize mothers* to advocate on behalf of the world’s children. MAU was founded in Boulder, CO.

* mothers and others, on stilts or off, who exercise protective care over someone smaller