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Mothers Acting Up

Mothers Acting Up Mother’s Day Parade in Boulder, Colorado

Mothers Acting Up (MAU) was a grass-roots, non-profit organization from 2002-2012 that inspired mothers to advocate for the world’s children. The goal of MAU was to inspires, educates and engages mothers—anyone who exercises protective care over someone smaller-- to prioritize children in our corporate and public policies. Mothers Acting Up sought to offers a new breed of joyful activism that is a positive assertion. MAU supported mothers in taking personal and political action on behalf of the world’s children. MAU inspired civic participation in mothers, an untapped, yet enormously powerful political lobby.

     My entry into applied theatre was through my work as co-founder and program director for MAU. This brought me into contact with the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (formerly the Association for Research on Mothering) at York University. Through them I became active in maternal scholarship as it relates to social activism. My essay on Mothers Acting Up was included in the influential book, Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism (2005) along with essays by Nancy Pelosi, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, and Arianna Huffington. Based on an original one-woman show related to mother activism, The Mother Load, that I wrote and performed, I published two chapters, “Maternal Autobiography in Performance,” in From the Personal to the Political: Towards a New Theory of Maternal Narrative (Susquehanna University Press 2009) and “Performing Mother Activism” in The Maternal is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change. (Seal Press 2008).

     In 2008 Mothers Acting Up entered into a partnership with the Philanthropiece Foundation to fund a two-year international tour of an original one-woman show that I wrote and performed, (M)other (video recording of entire performance) and an accompanying vocal empowerment workshop that I developed entitled Empowering Mother Voices (instructional video for facilitating Empowering Mother Voices workshop). This program, called the MOTHER tour, traveled to communities around the world to create a global community of mothers moving from concern to action on behalf of their most passionate concerns.  It is written about in a chapter I wrote with MAU co-founder, Juliana Forbes, “Mothers Acting Up” in The 21st Century Motherhood Movement.  (Demeter Press 2011).

     Mothers Acting Up closed its doors in 2012, but continues to cheer mothers and others moving from concern to action to create a bright future for all children. 

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