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Mothers Day has always been a complicated holiday for me, and I’m in the lucky category of not only having a wonderful relationship with my own biological mother but am also honored to be mothering 3 kids.  Yet Mother’s Day alienates and stings more profoundly than other holidays – for children living with two dad’s, those estranged from their mother, those whose childhood memories include abuse from their mother,  those who are desperately trying to be a mother, or for those who have lost their mother. This Mother’s Day will be terribly difficult for my husband (and I), who lost his mom 3 weeks ago.

Thus, I was thrilled when local activists & artists @sarahsophieflicker and @paolamendoza, whose abilities to combine motherhood, activism, art, joy, and intersectionality amaze me, announced an event that helped me reimagine mothers day.

Every day, an average of 700,000 ppl are condemned to jail & separated from their families, (since1980 the # of incarcerated ppl has grown by 500%), many because they simply can’t afford to pay bail.  (Pre-trial incarceration has impacts on families and communities). The week before Mother’s Day organizations will bail out as many mothers as possible who otherwise would spend Mother’s Day in a cell, away from innocent children.

To support this effort, @sarahsophieflicker and @paolamendoza, along with @colorofchange, @ignitekindred, @hyltondonna, and @marahoffman, hosted a “stoop sale” of donated designer clothing & accessories & 100% of proceeds went to support @nationalbailout.  We raised over $10,000 for the #nationalbailout just last night. Oh, the mothers who will get to hug the necks of their children this Sunday (and vice-versa).

What if we imagined mothering as the role of a community to take care of all young people, not just our own? How might this connect us to one another?  How might this affect our use of prisons? When one of our mothers is taken away from the community, we would all feel the ripple of her loss. We would begin to understand a little more what Emma Lazarus meant when she brilliantly said, “none of us are free until all of us are free.”

And maybe, mothers day just might sting a little bit less for everyone.

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