Holiday Guide

Holiday Guide

 Some of My Favorite Gift Ideas: For the holidays this year, I created my first ever Mother’s Quest Holiday Guide. This guide celebrates people whose stories and journeys I want to shed a light on along with gifts that will help light your way. I highlight a member of the Mother’s Quest Community, my conversation with them on the podcast, and an item you can purchase from them as a gift to yourself or other people in your life.

To Download the Holiday Guide, click here

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Ep 80: Being Seen and The Power of Reflection with Leslie Medine In Honor of our Great Coach Edd Conboy

Ep 80: Being Seen and The Power of Reflection with Leslie Medine In Honor of our Great Coach Edd Conboy

I’m honored to share this special finale interview of Season Five of the Mother’s Quest Podcast. Each season, I invite one person from my inner circle to interview for the finale. And this time, I knew exactly who I wanted to be in conversation with…a mentor and coach who has had a tremendous impact on the person and parent I am today, Leslie Medine.

I’m releasing this episode on December 21st, 2020, on the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, in honor of a great coach Leslie and I had in common, Edd Conboy, who passed away in March of this year.

In perfect synchronicity, before I recorded the interview, I found an email from Edd written at the solstice 15 years ago, that reminded me that the light we so often seek, especially in our darkest days, resides within ourselves. It’s fitting, because one of Edd’s greatest gifts was to create reflective space, get curious and ask a powerful, illuminating question that would help me, Leslie and so many others find our answers within.

Leslie and I met and worked alongside one another for a decade at a youth organization she founded in Alameda, CA called Alternatives in Action, referred to at the time as the Home Project. It was there that I also came to know and love Edd, as he led us through a practice the staff would do weekly on Fridays that we called Reflection.

Known locally and nationally as an expert in youth development, leadership and empowerment, Leslie created the Home Project and countless other organizations from the ground up in her 50 years of work in the world. She ventured into the education field at the age of 16 as a founding member of the first experimental public high school in New York State. Since 1975, Leslie founded eight schools in the San Francisco Bay Area serving infants through high school students within both the private and public sectors in addition to a Teacher’s College.

In February of 2019, she retired as Executive Director of On The Move, an organization focused on the next generation of emerging leaders throughout California, culminating that chapter of her career through writing and performing an incredibly powerful one-woman show for her community called “To be Continued.”

I hadn’t connected very much with Leslie since seeing her at her show, until I received an email, just as we were preparing to shelter in place last March, informing me that Edd had suffered a massive stroke and was in a coma. A week later, he passed away. But the group of us who had come together via Zoom in honor of Edd, in the midst of the pandemic, began to meet virtually the first Sunday of each month, continuing to share stories about Edd and his impact, and keeping his legacy alive through our reflective practice. We have been meeting ever since.

One of those in our group is Dr. Amanda Kruger Hill, a youth alum of the Home Project, and now the Executive Director of the Cowen Institute and a Professor at Tulane University, who brings us this episode’s dedication.

In the dedication, Amanda shares beautifully the impact that Leslie has had in her life and frames the themes of the conversation to come. As Leslie and I discuss, “to do great work in the world, you must be known and know others.” I’m so grateful to know Amanda, to know Leslie and the principles, practices and stories that she weaves together in this episode, and to know Edd, who continues to light the way for us, and remind us how to strive for greatness, even now.

A final note about this episode. You’ll notice it’s longer than my usual ones and I also hope you’ll find tremendous value in listening. I decided there was no part I wanted to cut and also that I wanted to give you the opportunity to listen to it in its entirety, rather than releasing in two parts. So, if you have more time, find a cozy spot and a cup of tea and settle in. Or if you are more limited in your time, listen for some while, and then press pause and come back when you’re ready. Make sure not to listen with your little ones present as there is some colorful language. Seize the time and space for yourself. And let the light in.

Much appreciation,

P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

This Episode is Dedicated by:
Dr. Amanda Kruger Hill

Dr. Amanda Kruger Hill is an award-winning educational leader with a deep commitment to young people’s growth and development. She is the Executive Director of the Cowen Institute and a Professor at Tulane University.

Dr. Amanda was a design team member for BASE, the first youth-initiated high school in the United States, the Reach Institute for School Leadership, and New Harmony High, an award-winning XQ Super School. She is a former high school teacher and principal. Prior to leading the Cowen Institute, she was Director of School Reviews with New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO).

Dr. Amanda holds her Master’s in Educational Leadership, Principal Licensure, and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Amanda received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University. She has served as an adjunct faculty member with Columbia University, Tulane University, and Relay Graduate School of Education. She also serves on various task forces for the Department of Education. Amanda enjoys living in New Orleans with her husband, Graham, and sons, Benjamin and Louis.

Follow Amanda on Social Media:

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Leslie’s quest was to transcend the difficulties in her childhood and be emotionally well as an adult.
  • How a $200K fundraising challenge prompted Leslie to hire Edd as her coach and the running track that became a metaphor for this challenge and so much more.

  • What Leslie learned on that track: about insight following action, moving forward even if it’s through tears, and that the race ends 6 feet past the finish line.

  • What a great coach can do for you and why we can’t hold our own bar and jump over it.

  • The difference between perfection and excellence.

  • Seeing children as our younger equals and the two things Leslie believes children most need.

  • The powerful question Edd would ask Leslie when she was in the “spin cycle” that helped her connect to her own inner wisdom.

  • The difference between personal and private and personal authority vs. positional authority.

  • Choosing In and Choosing Out and the bell from 1895 that became an ever-present part of Home Project culture.

  • The Practice of Reflection and the premise that emotional clarity plus critical thinking leads to effective action.

  • The Tarot Card I picked the morning of our interview, the “Unseen Card,” and Leslie’s belief that all creative people start in the place of not knowing.

  • The importance of asking for help.

  • The story about “The Iceberg” that Home Project youth brought to the Board of the Levi Strauss Corporation and the epic quote spoken by Casey Fenton at age 15 that emerged from it.

This Episode’s Challenge:

Inspired by the stories we told about Edd after his stroke and passing, and also by the new book of love letters by Mother’s Quest member Jenjii Hysten, to the Black men in her life, this episode’s challenge is about writing or speaking love letters of our own.

Leslie encourages us to think of a person who has had a tremendous impact in our life. If they’re not aware, let them know; if you haven’t told them, think about what’s stopping you. Reflect, then take action! She also encourages us to write to our children, telling them what we see and appreciate in them.

Learn More About Leslie Medine:

Leslie has served as school principal, fund development director, board member, parent educator, community organizer, coach, facilities developer/manager and public relations director in all of the organizations she has run. Most of these roles were happening simultaneously!

She is known locally and nationally as an expert in youth development, leadership and empowerment by funders, field experts and program directors. Her work has been documented in articles in field and research publications, in print, radio and TV outlets and in a film documentary called “We Are Here Together”.

Leslie is known for her boundless energy, contagious enthusiasm and an uncanny ability to bring together the right people at the right time to make things happen in what appears to be at the speed of light. She has never had more than four months to open a program and get it up and running. She has always held this rigorous standard of highly effective work for other organizational leaders who have been coached by her and in over 40 organizations.

In February 2019 as Leslie was closing her chapter as an organizational leader, she wrote and performed a one woman show for her community of friends and colleagues called “To be Continued”. Its purpose was to share the personal and professional experiences that shaped her life. Currently Leslie is in the process of figuring out “re-wirement” through coaching individual leaders and volunteering time in the areas of youth-led programming, voter education for new citizens, arts-based storytelling projects as well as two short documentary films.

If you’d like to reach out to Leslie to work with her or to learn about how you can view her one-woman show, email her at lmedine@comcast.net.

Follow On the Move on Social Media:

Organizations That Leslie Founded Mentioned:

Email Mentioned in the Episode From Edd Conboy

Dear Friends,

The year is winding up or down now – I never know which one it is – and I wanted to take a moment to let you know that you are in my thoughts, and (such as they are) in my prayers. As I went through my address book, it was a wonderful task to conjure up an image of each one of you as I added your name to this small group list.

These times, dark though they may seem, are the times we have.  For the last few months I have had the great good fortune to be surrounded by some extraordinary young people (some of them are on this list!).  Gradually, they are infusing me with hope, and even a little faith.   Being with them has brought me to realize just how much I am dependent on them to make meaning of my life long after I am gone.  I am aware more keenly than ever that this moment I call a lifetime is all I have right now.  And that awareness is unimaginably liberating – a healing gift that lightens the load when I can stay in that awareness.   I hope within this expansive moment, we all have many more little moments to share, moments like glass beads for all of us to string  together.

Here is a link to a short meditation I wrote on the shortest day of the year entitled, The Price of Redemption.  It is one of those small glass beads that I wanted to add to the string.

Be kind to yourself, take care of a stranger, and, as always, be very careful out there.

Much love,

Edd

Announcements:

Mother’s Quest Caregiver Circle

Join me and podcast guest, wellness expert and mom to two daughters with rare and chronic illnesses, Nancy Netherland in our first ever Mother’s Quest Caregiver Circle!!💗💗💗

I am beyond honored and excited to open registration for the first Mother’s Quest Circle to embark in 2021, especially for Caregivers of children who are differently-wired, have disabilities and/or unique health needs.

Doubly honored to co-facilitate with MQ Circle alum, podcast guest, and self-proclaimed “momologist” Nancy Netherland. Nancy will be bringing her first-hand experience caring for her children with wellness practices to the Circle.

Ready to invest in yourself? And find community as you start your new year? Join us!

Not for you, but know someone who might be interested? Please help us spread the word. We start next week!

Apply Today!

Join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group

At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in.

Season Five of the Mother’s Podcast is Under Way! – Help us Spread the Word

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too!

Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

 

Acknowledgments:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

Amanda Kruger Hill
Graeme Seabrook
Anne Armstrong
Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra
Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel
On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto
Sage B. Hobbs
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs
Erin Kendall
Niko Osoteo
Erik Newton
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Samantha Arsenault
Attica Locke

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Four of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Ep 79: Speak Your Truth with Step Into Your Moxie’s Alexia Vernon

Ep 79: Speak Your Truth with Step Into Your Moxie’s Alexia Vernon

I’m honored to invite you along for this conversation with my speaker coach and friend Alexia Vernon, about the responsibility we have to clarify what matters most to us and to speak our truth.

Recorded the afternoon before election day 2020, this episode arrives at just the right moment. Because no matter what comes next, we understand more than ever now the importance of using our perspectives, our stories, and our feelings, the full range of them, to deliver our message and create change.

I first met Lex during a workshop she led at Camp GLP (Good Life Project) and became instantly drawn in by her experience and presence. Branded a “Moxie Maven” by Obama’s White House Office of Public Engagement, Lex is a renowned speaking coach to entrepreneurs, coaches, and influencers who want to spread their bold ideas, grow their businesses, and advance their thought leadership. She supports thousands of speakers through her training, events, and mastermind, speaks at Fortune 500 companies, TEDx, and at the United Nations and her advice has been featured by CNN, NBC, and CBS, to name a few. She’s also the author of the award-winning book, Step into Your Moxie, the host of the Moxielicious podcast, and the creator of the popular LinkedIn Learning course, Communicating to Move People to Take Action.

Last year, I had the honor of hosting an Improv for Speakers event Lex led and then serving as an Ambassador and Affiliate for her signature speaking program, The Spotlight Speaker Accelerator. Half-way through the program, we found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, wondering whether our messages and voices still mattered, but showing up anyway with Lex as our guide.

Another member of the Mother’s Quest Community who kept showing up, someone I deeply admire, and one of my favorite podcast guests, is the Mom Center’s Graeme Seabrook who in this episode’s dedication shares about the impact that Lex had on helping her your voice and impact grow.
 

What’s happening for Graeme is what Lex calls Stepping into Your Moxie. She says when you step into your moxie, it means that you have the ability to walk into any room or onto any stage and speak up for yourself and the ideas and issues that matter most to you and you know that when you use your voice, you move people to take action with what you have said.

In this episode, Lex gives us so much Stepping Into Our Moxie wisdom by generously sharing stories from her E.P.I.C. life… from speaking the truth about her sexual abuse as a young child, to the ways she helps her young daughter find her voice, from the spark moment that helped her realize her calling as a speaker coach to the ways she has given herself permission to feel her feelings again and again, especially as she faces a current health challenge with thyroid cancer. 

In addition to the gift of this conversation, Lex is serving as the Mother’s Quest Ambassador in the private Facebook Group this November and leading a free upcoming virtual workshop called “Discover Your Secret Sauce as a Speaker.”

I will be tuning into all of this as I follow my commitment to Lex’s challenge for us to think about

1) What one idea more than anything we really want to be known for and
2) How we can start moving into conversations more clearly speaking up for that idea and doing it unapologetically.

I hope you’ll join me in Stepping into Our Moxie and Speaking Our Truth.

Much appreciation,


P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

 

This Episode is Dedicated by: Graeme Seabrook

Graeme Seabrook is a maternal mental health expert, advocate, and community leader who helps moms remove their capes and reconnect with their whole selves. As a certified life coach and founder of The Mom Center, an online community exclusively for moms, she has coached over 2,000 mothers on how to place their names at the top of their priority list, without guilt or shame.

Described as radical, honest, and uplifting, her approach to this work includes a methodology that sits at the intersection of capitalism, patriarchy, and self-care. Her message moves beyond the traditional themes of finding balance and improving productivity for moms, and takes a 360 degree look into strategies that encourage their complete mental and emotional wellness.

Her goal is to put moms in the spotlight and celebrate them for their courage to stand boldly in the truth of who they are – as whole human mamas.

Follow Graeme Seabrook:

www.graemeseabrook.com

www.themomcenter.mn.co

www.graemeseabrook.com

Graeme’s Episode on the Mother’s Quest Podcast: 
Ep 61: Reclaiming Ourselves in Motherhood: Revisited with Graeme Seabrook

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Full transparency: what happened the first time Lex and I sat down for an interview and why I asked if we could re-record 
  • Teaching our children to find their voices from a young age and how Lex’s mother helped Lex find the words to share about her sexual abuse at the age of four. 

  • Lex’s moments of “speaking bliss” throughout her life and what distinguished them

  • How Lex spoke her truth at an Entrepreneurial Competition where not a single women speaker was awarded and how that became a spark for her career as a women’s speaker coach

  • The ways that Lex uses inquiry and growth vs. fixed mindset and the innovator’s mindset to help her daughter connect to her voice and impact

  • Lex’s signature Speaker Spotlight Accelerator program, and how it helped me reconnect to my voice during the beginning of the pandemic

  • How Lex sees using our voices not as an opportunity but a responsibility

  • Lex’s health challenge with thyroid cancer and how it is causing her to make new meaning in her life 

  • Some people nurture their own dreams in their children and the importance of doing this for ourselves 

  • Giving permission to feel our feelings and how we can reframe and use our “sensations” to become more powerful speakers

  • Where Lex finds community among the cohorts of women she coaches and the gift of showing up to serve other people

 

This Episode’s Challenge:

  • Think about what one idea more than anything we really want to be known for and…

  • How we can start moving into conversations more clearly speaking up for that idea and doing it unapologetically.

 

Learn More About Alexia Vernon:

Branded a “Moxie Maven” by President Obama’s White House Office of Public Engagement for her unique and effective approach to empowering women’s professional success, Alexia is the author of Step into Your Moxie: Amplify Your Voice Visibility, and Influence in the World. A sought-after speaker, coach, consultant and media contributor, Alexia is the creator and leader of multiple speaker training programs and has delivered transformational keynotes and corporate trainings for Fortune 500 companies and professional associations, spoken at the United Nations, delivered a TEDx talk on the future of feminism, and been featured by media including CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., and Women’s Health.

Follow Lex on Social Media

 

Resources Mentioned:

*The links with asterisks above are affiliate links, which means if you end up signing up for a paid program with Lex, Mother’s Quest may receive a commission or referral fee. I only ever recommend programs or services I believe in!

 

 

Announcements:

Discover Your ‘Secret Sauce’ as a Speaker

Are you new-ish to your business and struggling to connect with ideal clients? Or, are you an experienced coach, consultant, or expert who is ready for more visibility?
After this virtual workshop, develop the mindset, confidence, and tools to create virtual and live presentations that get you plum speaking bookings (and clients!).

In this LIVE (and free) virtual workshop you will:

  • Slay speaking self-doubt that keeps you playing small as a coach, consultant, expert, or leader
  • Illuminate the idea(s) you want to be known for so you can develop soul-stirring presentations that move live and virtual audiences to take action and work with you
  • Clarify the best groups to pitch based on your top business goals
  • Learn how to articulate your “secret sauce” so that event organizers, meeting planners, and corporate leaders are eager to book you to speak

Join this LIVE (and free) workshop

Mother’s Quest Caregiver Circle

Join me and Nancy Netherland in our first ever Mother’s Quest Caregiver Circle!!💗💗💗

I am beyond honored and excited to open registration for the last Mother’s Quest Circle to embark in 2020, especially for Caregivers of children who are differently-wired, have disabilities and/or unique health needs.
Doubly honored to co-facilitate with MQ Circle alum, podcast guest, and self-proclaimed “momologist” Nancy Netherland. Nancy will be bringing her first-hand experience caring for children with chronic illness and expertise with wellness practices to the Circle.

Ready to invest in yourself? And find community as you transition from 2020 to 2021 on your quest? Join us!

Not for you, but know someone who might be interested? Please help us spread the word. We start next week!

Apply Today

 

Join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group

At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in. 

Season Five of the Mother’s Podcast is Under Way! – Help us Spread the Word 

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! 

Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

Acknowledgments:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra
Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel
On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto 
Sage B. Hobbs 
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko 
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach 
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs 
Erin Kendall 
Niko Osoteo 
Erik Newton 
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Samantha Arsenault
Attica Locke
Graeme Seabrook

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Four of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

MOM THE VOTE: Election Impact Advice To Light Your Way

MOM THE VOTE: Election Impact Advice To Light Your Way

At the time of this episode’s release, we are at a crossroads in the United States. This election of 2020 is one of the most important in our history. As activist Michael Skolnik says, the election is not 7 days away. The election is now. 

What can we do in our last few days before the conclusion of the election of 2020?

Like so many of you, I am asking myself what matters most and what I can do that can have an impact in these 7 days. When I feel myself swirling, I remember I don’t have to figure this out alone. So, I reached out to you, fellow mothers and grandmothers, many of you activists, and asked for your words of wisdom. 

Ahead, I have 7 pieces of advice, reflections or calls to action, that we can all connect to for guidance and inspiration each day ahead. This is an election minisode…because I wanted these to be bite-sized and easy to digest. Please join me in taking these words in, taking action, and paying the messages forward to other mothers in your network. 

I hope this minisode has you, as it does me, ready to dig in, to connect to community, to engage in multiple ways, to vote for our children, to remember why this matters, to get the vote out with women of color and make sure their votes count, and to mother like an organizer. Together, we can do this!
#momthevote #votelikeamother #momsrising

Thank you to Jen Jenkins Dohner for the beautiful “VOTE” podcast art. Find her work, Postcards for Progress here.

Episode Highlights:

  • The election is not 7 days away…the election is now and we can look to one another for how to use these days to the fullest. 
  • Why it matters to dig into propositions and ballot measures you might not understand.
  • Our election is not just about us as individuals, it’s about us as a society.
  • How we can use discernment and tap into our community to get us through. Register today for Nicole Lee’s Way Station, happening Friday to support you in that.
  • 5 ways that you can get engaged through MomsRising.
  • All the reasons why we should vote for our children.
  • How elections can be a joyful time for families.
  • The critical role that women of color voters play in this election and how we can make their vote count. Sign up here to text bank with She the People Wednesday.
  • Wise advice from a life-long organizer, mother and grandmother working to galvanize voting from and for domestic workers through Hand in Hand and her Caring Majority Facebook Group.

Resources Recommended by Our Mother Contributors:

7 Pieces of Advice From Our Contributors:

Advice #1 – Nancy Cavillones – Dig into Ballot Measures Because They Matter to Someone

Nancy Cavillones is an indie author’s best friend and is on a mission to keep authors sane by handling the minutiae of their online presence and communications. She’s been online in some form or other since 1993, and still has the AOL dial-up tone stuck in her head. (Interested in the full history? Check out her LinkedIn.)

She enjoys taking the scenic route, forcing her kids to appreciate nature, and spending time in New York City by herself in a desperate attempt to recapture her college days. Originally from Upstate NY by way of Long Island, Nancy recently relocated to Northern California with her family from Redding, Connecticut.  Nancy is the co-editor of Lose the Cape Mom’s Guide to Becoming Socially and Politically Engaged (And Rising Tiny Activists, Too!).

Where to reach Nancy:

Advice #2 – Nicole Lee – Reach Out Personally to Voters, Use Discernment and Connect to Community

Nicole Lee is a diversity, equity and inclusion expert, leadership coach, nationally recognized speaker and strategist who regularly consults with nonprofits, schools, businesses and political and social movements to improve their climate for themselves and all those that they serve. She is the founder of Inclusive Life™ and co-founder of the Lee Bayard Group LLC and Black Movement-Law Project (BMLP). For almost a decade she served as President of TransAfrica, working with leaders across the globe to advocate for a just U.S. foreign policy.

Nicole is a prolific speaker who has given testimony to the U.S. Congress, the United Nations and other international bodies. She has been a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and BBC. She has been recognized for her outstanding contributions in the private and public sectors through numerous awards, including Congressional Black Caucus, Running Starts “Women to Watch”, Black Women’s Roundtable TrailBlazer, Global Leadership and the National Newspapers Publishers Association’s Press Champion Award. She is both an attorney and an intuitive coach. Through this unique blend, she has contributed to movements in the U.S. and abroad through human rights documentation, coaching and holding space in difficult situations. 

One of her proudest moments was working alongside civil rights icon Bill Lucy, the architect of the historic Memphis sanitation strike  for a national commemoration of the life of his good friend Nelson Mandela. Nicole lives in Washington, DC with her husband, political scientist Marc Bayard, children and three pets. 

Where to reach Nicole:

Advice #3 – Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner – Find Five Ways to Engage Through MomsRising

Kristin is the Executive Director/CEO and Co-Founder of MomsRising and Board President of the MomsRising Education Fund. She has been involved in public policy and grassroots engagement for more than two decades and has received numerous accolades for her work.

She is also an award-winning author of books and articles, frequent public speaker, media contributor, and host of the radio program “Breaking Through with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner (Powered by MomsRising).” Kristin is also a former political director, policy analyst, and political strategy consultant for non-profit organizations and foundations.

Where to reach Kristin:

Advice #4 – Kalima Salahuddin – Vote for Our Children and Have Them Join You in the Process

Kalimah Salahuddin currently serves as President for the Jefferson Union High School District Board of Education She is the immediate Past President of the San Mateo County School Boards Association (SMCSBA) were she served for two years and continues to serve as the Coordinator for the SMCSBA Equity Network.  At the County level she serves on the COVID-19 Recovery Council and the Advisory Council for the Equity initiative. She was one of the founding members of the REACH Coalition to increase equity and community health for all. She also was recently appointed to the Board of the Housing Leadership Council and previously served as a Board Member for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco where she has been a regular site volunteer.  She is currently employed at Exelixis as a Coordinator on the Investor Relations / Public Affairs team and is mother to three wonderful adults.

Advice #5 – Jena Schwartz – Connect to All the Reasons That Voting Matters

Jena is an extroverted introvert, a lover of trees and fresh water swimming and babies and bulldogs, and a rabbi at heart. All of her works, from writing groups to retreats to individual coaching, editing, and mentoring, is devoted to creating safe and brave spaces where we get to write, share, and connect. She has been blogging as a practice since 2007. She works with people who struggle to value their writing if/when it’s not “productive” or clearly “going somewhere.”

Where to Reach Jena:

Advice #6 – Aimee Allison – Get Out the Vote and Make Sure Every Vote Counts From Critical Women of Color Voters

Aimee Allison is founder and president of She the People, a national network elevating the voice and power of women of color. She brings together voters, organizers, and elected leaders in a movement grounded in values of love, justice, belonging, and democracy. In 2018, Ms. Allison was one of the primary architects of the “year of women of color in politics.”

In April 2019, she convened the first presidential forum for women of color, reaching a quarter of the American population. A democratic innovator and visionary, Ms. Allison leads national efforts to build inclusive, multiracial coalitions led by women of color. She leverages media, research and analysis to increase voter engagement and advocate for racial, economic and gender justice.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Hill, Essence, Teen Vogue and Newsweek. In the early 1990’s, Ms. Allison earned a rare honorable discharge from the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector and works today to support courageous, moral leadership.

Aimee Allison holds a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University. Author of Army of None, she has appeared in hundreds of outlets including MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, Associated Press and NPR. She is building a political home for a million women of color, nationally and in battleground states. She was featured in Politico’s 2019 Powerlist. 

Where to Reach Aimee:

Advice #7 – Lian Hurst Mann – Remember Elections Are About Legacy…And Mother Like an Organizer

Lian is a longtime organizer and faculty of the National School for Strategic Organizing (www.thestrategycenter.org). She is currently working with Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network.

Where To Reach Lian:

Election Series: Political Fundraising – Demystifying the Process & Making an Impact in 2020

Election Series: Political Fundraising – Demystifying the Process & Making an Impact in 2020

Hello and welcome to a very different episode on the Mother’s Quest Podcast. 

Michael Skolnik, who is a political activist and friend of mine, has been sharing a series of posts on Instagram that call me to action every time I see them. The last one I saw a few days ago said this: “The election is not 30 days away. The election is over in 30 days. The election is now. Vote early.” 

Like so many of you, I’ve been asking myself if I understand that the election is now…what can I be doing to impact the election now? One thing I know I have is this platform and the Mother’s Quest Community. So, I’m committed to sharing a series of episodes to shine light on the importance of this election and what we can do about it. Last week I released a conversation I hope you’ll tune into with Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher about their powerful new book, Sanctuary, and the impact of this election on undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers. 

In this episode, with the permission of How Women Lead’s Julie Abrams, I’m honored to share a powerful conversation I heard live this week featuring Emerge, Women’s Donor Network and UCSF’s Dr. Gretchen Sisson and She the People’s Aimee Allison. They both share their strategic advice for where our political giving can have the most impact right now. Unfortunately the recording didn’t begin until a few minutes in…so you’ll have to jump right in mid-stream. Be sure to connect to the link with the slides in the show notes which will help you make sense of Gretchen’s fast, furious and in-depth presentation. 

After listening, I hope you’ll consider joining me in making a political contribution, informed by Gretchen and Aimee’s analysis. And consider paying this episode forward to another woman in your network. 

In How Women Lead’s words, “This year marks the centennial of women’s right to vote. We must take action to elect leadership we can proudly call our own, who understand the issues we face daily and design policies that ensure our rights.” 

I hope this conversation helps us all to do this together.  

Much appreciation,


P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

 

———

Political Fundraising – Demystifying the Process & Making an Impact in 2020

Originally Aired on October 6, 2020, Presented by How Women Lead

The impact of women on the 2020 election:

  • Where will my political giving have the greatest impact?
  • What women candidates should I back? 
  • Where is my volunteer time best spent?
  • What organizations are impacting the political systems where I can donate?

“Our collective impact is our greatest strength: learning from each other and banding together to act!”

This year has tested our limits and fortitude in every way. It has highlighted the flaws in the social and economic culture in our country. While we seem more divided than ever before, I have seen our sisters come together to lift one another up, hold each other’s hands, and stand strong against challenges. YOU give me hope.

Amidst a racial reckoning, gender divide, climate crisis and a global pandemic, we’re arguable facing the most consequential election of our time and women stand to lose the most. The loss of RBG has put an added responsibility on each of us to put up a good fight for everything that we hold dear. 

This year marks the centennial of women’s right to vote. Yet, shocking even this right has been put up for debate. We must take action to elect leadership we can proudly call our own, who understand the issues we face daily and design policies that ensure our rights. 

“Women’s active participation in politics is not only a human right but also a key to sustainable development and a thriving democracy.” 

We held a Virtual Vigil for RBG last week and were touched by the fire in each of you. We need to keep that fire going and show up stronger than before. 

44% of large dollar donors for federal campaigns in 2020 are women, up from 24% in 1990

Resources Mentioned:

Announcements:

Ep 78: An Urgent Warning with Sanctuary’s Co-Authors Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher

I first interviewed Paola after the Women’s March of 2016, personally still shell-shocked by the election of Trump and searching to find my own voice of resistance and path to activism. Since then, she has continued to be at the forefront of social change, especially when it comes to the issue of immigration, as she has organized, demonstrated, documented stories while travelling with the Caravan and now co-written a young adult novel that is both a cautionary tale and story of hope, Sanctuary.

Hope and faith run through this conversation I have with Paola and Abby just as it runs through the poignant book they co-created, a story that paints a harrowing picture of a dystopian future, an America in 2032 that microchips its citizens to easily identify and capture undocumented immigrants. It’s also a book that illuminates resilience, strength, and the power of love.

I hope you’ll listen with an open heart as Paola and Abby share about the teenage protagonist Vali who becomes a freedom fighter, the mother who sets Vali on her quest, how storytelling builds compassion and calls us to action, and how you and I can spread this story far and wide and organize for the upcoming election. In doing so, we can shape a hopeful future and help make possible freedom and sanctuary for undocumented immigrants like Vali, like the families whose stories Paola has documented, like the mothers in Matamoros, and like our own neighbors, who help our communities in essential ways.

Listen to the Episode HERE

Let’s Renew Our Commitment to Racial Justice

I published my first piece on a topic so important. Would love for you to share with anyone you think would be open to listening and learning from these lessons/conversations highlighted.

Read the Article HERE

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

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At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in.

Acknowledgments:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

Lilli Rey
Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra

Casey O’Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel

On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto 
Sage B. Hobbs 
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko 
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach 
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs 
Erin Kendall 
Niko Osoteo 
Erik Newton 
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Samantha Arsenault
Attica Locke

Support the Podcast

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Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/