Ep 74: Living and Loving with Authenticity with Hands Free Mama Rachel Macy Stafford

Ep 74: Living and Loving with Authenticity with Hands Free Mama Rachel Macy Stafford

I’m honored to share today’s episode, a conversation three years in the making with Rachel Macy Stafford, that arrives during remarkably challenging times, just as we need Rachel’s wisdom most.

Rachel is a writer with one goal: to help people choose love as much as humanly possible. A New York Times bestselling author, her latest book is Live Love Now: Relieve the Pressure and Find Real Connection with Our Kids. She’s also the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today; a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education; an in-demand speaker featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, TIME.com, FoxNews.com, as well as in hundreds of other online and print publications and a beloved blogger who inspires millions in her weekly blog posts at HandsFreeMama.com and through her supportive Facebook community, The Hands Free Revolution.

Like so many of her followers, I stumbled upon Rachel’s work years ago, and her writing immediately became a light on my path to more fully live my purpose.

I’m so grateful that I had this time to talk with Rachel, to explore the threads of presence and authenticity that weave through so much of her journey, to understand that facing our truths is just the beginning of unexpected invitations, and to remember what’s possible for our children to live a present-filled, purpose-filled life when we step forward to do that first. 

This conversation with Rachel and her beautiful new book, which I hope you will get and savor as I have been doing, will make you want to show up for yourself and your children in profound new ways and to embody her underlying message, to Live Love Now.

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 Samantha Arsenault

Samantha Arsenault Livingstone is an Olympic gold medalist, high-performance consultant, mental health educator, speaker, and entrepreneur – and she’s a mother of four and recovering perfectionist. Samantha holds a master’s degree in education and spent six years teaching high school science and coaching swimming. After a near-death experience with her then 12- month old daughter, Samantha knew it was time to pay forward all she’s learned about achievement, emotional resilience, rising from failure, and finding happiness.

In 2016, Samantha founded Livingstone High Performance in response to the mental health crisis impacting adolescents across the globe, specifically those in the athletic arena. LHP provides pillars of support to organizations, teams, and individuals to elevate mental health and improve performance, and build a more empowered village. In addition to private and group coaching, Samantha offers online courses and consults with teams and organizations on athlete wellness initiatives, leadership, strategic planning, rising skills, and developing high-performance cultures. She is a certified instructor of Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement and Mental Health First Aid.

Samantha is an engaging public speaker who has more than 19 years of experience, which includes her TEDx Talk: The Weight of Gold: An Olympian’s Path to Recovery. She’s been featured as a keynote speaker, expert panelist, workshop facilitator, and seminar leader. She’s worked with high-school, collegiate, and professional athletes in a group and 1:1 setting; school districts; athletic departments; coaching organizations; women in business groups; wellness entrepreneurs; and national governing bodies, most notably, USA Swimming.

Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls. To learn more about her offerings, go over to www.samanthalivingstone.com.

To learn more about her offerings, go over to www.samantha livingstone.com. You can join Samantha’s FREE 5-Day I AM CHALLENGE at www.samanthalivingstone.com/i-am-challenge  

Facebook @slivingstonewellness

Instagram @slivingstn

Linkedin @sarsenaultlivingstone

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The way Rachel’s mother gave her the gift of “presence” even when she couldn’t be physically present.  
  • Rachel’s quest for purpose and the legacy she wants to leave

  • How reflecting on the question “How do I do it all?” on a run one day became the “spark moment” that pushed Rachel to choose herself

  • What Rachel means by her connection to her “dreamer girl”

  • Why facing the truth is really just the beginning

  • What it means when Rachel says to her children “I want to love you by your book.” 

  • Hands-Free Mama as a way of being

  • The pressure and insecurity of online life and how screentime distraction becomes the biggest obstacle to living purpose-filled

  • The 3 roles that will allow us to walk beside our kids

  • Finding your place of refuge and helping your kids find theirs

  • How we can “find our people” by doing the things our heart calls us to do

  • The tear-filled pledge I made to Rachel, reading from a promise in her book on p.57 

 

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Rachel encourages us to think about any hurtful comments, criticism, consciously and unconsciously, that we’ve been carrying around that’s holding us back from truly fulfilling our purpose. Reflect on it and slowly turn that pain into purpose.

 

Learn More Rachel Macy Stafford

Rachel Macy Stafford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today. Her fourth book, Live Love Now, releases in April 2020. Rachel is a certified special education teacher who helps people overcome distraction and perfection to live better and love more. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, TIME.com, FoxNews.com, as well as in hundreds of other online and print publications. Her blog (www.handsfreemama.com) currently averages one million visitors a month. Rachel loves taking long walks, baking, and volunteering with homeless cats and nursing home residents. Rachel lives in the South with her husband and two daughters who inspire her daily.

 

Follow Rachel on Social Media

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Announcements:

Honoring George Floyd By Stepping Into Empathy And Action

I want to acknowledge the pain and horror so many of us are feeling at the killing of another black man by a police officer, in the death of George Floyd. Rachel’s gift is to invite us to be present and purposeful in our lives and that same presence and purpose calls us now to take that pain and turn it into deeper understanding and action.

To support that, in the show notes, I’m including a link to an episode I recorded a few years ago with the co-founder of Mother’s Against Police Brutality Sara Mokuria, and to a set of Anti-Racism resources that Rachel shared in a post, she wrote today. Also in that post, Rachel offered these words from her new book Live Love Now, that I invite us to sit with, along with a few moments of silence, to honor George Floyd, and so many other men like him.

“What if we responded to the injustices inflicted on human lives with empathy and action rather than defensiveness or apathy? What if we lived as if we truly believed it’s not ‘your back’ or ‘my back,’ but ‘our back’?”

 

Resources Mentioned in the Opening Call to Action in Honor of
George Floyd: 

 

The Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge is technically over, but the Reflection Journal, live videos, and reflective prompts are all still waiting for you in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group. Follow along at your own pace by registering here: www.mothersquest.com/manifestochallenge and coming on over to the private group 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:

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

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. 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:

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

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 72: Seeking Asylum is a Human Right with Bay Area Border Relief’s Belinda Arriaga

Ep 72: Seeking Asylum is a Human Right with Bay Area Border Relief’s Belinda Arriaga


I’m honored to share this episode, the first I’m releasing after our lives have changed in immense ways due to this global pandemic. At a time when we realize how interconnected we all are, I’m honored to bring you a conversation with Dr. Belinda Arriaga, a leader at Bay Area Border Relief, about the incredibly important work she does championing families seeking asylum at the United States Mexican border.

In addition to her advocacy through Bay Area Border Relief, Belinda is Founder and Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos a Soñar, a non-profit which stands for Believing in Latinos to Dream, dedicated to working with Latino rural youth, families, farmworkers, asylum seekers, and seniors living on coastside in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bringing her training as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco in the School of Education, as Co-Founder of the Half Moon Bay Latino Advisory, and founder of the Latino Trauma Institute. She’s beloved by those who know her as being a fierce advocate with a heart of gold.

In this episode, Belinda (originally born in Texas) shares about her own childhood experiences journeying back to America from Panama, how despite her mother’s instruction to keep her head down she learned to speak out and fight injustice, about our country’s history of honoring asylum as a human right, and now the ways in which our current immigration policies increase trauma for families fleeing violence instead of providing our protection, shelter and support. Belinda tells her firsthand accounts of the devastating conditions that families experience living in encampments on the Mexican side of the border now and also about miracles and community rising up to literally open doors. 

With faith in our collective generosity and hope for more miracles, Belinda and I spoke this week about what the families at the border need now. We want to invite you to say “yes” to the challenge of writing love letters in Spanish especially to the children there and also to send along children’s masks that can provide some protection from the spread of the coronavirus if it reaches their encampment. As we are sheltering in place, Belinda, the Bay Area Border Relief team and I invite you to follow the information in the show notes to take action within your homes, to send care packages that let these families know that they are not forgotten.

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:
Vickie Giambra of ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Vickie Giambra is a Senior Staff Attorney with the ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband and twice-exceptional daughter. She has been practicing immigration law since 2009. She began her nonprofit immigration law career when she joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in January 2017. 

As a Managing Attorney, she led the General Immigration Program at Catholic Charities, which encompassed family immigration matters and provided a full range of immigration services for refugees and asylees. With a B.A., cum laude, in Latin American Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, Vickie began her career working in HR and recruitment for a large international law firm in New York and London. 

This sparked an interest in employment and immigration law, which led Vickie to enroll in the University of Houston Law Center, graduating in May 2009. She’s also a member of the Texas Bar and is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Connect with Vickie:

LinkedIn

Twitter

 Vickie’s Suggested Resources: 

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • How Belinda’s painful experience leaving her native Panama for the United States connects to the work she does now supporting immigrants. 
  • An explanation of the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), a policy that stopped asylum seekers from entering the United States since November
  • A discussion of asylum-seeking as a basic human right
  • Belinda’s firsthand experience and observations about children’s suffering under our current immigration policy and the ways we can support them
  • How Belinda finds the personal strength and faith to persevere in the challenging work she does
  • Belinda’s belief in miracles and a powerful story about community rising up to support a family seeking asylum 

 

This Week’s Challenge:

For this episode’s challenge, Belinda encourages us to write love letters to the children who are seeking asylum (especially after the government’s latest announcement to shut down all asylum efforts right now) and to support an effort to bring 1,000 children’s masks to the families at the border. With this simple act of love and care, we can empower them to have strength especially when they are scared or lonely.

You can send your letters and masks to 4 Windsor Drive, Hillsborough, CA 94010
If you’re interested in contributing to the larger project, you can go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/bayareaborderrelief to make a fully tax-deductible donation. 

And/or order masks for your family & friends with proceeds supporting the campaign visit 👉 bit.ly/BABRmasks

 

Learn More About Belinda Arriaga

Belinda Hernandez Arriaga is a Faculty Coordinator for the Masters In Counseling MFT program at USF’s South Bay location. She co-founded and is part of the Latino Advisory Council in Half Moon Bay. Belinda has done extensive work on the coast working with farmworker families and their children, in her community practice her focus is on immigration trauma, u-visas, asylum and has worked with refugee children of San Mateo County.

She is Founder and Chief Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (www.alashmb.org), a Latino cultural arts, education, and social justice program dedicated to working with rural youth and families living on the coast side. Her current research is focused on understanding the emotional, psychological, and traumatic experiences that impact undocumented and mixed-status Latino youth.

Belinda’s work also focuses on understanding the cultural arts as a healing space for this community of children. Belinda is committed to social justice advocacy and multicultural practices in counseling that gives voice to underground communities and expand indigenous cultural practices in the field of counseling. She and her husband have three young daughters and live in the coastal community of Half Moon Bay.

To know more about Belinda and the work that she does, you can read her full bio 👉here

 

Follow Belinda on Social Media

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Additional Resources featuring Belinda:

 

Announcements:

There are 3000 people hoping for a chance at a better life for themselves and their families. They are also at risk of being exposed to the virus. A joint project between ALAS and Bay Area Border Relief has been launched which is a mask making effort and it’ll include the families at South Texas border, all across the Rio Grande from Brownsville.

Join me in my efforts to support them. If you’re interested in contributing to this project, you can go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/bayareaborderrelief to make a fully tax-deductible donation. 

And/or order masks for your family & friends. Proceeds support the campaign 👉 bit.ly/BABRmasks

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

  1. On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
  4. 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:

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

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/

Encore: Beyond the Trauma: Legacy, Compassion and Change with Mothers Against Police Brutality Co-Founder Sara Mokuria

Encore: Beyond the Trauma: Legacy, Compassion and Change with Mothers Against Police Brutality Co-Founder Sara Mokuria

I’ll be back in two weeks with a new episode, but I wanted to bring this encore conversation with Mothers Against Police Brutality’s Sara Mokuria in a week where so many of us have been grappling with the issue of police violence and what we can do about it.

This week, our consciousness has been focused on the tragic deaths of two black people, Botham Jean and Atatiana Jefferson, who were murdered in their own homes by police officers. Botham was in his own apartment when an off duty police officer shot and killed him, allegedly mistaking him for an intruder in her own apartment. Recently, the woman who killed him was sentenced to only 10 years in prison for his killing. Atatiana Jefferson, who was playing video games with her nephew in her own home at the time, was murdered when an officer sent to the house by a neighbor because of an open door, immediately shot and killed Atatiana instead of checking on her wellbeing.

I know many of us have been searching for some action we can take about this issue and I want to encourage you to do two things: first listen to this conversation with Sara Mokuria, one of the co-founders of Mothers Against Police Brutality. She will give you insight and advocacy steps from her own experience losing her father. And then, make a donation to Mothers Against Police Brutality, an organization that is seeking change by addressing policy and building police accountability, beginning in Texas but with nationwide impact.

Inspired by my last conversation with trust-based philanthropy thought leader Pia Infante, our family committed to an ongoing monthly donation to support their work over time, and made the donation in honor of two men who lost their lives to police violence over the last year in my own area, Chinedu Okobi and Miles Hall.

As you listen, I hope you’ll consider making a donation as well and I also challenge you to identify just one person who you can share this episode and this call to action with; together we can start to take steps in the direction of police accountability. Now here is my conversation with Sara Mokuria.

Much appreciation,

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

Make a donation by visiting http://mothersagainstpolicebrutality.org/donate/

ORIGINAL SHOW NOTES

It’s an honor and responsibility to share this Episode #33 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast with Sara Mokuria, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality. It’s the third and final in a series I recorded as part of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative and it comes to you with a call to action to get involved with this issue today.

This episode was dedicated by Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, who turned her grief from the loss of her son, Clinton Allen, into fuel for change.

In her dedication, Collette reminded us of our common humanity as mothers and that an insult to one mother is an insult to all mothers. It is this knowing that caused me to record this series after I saw the heart-breaking video of Diamond Reynolds and her then four year old daughter after they witnessed the killing of Philando Castile. Philando was like a father to this little girl, was unarmed and was complying with the police officer’s requests when he was shot.

Seeing the trauma and heartbreak endured by this four year old girl, who was the same age as my son when I saw this video, became a catalyst to face the epidemic of police brutality in our country, and to begin taking action, however imperfect.

Much like Diamond Reynold’s daughter, Sara also endured trauma and heartbreak when she watched her father get shot and killed by police at her home in Dallas when she was 10 years old.

Fueled by her own experience, Sara joined Collette along with another co-founder, John Fullinwider, in creating Mother’s Against Police Brutality, as a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition uniting mothers nationwide to fight for civil rights, police accountability and policy reform.

Sara is a mom herself to a seven year old boy.  And, in addition to her work with Mothers Against Police Brutality, she’s a sought after educator, community organizer, project manager, and facilitator, currently working as Associate Director for Leadership Initiatives with The Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has two masters degrees, has taught both high school and college at the University of Texas at Dallas and currently serves on the International Mechanism Coordinating Committee for the US Human Rights Network.

She came to the conversation with an open heart she told me, and I felt her generosity and honesty throughout as she shared how police violence changed her life forever, discussed the trauma of being black in America, how the institution of policing and the prison industrial complex contributes to that trauma, and the ways in which an investment in Mothers Against Police Brutality can change policies and systems to reduce violence and create more accountability.

As compelling was Sara’s exploration of the vision she has for our future… of vibrant communities where we invest in our young people, lean into and value our differences, and where each of us taps into our own unique magic to get us there.

We ended our conversation with a co-created prayer, a wish for ourselves as much as for all of you listening, to move into greater responsibility for this work from wherever we are, to have the courage to go to those difficult and painful places so we can create a freer future, and to take this moment right now to support this cause.

I’m doing that today by making a financial contribution to Mothers Against Police Brutality and putting my resources with the mothers, like Sara and Collette, who are closest to the problem and who can see the solution. I hope you’ll join me.

Visit http://mothersagainstpolicebrutality.org/donate/ to make a donation and reference Mother’s Quest or, if contributing on November 28th, Giving Tuesday, visit the Mother’s Quest Facebook Fundraising Page  to contribute to the Giving Tuesday Campaign.

This episode dedicated by

Mothers Against Police Brutality founder Collette Flanagan, whose son, Clinton Allen, was shot and killed by the Dallas Police in March of 2013.

Topics discussed in this episode

  • Sara’s joyous childhood which changed forever when her father was killed by Dallas police officers when she was just 10 years old

  • How Sara’s mother was her fiercest advocate, even as her mother grappled with the deeply traumatic effects of her husband’s killing and the lack of support as a crime victim.

  • Disturbing facts about our current law enforcement policies, lack of accountability, the militarization of police, and budget allocations that favor the prison industrial complex over investments that would build a vibrant community

  • The New Jim Crowe and the War on Drugs and how it has played out as a war on people of color

  • White privilege and how to move from shame and guilt to responsibility and action

  • How Sara teaches her son to understand injustice, the history we don’t learn in our schools, and how tenderness, love and joy can be an act of resistance

  • What happened when Sara met with the officer who killed her father years later and how that shifted her perspective about what the problem really is

  • How women make up half of the world’s population and how we birthed the other half, therefore we are the world. And, the power of mothers to chart the direction of our families and communities.

  • The importance of finding your own unique magic to make a difference and why Sara keeps her heart open to welcome people to this cause when they come to it

  • Our prayer and invitation to you the listener

Resources mentioned in this episode

This Week’s Three-fold Challenge

  1. Have courageous conversation about these issues with your families during the holidays.

  2. Get involved and informed about these issues locally. Become an advocate in your city.

  3. Make a monetary contribution to support the mothers who are closest to the solution at Mothers Against Police Brutality.

Announcements

Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative

If you identify as a woman podcaster, I hope you’ll join us for the third season of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative. Our group recently committed to the topic of immigration from a social justice perspective, and we invite you to join us by committing to record an episode that can shine a light on this important issue. To take a look at past seasons and get more information visit www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com.

Applications are open for the Spark Your E.P.I.C. Live Virtual Circle

If you’re on a quest to live an E.P.I.C. life, but you’ve been feeling challenged, isolated, or unsure of the path ahead, the Mother’s Quest Circle may be the source of connection you’re looking for.

The Mother’s Quest Circle provides inspiration, coaching and community for an intimate group of no more than 8 women who are ready to say “yes” to:

  • Reflect together, in a community of like-minded mothers, on what matters most
  • To consciously live a more E.P.I.C. life
  • To take bold action toward one of the E.P.I.C. life guideposts before the end of the session
  • To hold space for sharing, coaching, and championing one another so we are “in community” on our journey

Click HERE to Learn More

Acknowledgements

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:

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

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three 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 64: Fatherhood, Forgiveness and Redemption with Poet Will Little

Ep 64: Fatherhood, Forgiveness and Redemption with Poet Will Little

What you think is what you say. What you say is what you do. What you do becomes a habit. What becomes your habit becomes your character. And your character is what determines your future.  (taken from Will Latif’s TEDx Talk: How to Become the Best Version of Yourself) 

As June comes to a close, a month with a focus on Father’s Day and Gun Violence Awareness, I’m honored to bring you an important conversation that touches on both themes with poet, speaker, advocate and father Will Latif Little.  

As you’ll learn in this episode, Will has a profound story to tell, one that began with an upbringing in a single family parent home with his four sisters in Philadelphia, PA. Without his father or a father figure, and impacted by his environment, Will began to venture away from the ideals he was shaped by in church, dropping out of high school in the 10th grade, and becoming involved in the Philadelphia drug trade and a shooting that resulted in the death of a young man. This ultimately landed Will in prison for a 10-20 year sentence on a murder conviction at the age of 19.
 

Fatherhood was a seminal experience for Will. It was the knowledge of becoming a father, during the time of his incarceration, that became a catalyst for Will to turn his life around, motivating him to get his GED and educate himself through reading books that enlightened him. Through that process, Will says that what he thought was passing the time actually helped him become a man. 

After ten long years, rehabilitated and reformed, Will was released from prison to start a new life, as a free man but challenged by the difficulty of gaining steady employment due to his criminal record. Not wanting to go back to a life of drug dealing and gun carrying, Will decided to invest in a career as a barber.  In his spare time, Will developed a program calledPoetree N Motion that would show young and older people how to overcome obstacles in life. And he began to share his story far and wide, taking the stage at a TEDx event, at public meetings where he advocates for education and emotional intelligence trainings, mentoring in the Philadelphia Prison System, and revealing his experience in a new award-winning documentary called Behind the Bullet. 

 It was important to me that this not be an interview solely about Will’stransgressions but about his whole life, his full humanity and his wisdom across all the E.P.I.C. guideposts. I learned so much from my time with Will…about the power of resilience, a strength passed from his own mother, the enduring possibility of forgiveness and redemption, the power of mindset, and about pushing through our discomfort, something Will challenged me to explore through the metaphor of running.

Ultimately, this episode is about hope and transformation…And I hope you’ll be forever changed, as I have been, by your connection to Will and his story.

Much appreciation,

Additional Reflections:

With this special episode today, I close a series of conversations I set out to record on the intersectional impact of gun violence for the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative.

This one differs from the others in that it is a deeply personal redemption story. A story of a man who took the life of another human being through gun violence and has come out the other side committed to educating others so they don’t make the same mistakes that he did.

It’s important to note that Will’s perspective and journey is uniquely his own, that he takes a tremendous amount of personal responsibility, and focuses his change efforts on building emotional intelligence. Will also shares that there is systemic racism, a justice system that is not always just, and environmental conditions that contribute to the issue of gun violence.

After listening to this conversation and exploring the links to Will’s work, I hope you’ll also spend some time with some of the other episodes I’ve recorded and with links I’ve included in the show notes to understand the big picture context beneath this deeply personal story. And to find your own path and commitment to dismantling systemic racism and gun violence.  There is so much work to do.

This Episode is Dedicated by:
Vince from the While Black Podcast

Vince has always displayed an entrepreneurial and activist spirit. Since his youth, he has dedicated his time to those around him in hopes of bettering them while he better himself. It began by volunteering as a camp counselor from middle school through high school, and grew via mentorship and tutoring in college all the way to his membership role in the 100 Black Men and as an advocate for African Americans through his work on the While Black Podcast. Vince believes wholeheartedly the James Baldwin quote “To be Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be a rage almost all the time”. However, he chooses to channel that rage into a place that allows him to change the narrative on black folks while he helps to empower those same black folks. 

Earning his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge LA (1999) and his MBA from Queens University in Charlotte NC (2005), Vince has gained valuable experience in multiple industries. 

He has excelled in multiple industries and enjoyed a career spanning 20+ years with opportunities in Engineering, Consumer packaged goods, Corporate retail giants, and now the Social/tech industry. 

In addition, he is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Aveo Big and Tall Golf Apparel which rose to become the #1 big and tall golf apparel offering in Golfsmith stores and was distributed nationally and internationally via various outlets including but not limited to Dicks Sporting Good, GolfSmith, and Golf Galaxy. He has since sold the rights to the Aveo name and divested from the company 

However, he has altered his focus by aligning his passions with his promise and ensuring his time is invested accordingly as he focuses on improving the black world and the global community through and with black people. His latest endeavor is laser-focused on impacting and improving the people around him. Specifically, he is the creator and co-host of the While Black Podcast a podcast focused on empowering, educating, and inspiring African Americans to go and grow. While Black tells stories by, from, and for African Americans and pairs those stories with expert and credible guests who can communicate wisdom and success strategies helping us to achieve, accomplish, and overcome.

Check out the While Black Podcast here

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • How Will’s mother influenced him to be a hard worker and to build resilience

  • Will’s thoughts on the concept of a Hero’s Journey…why he thinks life is really more about being a responsible human being than a hero

  • How fatherhood became the catalyst for changing his life from within and other pivotal moments that he shares in his TEDx Talk

  • The story of forgiveness that unfolded after the brother of the man that Will killed entered into his barber shop

  • The illusion of power and the emotional intelligence and mental control Will believes you need if you are to carry a gun

  • Will’s reflections on the problem of police brutality, the need for emotional intelligence training for officers, and the belief that in order to have justice you need to be just 

  • Biggest lessons Will learned in building a community through the barber shop and how he sees people of diverse backgrounds coming together in new ways

  • Poetry as a vehicle for self-reflection and the recitation of one of Will’s favorite poems “Look Into His Eyes”

  • Pushing past your limiting beliefs through a physical challenge like running

Mentioned from this Episode:

Resources to Go Deeper On Intersectional Impact of Gun Violence and our Criminal Justice System:

This Week’s Challenge: 

For this week’s challenge, Will challenges us to run! It’s a physical and mental challenge to engage yourself in self-awareness he says. Challenge yourself and see how far you can go. This activity will help you shape your mindset to understand that you can reach your full potential. Do this when you’re thinking of starting a new project or a big event. This physical challenge will help you gain more clarity to reach your goals.

Learn More About Will:

Will Little grew up in a single family parent home with his four sisters in Philadelphia, PA. Without his father or a father figure, Will began to venture out. Traveling through the City streets, Will picked up bad habits and negative ideas, soon becoming a product of his environment. Dropping out of high school in the 10th grade, Will became involved in the Philadelphia drug trade and other illegal activities. This ultimately landed Will in prison for 10-20 years on a murder conviction at the age of 19.

During the time of his incarceration, Will decided to turn his life around, by first getting his diploma by way of a GED. While incarcerated, Will started educating himself to pass the time. He became a prodigious reader. In ten years, Will read a diverse spectrum of books that educated and enlightened him. What he thought was passing the time actually helped him become a man. 

After ten long years, rehabilitated and reformed, Will Little was released from prison to start a new life, as a free man. He worked several odd jobs, but could not maintain steady employment due to his criminal record. Will was now unemployed with two children, an apartment, and a car note. Not wanted to go back to a life of drug dealing and gun carrying, Will decided to invest in a career as a barber. Will used one of his unemployment checks to purchase his supplies for barbering and learned how to be a barber while on the job.

In his spare time, Will developed a program in 2003 that would show young and older people how to overcome obstacles in life through understanding life’s trial and taking positive action. This program is called Poetree N Motion.

Since his release, Will has performed in famous places such as Love Park, Harrisburg, PA, for the Philadelphia Prison System, for the Philadelphia School District, and at Girard College. Will has performed at community events with the former Mayor Street, former Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, District Attorney Seth Williams, and for actors such as Charles Dutton, and Judge Mathis.

Will Little and Poetree N Motion have appeared on NBC News and well as on Fox 29. They also teach mentoring workshops with other organizations in the Philadelphia area.

Will has had numerous articles in the local newspapers Philadelphia Tribune twice, south Philu review four times, Philadelphia Enquire two front-page article in the Philadelphia Daily News which inspired him to write his autobiography, I.C.Y. The Life and Times of Will Little. Will also had a television talk show on Comcast channel 80 which aired for two and a half years. You can see a great forgiveness story that won a 2014 Emmy award on YouTube under The power of Forgiveness two south Philly men” 

Will has received awards and citations from the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office of Pennsylvania, former Prison Commissioner Leon King, Partners in Peace Award from State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson and the 2010 Lucien E. Blackwell Guiding Light Award, United Way Philly Roots award, is a 2014 BME award winner and many more.

Connect with Will:

Announcements:

Announcement for the First Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life Group Program

This summer, I’m excited to invite you to join us for the first group program version of the signature Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life series that I typically do in one-on-one coaching or in the Mother’s Quest Circle. The Group Program will bring you the same powerful sequence, in community, at a more affordable rate and at an accelerated pace, meeting weekly on Thursdays, beginning the second week of July.

 If you want to be added to wait list to receive the link to all the details and the registration application as soon as it goes live, sign up here. Hope you may join us, and that together, we can help you clarify your future vision, assess your present along the E.P.I.C. Guideposts, and then move into action to more fully live your E.P.I.C. life.

Mother’s Quest Manifesto Give-Away

⚡️Have you been feeling a nudge to say “yes” to this Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge?

Here are some easy steps you can follow…in the last few days of this year’s invitation before our Give-Away.

FIVE STEPS:

👉 Join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group www.mothersquest.com/community to find the “unit” for the Manifesto Challenge’s reflective prompts and live videos. It’s all waiting for you!

👉 Follow along with the “unit” at your own pace. Share your reflections along the way in the comments. Let us cheer you on!

👉 Give yourself some quiet time to create your own #oneminutemommanifesto in whatever way feels good…writing, art, photos, song. It can be simple and quick. Don’t overthink it. What matters most, as a guiding light, for how you want to live your life at this stage of raising your children?

👉 Share your #oneminutemommanifesto on social media with the hashtag. Tag me if you can to make sure I’ve seen it. Consider nominating a friend who would benefit.

👉 Tune back in on July 1st to see if you win one of the amazing prizes from Mother’s Quest members…everything from free courses, to a chance to have your manifesto turned into a visual creation from our resident artist Jen Jenkins Dohner

–Join us, share or tag a friend, or comment on how the #oneminutemommanifesto has helped you if you’ve already created yours.–

Would LOVE for more of you to join us in claiming, or reclaiming, HOW you want to live your life ✨🙌

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:

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

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three 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 55: From Grief to Advocacy and a Circle of Mothers with Trayvon Martin’s Mother Sybrina Fulton

Ep 55: From Grief to Advocacy and a Circle of Mothers with Trayvon Martin’s Mother Sybrina Fulton

I’m honored to bring this special episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast to you with mother, activist, writer, co-founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation and an inspiration to so many, Sybrina Fulton. 

The episode is the last in a series I’ve recorded for the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative on the subject of gun safety and the intersectional impact of gun violence on our communities. 

Unfortunately, Sybrina deeply knows the grief that comes in the wake of gun violence. But, after the deadly 2012 shooting of her beloved son, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, she felt compelled to rise up, literally pushing herself to get out of her bed, becoming the voice for her son and embarking on a journey to bring awareness to senseless gun violence and racial profiling.  

In 2016, Sybrina rallied to the forefront at the Democratic National Convention with a group of African American trailblazing women, connected by tragedy, who became known as “Mothers of the Movement” for the “Black Lives Matter” Movement the death of their children sparked. 

She didn’t stop there. In 2017, Sybrina co-authored her first book, Rest in Power, The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, a memoir recounting the death of her son, which became the subject of a docu-series that debuted this year, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, produced by hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.

This intimate conversation, over a year in the making, was a unique opportunity to delve into Sybrina’s own journey, how the E.P.I.C. guideposts show up in her life and in her activism, and to hear her powerful call to action to invest in mothers, by reaching out to mothers grieving in our own communities and by contributing to her “Circle of Mothers,” a labor of love that came to her in her dreams. 

I’m grateful to activist Michael Skolnik, who dedicated this episode, for connecting me to Sybrina and for inviting us to spread this conversation far and wide and direct resources to help mothers turn their grief into healing and advocacy, following Sybrina’s powerful example. 

It costs $1500 to sponsor a grieving mother to attend Circle of Mothers. Michael and I have each pledged the first $3,000 to a GoFundMe campaign, each of us contributing $1500 to help a mother who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. I hope you’ll open your hearts and minds to Sybrina’s story, visit www.mothersquest.com/circleofmothers and join us in contributing to her mission. 

Much appreciation, 

P.S. Know someone who you think would appreciate this special episode? Share this conversation!

This Episode is Dedicated by:
Michael Skolnik

Michael Skolnik was recently profiled in the NY Times and identified as “the man you go to if you want to leverage the power of celebrity and the reach of digital media to soften the ground for social change.” But, besides all of that, he is most proud to be the father of Mateo Ali, a rambunctious five year old. 

He is the co-founder and partner of The Soze Agency, a social impact agency that partners with companies, non-profits, foundations and movements to create campaigns that uplift compassion, authenticity and equity.

He is a respected leader in the new social justice movement, and has helped ignite conversations around America’s relationship with race, the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner, and the Obama and Trump presidencies.

He is a prolific voice on social media with more than 350,000 followers, and a regular commentator on outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

Michael serves on the Board of Directors for Rock The Vote, The Trayvon Martin Foundation, Policy Link, The Gathering For Justice and The Young Partners Board of The Public Theater.

Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
Twitter
The Soze Agency
Learn more about Michael Skolnik: https://about.me/michaelskolnik

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • What Sybrina wishes everyone would know about approaching a conversation with a mother who has lost a child.
  • My 14 year old son’s question to Sybrina about what it feels like when your calling and the powerful work you’re doing is sparked by a tremendous loss.
  • Why we need systemic and cultural change, and more awareness-raising conversations, to keep young people of color safe from racial profiling.
  • The tragic death of Chinedu Okobi, an unarmed young black man who was tasered to death by San Mateo County deputies, just 20 minutes from my own home.
  • The importance for grieving mothers to remember the things that they used to love and what Sybrina’s joyful outlet is
  • The Circle of Mothers and how the idea to create it came to Sybrina in a dream.
  • Sybrina’s challenge for all of us to open our hearts and to reach out to mothers, across differences, who have lost their child to let them know we care.
  • Why investing in mothers is the most powerful lever to impact gun control.

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

Other Mother’s Quest Episodes in This Series on Gun Safety: 

And in Last Year’s Series on Anti-Racism and Police Accountability:

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Sybrina asks us to reach out to a mother who has lost a child and be a support to them. Take them out, let them know you are here, organize something for a group. Let them know that they are not alone. 

You can also show your support, and invest in the healing of mothers who can lead the way forward, by contributing directly to the GoFundMe campaign and sponsor mothers to attend this year’s Circle of Mothers event. We have a goal to raise $15,000 and send 10 mothers, at $1,500 per person, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. 

CLICK HERE to contribute to the Campaign

Special thanks to Alaura Weaver of WordWeaver Freelance for helping with the copy for the GoFundMe page.

Learn More About Sybrina Fulton:

After the death of her beloved son, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, in February 2012, Sybrina Fulton was charged with a new mission. A desire to transform family tragedy into social change allowed her to establish the Trayvon Martin Foundation in March 2012.

As Fulton traverses the globe, she passionately embarks on a journey designed to bring awareness to senseless gun violence and serves as an advocate to families, the catalyst for her dream project, the “Circle of Mothers.” Winning the national support of president-elect Hillary Clinton, Fulton rallied to the forefront in 2016 at the Democratic National Convention with a cadre of African American trailblazing women known as “Mothers of the Movement.” The women, connected by tragedy, are the inspiration behind the “Black Lives Matter.”

In 2017, Fulton co-authored her first book, Rest in Power, The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, a memoir recounting the death of her son, and the subject of a six-part docuseries, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, produced by hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter for Paramount Network and BET (July 2018).

Bestowed with many distinguished awards, Sybrina Fulton has represented the United States at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss racial discrimination; the National Urban League, Black Lives Matter, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, The Triumph Awards (2016), Essence Festival & Conference (2017, 2018), and was selected as the White House’s guest of honor for the unveiling of former President Barak Obama’s initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper.” Fulton is also one of the 2018 recipients of VH1’s Trailblazer Honor Award.

A Miami native and graduate of Florida Memorial University, Sybrina Fulton, along with her son, Jahvaris, are on a mission to build better, safer communities. She is a proud member of the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Metropolitan Dade County Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

She created the Circle of Mothers as a way to empower women. The purpose of the Circle of Mothers is to bring together mothers who have lost children or family members to senseless gun violence for the purpose of healing, empowerment, and fellowship towards the larger aim of community building. 

Connect with Sybrina at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
www.circleofmothers.org
www.trayvonmartinfoundation.org

Announcements:

Support the Circle of Mothers GoFundMe Campaign

As of December of 2018, 644 children and 2,729 teens have been killed by gun violence in the US this year. If you feel  pain at the loss of so many young lives full of promise, imagine the devastating grief experienced by the mothers they’ve left behind.

On May 16, 2014, Sybrina embarked on a powerful call to action to support and invest in mothers, by reaching out to mothers grieving in our communities. The Circle of Mothers, an annual retreat for women who have lost a child to senseless gun violence, was born. 

It costs $1,500 to sponsor a mother who would otherwise not be able to participate in Circle of Mothers. Activist Michael Skolnik and I have pledged the first $3,000 of this $15,000 campaign, 2 toward our goal of 10 women we hope to send. 

I pray that one day we won’t need The Circle of Mothers, because we’ve brought an end to gun violence in the US and no more mothers will have to grieve the theft of their children’s lives.  

Until then, I hope you’ll open your hearts and minds to Sybrina’s story, lift up grieving mothers who seek healing, and invest in them to lead the way forward.

Support the Campaign

 
Women Podcasters in Solidarity

Tragically, I have now lost count of the number of mass shootings have taken place just in the time since the Women Podcasters in Solidarity selected “gun safety” as the issue we want to shine a light on this season.

Grateful to partner with Cristin Marie and Elsie Escobar on bringing this season of the Initiative to life. It is my deepest hope that through the power of podcasting, the episodes we will record, the conversations we will share with our listeners, and the dollars we will collectively raise toward gun safety causes, will save lives.

Please take a look at Cristin’s post here and say “yes” to the Initiative yourself or help spread the word to reach other podcasters who would want to join.

Mother’s Quest Circle

If you’re on a quest to live an E.P.I.C. life, but you’ve been feeling challenged, isolated, or unsure of the path ahead, the Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle may be the source of connection you’re looking for.

The Mother’s Quest Circle provides inspiration, coaching and community for an intimate group of no more than 8 women who are ready to say “yes” to:

✨Reflect together, in a community of like-minded mothers, on what matters most
✨To consciously live their version (not someone else’s) of an E.P.I.C. life
✨To take bold action toward one of the E.P.I.C. life guideposts before the end of the sessions
✨To hold space for sharing, coaching, and championing one another so we are “in community” on our journey

If you’re looking to start the year strong, the Circle is a great way to make an investment in yourself and what matters most to you. Apply here to add your name to the wait list.

Learn More

Acknowledgements:

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:

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

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three 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 54: Superheroes, Fighting Patriarchy, and Courageously Defeating Gun Violence with Ladd Everitt

Ep 54: Superheroes, Fighting Patriarchy, and Courageously Defeating Gun Violence with Ladd Everitt


I’m honored to share this episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, the second in a series I’m recording for the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative on the subject of gun safety and the intersectional impact of gun violence on our communities.

As the mother of two boys, I was interested in having a conversation with an expert on this subject who’s also a man and a father and I’m so grateful to have found one willing to go deep and be vulnerable in gun prevention advocate Ladd Everitt.  

Ladd has been involved in this movement since 1993, when his life changed forever after a man boarded a rush hour train on the Long Island Railroad and opened fire with a handgun, killing six and wounding 19. This train was the one Ladd took regularly and he realized that it easily could have been him killed that day.
 
That moment sparked Ladd to attend the Million Mom March in 2000 in Washington DC, where despite the fact that he was a single man with no children, he found himself stepping into leadership for a local chapter and working alongside mothers for gun safety.  

More than two decades later, he has become a father himself, and is still deeply committed to this work. After 10 years as a strategic communications and social media specialist with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Ladd took the position he holds today as Director of One Pulse for America, a gun violence prevention group established after the Florida Pulse Nightclub shooting by acclaimed actor/LGBTQ rights activist George Takei.
  
Ladd brought honesty and clarity to the conversation as we traced his E.P.I.C. life journey, from growing up as a young boy influenced by Marvel comics, to stepping into his own powers as a caring father and a decades long gun control advocate.
 
I appreciated Ladd’s humility as he expressed how the trauma of doing this work has impacted him, his own growing pains as he’s learning about and confronting racism and patriarchy, and the importance of giving the microphone and following the lead of young people, who he says are the emotional and cultural leaders of the movement today. 
  
Ladd leaves us with hopefulness about the possibility for real change after the mid-term elections along with a challenge to hold our elected officials accountable, beginning with a specific request of Nancy Pelosi to focus on new and bold, not watered down, gun policy changes. 

I was inspired by the example in Ladd of a white male leader, connected to his emotions, doing meaningful work, and looking for ways to share his privilege and influence with voices that should have more representation in the movement. Ladd and I both left the conversation feeling enriched by the opportunity to talk through complex issues. I’m excited to invite you in to listen with us and then move into action for gun safety alongside us. 

Much appreciation, 

P.S. Know someone who you think would appreciate this episode? Push forward and share this conversation!

This Episode is Dedicated by:
Helgi Maki

Helgi dedicated this episode to all mothers affected by cycles of gun violence, who witness and deal with its aftermath for generations, especially the mothers affected by the terrorist attack in Pittsburgh, in the anti-Semitic hate crime shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday, October 27, 2018. They deserve our heartfelt, meaningful support in the wake of life altering gun violence. 

Helgi is a lawyer and the founder of traumainformedlaw.org – an initiative to help justice professionals and communities reduce the impact of  trauma and violence on public health.  You can learn more about her work at the links below.

The Trauma-Informed Law Project
Trauma-Informed Law On Twitter
Tree of Life Congregation

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • How Marvel creator Stan Lee influenced Ladd’s own development and the ways that Stan’s depiction of women and people of color changed over time
  • The tragic event that became a wake-up call and sparked Ladd’s passion for working toward gun safety.

  • Ladd’s first experience working toward gun control after the Million Mom March

  • How young people are the emotional and cultural leaders of the gun control movement now and Ladd’s fear that they may start listening to adults

  • The vicarious trauma and harassment that those on the frontlines of gun advocacy work experience

  • The exploration of toxic masculinity in the movie “The Mask You Live In” and why Ladd believes it’s crucial to teach boys that crying is a healthy way to express their emotions

  • The importance of fighting back against stigmatization of the mentally ill

  • Ladd’s experience being arrested, along with Michael Skolnik and other male activists, while protesting on behalf of women during the Kavanaugh hearings

  • The Universal Background Check and why is it important.

  • The book on Ladd’s desk when we conducted our interview that he’s reading to help him learn how to confront racism and white fragility

  • His Challenge for all of us to hold our newly elected officials accountable for bold gun policy  

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

This Week’s Challenge:

For this week’s challenge, Ladd challenges us to focus on what he believes is the most important issue related to gun safety: to get serious about disarming violent people in our country.

Ladd asks us to follow through on his One Pulse America Action Alert: To Tell Presumptive Speaker Pelosi to Make Assault Weapons Ban a Priority

Follow the links below for more information:

https://www.onepulseforamerica.com/action-alert/tell-presumptive-speaker-pelosi-to-make-assault-weapons-ban-a-priority/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1779750855570640/

And read Ladd’s recent OpEd in the LA Times on this subject

Learn More About Ladd Everitt:

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

Other websites:

https://medium.com/@LaddEveritt

Announcements:

Women Podcasters in Solidarity

I want to let you know about a special end of the year campaign as part of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative to raise money for the mothers, caretakers and activists on the frontlines of gun violence prevention. To make sure you get notified about the campaign, sign up for email updates at www.mothersquest.com and follow the Mother’s Quest page on Facebook. You can also reach out to me at julie@mothersquest.com if you’d like to be one of the first to “seed” the fund with your contribution. 

Tragically, I have now lost count of the number of mass shootings have taken place just in the time since the Women Podcasters in Solidarity selected “gun safety” as the issue we want to shine a light on this season.

Grateful to partner with Cristin Marie and Elsie Escobar on bringing this season of the Initiative to life. It is my deepest hope that through the power of podcasting, the episodes we will record, the conversations we will share with our listeners, and the dollars we will collectively raise toward gun safety causes, will save lives.

Please take a look at Cristin’s post here and say “yes” to the Initiative yourself or help spread the word to reach other podcasters who would want to join.

Mother’s Quest Circle

If you’re on a quest to live an E.P.I.C. life, but you’ve been feeling challenged, isolated, or unsure of the path ahead, the Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle may be the source of connection you’re looking for.

The Mother’s Quest Circle provides inspiration, coaching and community for an intimate group of no more than 8 women who are ready to say “yes” to:

✨Reflect together, in a community of like-minded mothers, on what matters most
✨To consciously live their version (not someone else’s) of an E.P.I.C. life
✨To take bold action toward one of the E.P.I.C. life guideposts before the end of the sessions
✨To hold space for sharing, coaching, and championing one another so we are “in community” on our journey

If you’re looking to start the year strong, the Circle is a great way to make an investment in yourself and what matters most to you. Apply here to add your name to the wait list.

Mother’s Quest is available on Pandora!

Mother’s Quest Podcast is one of the fists podcasts in the all-new Pandora podcast platform! Just search for Mother’s Quest on the app.

Acknowledgements:

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:

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

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three 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/