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/

Ep 37: Generations Rising for Gun Safety with Gloria Pan

Ep 37: Generations Rising for Gun Safety with Gloria Pan

Hello and welcome to this special episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast which I’m releasing just days before the March for our Lives. On March 24, 2018 the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC, and around the country, to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.

To help light the way, I reached out to Gloria Pan, who currently serves as the National Campaign Director for Gun Safety for the grassroots advocacy organization MomsRising. A public interest advocate and Internet communications strategist, Gloria also leads the organization’s member engagement, rapid response and mobile actions initiatives, as well as the #KeepMarching project. 

In our conversation, Gloria shares about her upbringing in an Asian-American immigrant family, the impact of her mother’s experience working in the UN during the Women’s Movement, and whether the idea of living an E.P.I.C. life is relevant for MomsRising mothers, many of whom are struggling to meet basic needs. We delve into the E.P.I.C. guideposts from the lens of gun safety advocacy, explore the ways in which we can broaden our lens to make that advocacy intersectional, and Gloria gives us specific actionable challenges to get involved and make a difference. 

One of the most impactful moments of the interview for me happened when we talked about the young people of Parkland, and Gloria shared her unwavering belief that those young people would use their privilege to shine a light on their peers who’ve been organizing for the Black Lives Matter Movement, for gun safety in their communities of color, disproportionately and daily impacted by gun violence.

The moment brought me to tears, because I really believed her…and sure enough in the days since that interview, those young people have been joining with students of color in Chicago and other urban areas, making their advocacy platform intersectional and building bridges where adults have failed to do so.

In a recent article, Cameron Kasky, one of the Parkland student leaders said “We have to represent those who unfortunately were ignored.This is not just about us. … When we’re together marching, this is not going to be different races, different generations ― this is going to be a unified people standing together against those who are trying to ignore us.”

I’ll be standing for all of that on Saturday at the March for our Lives and as I move through the advocacy challenges thoughtfully shared by Gloria and MomsRising in the days afterward. I hope you’ll join me.

This episode dedicated by:

Sage B. Hobbs, Author of Naked Communication and Host of the Naked Conversations Podcast. You can find out more about her work at:
www.sagebhobbs.com
Naked Conversations Podcast 
Facebook 
Instagram

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • The importance of modeling activism for our children 
  • How the MomsRising members frequently attend rallies, hearings and meetings with law-makers and bring their children along
  • An honest exploration of whether living an E.P.I.C. is culturally relevant for families working to meet their basic needs
  • The power of using social media platforms as a tool for exploring issues with people of differing political opinions. 
  • Our responsibility to step into activism to support communities under siege under this administration 
  • Audrey Lorde’s famous quote that “there is no such thing as a single issue struggle” and how MomsRising pursues an intersectional multi-issue advocacy agenda
  • How the Parkland students, so “clear-eyed” as Gloria says, are galvanizing support for gun safety and using their privilege to shine a lot on the impact of gun violence in communities of color 
  • The policy prescription for gun violence prevention in an intersectional way
  • Gloria’s E.P.I.C. snapshot moment where MomsRising galvanized mothers, through a storybook campaign, to successfully fight against an Open Carry Law in Florida that would have allowed people to carry guns at Disney World. 
  • Gloria’s challenge to our community to help MomsRising fight gun violence on three fronts
  • This is the first of a series of episodes I’m recording for the second season of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative. If you’re a podcaster and would like to join the Initiative and contribute an episode on the subject of Gun Safety, please visit www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com to join. 

This Week’s Challenge:

Become a MomsRising member and fight with them on three fronts:

  1. Get FedEx to cut ties with the NRA – sign the petition here
  2. Ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines – sign the petition here
  3. Urge lawmakers to pledge to not take money from the NRA and reject their influence. You can also reach out to friends in other areas to ask them to ask out to their lawmakers

And participate in upcoming student-led events:

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Announcements:

Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot

I’m excited to announce that the first founding Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle has been filled. If you’re interested in a future circle, and want to receive notice when the applications open again, please add your name to this wait list. julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest E.P.I.C. Life Check-In

Would love to have you in our weekly E.P.I.C. Life Check-In on Tuesday, from 12N-1PM pm via Video on Zoom

We’ll create connections within the Mother’s Quest community, reflect on how we feel along the E.P.I.C. Guideposts this week, and set an intention for the week.

Time for personal introspection, group accountability and community-building all packed into one hour. Are you In? Join the Mother’s Quest Community to RSVP and find the zoom link to join. www.mothersquest.com/community

Click HERE to join!

Help us Grow the Mother’s Quest Community

If you’re finding value from the Mother’s Quest Podcast and would like to get more involved, please join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, help us find more like-minded mothers on a quest by spreading the word and sharing your favorite episodes, and make a donation or apply to dedicate an episode. You can also share your story on the Mother’s Quest Blog.

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:

  • Sage B. Hobbs
  • Samantha Nolan-Smith
  • Jody Smith
  • Emily Cretella of MotherHustle
  • Collette Flanagan, founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality
  • Titilayo Tinubu Ali of Own Your Expertise
  • Carly Magnus Hurt
  • Lizzy Russinko of This (Un)Scripted Life
  • Suzanne Brown, author of Mompowerment
  • Mara Berns Langer
  • Mallory Schlabach of Marketing Magic for Entrepreneurs
  • Katharine Earhart of Alesco Advisors
  • Jessica Kupferman of She Podcasts
  • Resistance Artist Jen Jenkins Dohner
  • Genese Harris
  • Tonya Rineer, founder of The Profit Party
  • Liane Louie-Badua
  • Cristin Downs of the Notable Woman Podcast
  • Erin Kendall of Fit Mom Go
  • Niko Osoteo of Bear Beat Productions
  • Erik Newton of The Together Show
  • Claire Fry
  • Divya Silbermann
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • Jenise and Marianne of 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/

EP33: Beyond the Trauma: Legacy, Compassion and Change with Mothers Against Police Brutality Co-Founder Sara Mokuria

EP33: Beyond the Trauma: Legacy, Compassion and Change with Mothers Against Police Brutality Co-Founder Sara Mokuria

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:

Giving Tuesday
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 Page to contribute to the Giving Tuesday Campaign, where there is a possibility of matching funds from the Gates Foundation.

Women Podcasters in Solidarity

I’m honored to have shared three episodes in this series of conversations for the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative. I created the Initiative to build awareness and raise dollars for Anti-Racism and the Movement for Black Lives.

Coming soon: visit www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com for the complete list of episodes created by other podcasters who pledged to the initiative.

Help Us Celebrate Mother’s Quest’s First Birthday

A year ago on December 1st, I launched the Mother’s Quest Podcast as a birthday present to myself. It’s hard to believe that another personal birthday and the first birthday of the podcast is almost here.

I’d love to celebrate by highlighting your stories and how the podcast or Mother’s Quest Community has helped you to live your E.P.I.C. life. Go to mothersquest.com and use the speakpipe tool to leave me a 1-2 minute message for a chance to be featured in this season’s finale.

Everyone who submits will also be entered into a drawing for a free signature coaching session from me and some other prizes from other amazing moms in the Mother’s Quest Community. Can’t wait to hear your stories and celebrate with you.

Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot

You’re a mindful mother. And being present for your children in these years when you’re raising them is your highest priority. You’re also committed to making a positive impact in the world, something that feels even more important with all the challenges we currently face.

If the description above sounds like you, the Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot, may be right for you.

This signature offering provides inspiration, coaching and community to spark your E.P.I.C. life with intimate virtual reflective sessions over 3-4 months.

Click http://mothersquest.com/virtualcircle/ to learn and apply. The group will start as soon as I have a committed number of participants so don’t delay if you’re interested. Questions? Email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Visit the Website

If you haven’t yet visited the website, head over to www.mothersquest.comto explore some of the ways you can get more connected. At the site, you can sign up for our email list (to get show notes delivered to your inbox and our new “Mothers on a Quest” features), click the link to join the Facebook group and press record to leave a voice message for me. You can also download the FREE Live Your E.P.I.C. Life Planning and Reflection Sheets.

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:

  • Collette Flanagan, founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality
  • Titilayo Tinubu Ali of Own Your Expertise
  • Carly Magnus Hurt
  • Lizzy Russinko of This (Un)Scripted Life
  • Suzanne Brown, author of Mompowerment
  • Mara Berns Langer
  • Mallory Schlabach of Marketing Magic for Entrepreneurs
  • Katharine Earhart of Alesco Advisors
  • Jessica Kupferman of She Podcasts
  • Resistance Artist Jen Jenkins Dohner
  • Genese Harris
  • Tonya Rineer, founder of The Profit Party
  • Liane Louie-Badua
  • Cristin Downs of the Notable Woman Podcast
  • Erin Kendall of Fit Mom Go
  • Niko Osoteo of Bear Beat Productions
  • Erik Newton of The Together Show
  • Claire Fry
  • Divya Silbermann
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • Jenise and Marianne of the Sustainable Living Podcast