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

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