On a Quest for Peace and Reconciliation Parents Circle Interview With Layla Alsheikh and Robi Damelin

On a Quest for Peace and Reconciliation Parents Circle Interview With Layla Alsheikh and Robi Damelin


I’m honored to share this special episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast. Thank you for showing up to this important conversation about two mothers and their quest for peace and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel. Thank you for choosing to press play. 

If ever there was a year demanding us to “show up” this has been one. From COVID to floods and fires and refugee crises…our consciousness has had a lot to hold. It can be all too easy to shut down. To throw up our hands. And to say “what can I do?”

That question “what can I do?” is one I asked myself during the crisis that unfolded in Palestine and Israel In May of 2021. For days, watching the horrifying headlines, I felt powerless. Then several truths came to me and an intention to find a path to action which I shared in a FB post, like sending a wish to the universe.

The very next day, the “guides” I was looking for appeared.  In a conversation with my mother, I learned about the Parents Circle, an incredible organization of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost children or family members in the conflict, and instead of turning to revenge, come together to work toward peace and reconciliation.

Soon after, I found myself recording a conversation with Layla Alsheikh, a Palestinian mother originally born in Jordan, who lost her son Qussay at the age of 6 months old. And Robi Damelin,  an Israeli mother, originally from South Africa, who lost her adult son David while he was serving in the army.

Although today’s topic is especially heavy – one of loss and tremendous grief, Layla and Robi share their narratives with us for a specific purpose – to help us understand their experience and to support their efforts in bringing Palestinian and Israeli mothers in particular together to work toward change.

Inspired by all they shared with me, the week after we recorded, I began to raise money toward a fund to help them bring together bereaved Palestinian and Israeli mothers of the Parents Circle.

Along the way, I’ve been moved by so many mothers who have already contributed. Mothers like Jena Schwartz, who dedicates this episode with a beautiful poem she shares at the end of this conversation. Jena was the first to donate and her powerful words are an invitation to you to say “yes” to this cause. 

To date we have raised $5,000, half of the $10,000 goal I set. And we have more to go. Though the height of the crisis in May has receded from the headlines, violence continues in many forms, and the path for peace and reconciliation is needed more than ever. 

I ask you to listen with an open heart, to follow the links in the show notes to learn more, to contribute in any amount meaningful to you, and to amplify the voices of Layla, Robi and others like them, mothers closest to this conflict. They are a key to any path forward.

 

In this episode we explore:

  • The experiences of two mothers Robi and Layla – one Israeli and one Palestianian –  who lost children in the conflict and turned their grief into a quest for peace and reconciliation.
  • The tremendous power of listening to bereaved mothers’ stories. 
  • How Robi and Layla each got involved with The Parent’s Circle, an organization of Palestinian and Israelis that brings bereaved parents and family members together in solidarity. 
  • How you can help support the Parent Circle and promote peace and reconciliation among Israeli and Palestinian families.
  • The importance of not importing the conflict into our own countriesWhy we shouldn’t position ourselves as Pro-Palestinian or Pro-Israeli but Pro- Peace.
  • How Robi and Layla sustain themselves and find continued hope, even in their loss. 
  • Opportunities to get involved and how we can specifically support the mothers of the Parents Circle to come together. 
  • Poet Jena Schwartz’ powerful poem “The Undefended Heart” and an invitation to contribute. 

This episode’s challenge: 

Both Layla and Robi challenge us to join them in fighting for peace instead of violence in the following ways: 

  1. Contribute to the fund to help them bring together Palestinian and Israeli mothers
  2. Invite representatives of the Parents Circles to your groups, synagogues, churches, mosques and organizations to share their stories. 
  3. Follow the work of the Parents Circle and participate in their educational and awareness-building opportunities

About Layla:

Layla Alsheikh was born and raised in Jordan. She had a peaceful and normal upbringing and graduated with a degree in accounting and business management. She eventually met her husband in Jordan 1999 and moved to Bethlehem, where her husband lived for the wedding. However, a few years later tragedy struck her life.  

In 2002, her 6 months old son, Qussay, became ill and Israeli soldiers prevented Layla from taking him to the hospital for more than five hours. Qussay soon died from the lack of timely treatment.

Layla joined the Parents Circle in 2016. Following her son’s death, she never thought of revenge, but rather has devoted her time and energy to ensuring a better, more peaceful future for her children.

About Robi:

Robi Damelin was originally from South Africa and came to Israel in 1967. She originally came to Israel as a volunteer after the “Six Day War”. Her real plan was to live in the states but after spending time in Israel she developed a love-hate relationship with the place. She eventually got married and had two kids here.

Unfortunately, Robi’s son, David, was killed by a Palestinian sniper in 2002 while guarding a checkpoint near a settlement during his army reserve service. She speaks to Israelis, Palestinians, and audiences all over the world to demand that reconciliation be a part of any peace agreement. Robi was named a 2015 Woman of Impact by Women in the World.

Follow Robi: 

About the Parents Circle
The Parents Circle – Families Forum is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization made up of more than 600 bereaved families. Their common bond is that they have lost a close family member to the conflict. But instead of choosing revenge, they have chosen a path of reconciliation.

American Friends of the Parents Circle – Families Forum shares the human side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the American public in order to foster a peace and reconciliation process.

The Parents Circle Policies:

  • We work towards an end to violence and towards achieving an accepted political agreement.
  • The members of the Parents Circle oppose the Occupation and believe that it is possible to end the conflict.  They wish  to influence the public and in turn, decision makers, to choose reconciliation and the path of peace over violence and war.  
  • Our goal is to create a framework of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians to support any political peace agreement.  
  • To prevent further bereavement and to avoid the use of bereavement for further violence and retribution. 

Connect with the Parents Circle 

This Episode is Dedicated by: Jena Schwartz 

Jena Schwartz is a writing coach, poet, and activist in Western Massachusetts whose work is deeply rooted in Jewish values. As a mother herself, “The Undefended Heart” emerged as a prayer of sorts out of her own yearning for peace in the face of so much injustice and suffering in Israel/Palestine.

Jena brings her unique brand of fierce encouragement to helping writers of all kinds get words on the page and out into the world. Learn more about her work and feel free to reach out to her at www.jenaschwartz.com.

Connect with Jena:

 

Additional Reading/Listening:

 

Special thanks to Shehla Faizi, Kris Zarnoch, Jen Fornal, and Bear Beat Productions for their help and care in editing this episode

Original FB Post That Set the Intention For This Episode:

“Swirling in a sea of uncertainty

My voice, tenuously found over the last few years, silent again

I don’t know enough, I tell myself

But deep down, feel this to be untrue

In the quiet of my late-night scrolling, searching for answers I never find, instead I reveal some truths within.

We are all deeply connected

The harm to one mother and her child is harm to every mother and every child, regardless of our differences

A history of oppression and casting out can never justify more of the same

Extremism in any form becomes a cancer

Silence and doing nothing is a choice. A choice I cannot make.

So I will remember I am not alone

There are guides all around me

And ways to make an impact that will reveal themselves

If I just take the first step.”

Julie Neale
May 17, 2021 

Right Livelihood, Magic, and Meaning with Lindsay Pera of the Modern Mystics Institute

Right Livelihood, Magic, and Meaning with Lindsay Pera of the Modern Mystics Institute

I’m honored to share this special episode with a woman who has been an incredible source of wisdom, support, and guidance in my life, a mentor and teacher who has helped me claim the “mystic” in me, Lindsay Pera.

Lindsay and I connected in a magical way at a group dinner in San Francisco about four years ago. Though she was seated at the other end of a long table, she came up to me before the evening ended to say “I have this feeling I’m supposed to talk with you!” We had a delightful conversation and parted ways. But several months later, when my youngest son Jacob received a Lyme disease diagnosis, I searched in one of my Facebook groups for someone who had experience with the disease, and Lindsay’s name popped up again and again.

I reached out to her for guidance and after an almost two-hour phone conversation, I learned about how she discovered she had chronic Lyme disease and had passed it along in utero to two of her children. I hung up with tremendous admiration for her motherhood journey, a plan of action to navigate Jacob’s care, and also knowing that Lindsay would become a trusted resource in my life.

Blending strategy honed from her career as an analyst at Accenture with her intuition as the founder of a new paradigm business called the Modern Mystics Institute, Lindsay is a source of inspiration and guidance for so many others like me. We all benefit from transformational courses she has created like the Journey to Right Livelihood which you’ll hear more about, her books the Mystics Path and the Mystics Almanac, the Mystics Oracle Deck she created with her partner Sarah Love and her membership community, the Mystics Society. 

The idea that we can care for ourselves and the children in our lives, even through significant health and developmental challenges, and do work we love, blending all the parts of who we are, stepping into our leadership and legacy, and finding magic and gratitude along the way, is something Lindsay demonstrates herself. And she illuminates it all for us in this conversation.

From her decision to move her family to a multigenerational homestead and creating the Modern Mystics Institute, to how she’s navigated having chronic Lyme and now long-haul COVID, this discussion is a beautiful weaving of all the ways Lindsay slows down in her life to manifest and notice what she’s grateful for, even when things are difficult. Her gratitude practice, which she started in a “spark moment” when she found beauty in the sunset during one of her darkest days, begins its 11th year of 365 days just as this episode is being shared.

I was so grateful for this time with Lindsay. I hope you’ll find time to slow down and listen to this beautiful conversation, so you can find strands of what Lindsay shares that are meant for you, and that help you weave some new magic and meaning in your E.P.I.C. life.


Connect with Lindsay

 

Lindsay’s Bio

Lindsay’s corporate career encompasses management consulting, financial services, and technology. She began her career as an analyst in Accenture’s technology strategy practice and then transitioned to a $2 billion insurance company to help drive pivotal IT transformation.  In 2004 she left Silicon Valley and moved with her family to a beautiful multi-generational homestead on the Central Coast of California. 

Lindsay wants to live in a world where appreciation flows freely, kids play outdoors and lemons are in season year round. As a Mystic mama, tech entrepreneur and intuitive strategist she’s a sought after contributor and motivator on all topics health, wealth and transformation.

When she is not extolling the virtues of “Sacred Commerce” or “Resonance” based business, you can find her knocking almonds and generally getting her gratitude on.

Lindsay’s new paradigm business community, The Mystic’s Society, is a safe haven for entrepreneurs weaving magic into their *work* in the world. It is her passion to direct resources into the hands of entrepreneurs, creatives, and world changers.

Find out more about Lindsay’s private consulting at Lindsaypera.com or join in the magic at MysticSociety.com.

 

This episode is dedicated by: Selina Davis

Selina Davis is the founder of Trillium Consultancy and Spectrum Mother, both of which are emerging communities dedicated to connecting caregivers virtually in respite and retreat offerings, as well as training and supporting parents to become advocates. 

Selina is a cis-gendered woman, a woman of color, mother, social justice advocate, and former social services clerical administrator. She parents a teenage son with profound neurodiversity and who also has an additional diagnosis of intellectual and developmental delay, as well as mental health challenges. Selina has also earned certifications and education-based degrees specific to advocacy.  

 Selina is truly passionate about children, women, and caregivers and believes it’s time to start supporting one another by hosting virtual and in-person retreats. She continues sharing her message through her podcasts, “The Parental Advocate Strategist” and “Strong as a Mother”. She is also running a series called 52 Weeks, 52 Caregivers which aims on showcasing the stories of a caregiver each week. 

You can connect with Selina on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to join her community on Patreon and to sign up for her upcoming virtual retreat by clicking this link, as well as her SPECial EDition Training and Strategies Hub!

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • The sacred trinity of mothers who raised Lindsay: her biological mother, her stepmother, and the woman who cared for her daily while her mother worked as a trailblazing leader at Hewlett Packard
  • The internal voice that said “this is killing you” every time Lindsay walked out the door to her fast-paced management consulting firm 
  • The chronic Lyme diagnosis that Lindsay discovered after her third child was born with serious neurological issues.
  • A moment of total defeat that transformed into a moment of gratitude and a daily gratitude practice that Lindsay has maintained for over a decade.
  • Lindsay’s family’s journey of healing from COVID and what was different for her this time on the “spiral” or “nautilus” of coping with chronic illness.
  • Lindsay’s perspective about how to apply ancient learning traditions for modern times without appropriating, capitalizing, and extracting.
  • The annual program Journey to Right Livelihood, rooted in the Buddhist tradition, that helps us identify our soul purpose and path, sacred commerce, and our leadership and legacy.
  • As we grapple with current crises, like climate change, Lindsay’s belief that we all came in for these times.
  • The importance of tending to our “taproot” placing ourselves at the “center of our rings” and her “YOU” acronym for building connections.

 

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

  • The Mystics Path
  • Journey to Right Livelihood a powerful program that includes live masterclasses, an instructional portal with videos and resources and a private FB community during the 8-week course. This is my affiliate link and if you participate in the program, you will also get a special Mother’s Quest bonus. 

 

This Episode’s Challenge:

Next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or despondent about what you are facing in our world, slow down to allow yourself to see, feel and experience what you’re grateful for and take the next aligned step from that place.

 

The Mother’s Quest Marketplace

I’m excited to share about a new resource on the website, where I’ve curated a collection of my favorite courses, products, books, and more, all created by Mother’s Quest members or podcast guests. From Lindsay Pera’s Journey to Right Livelihood, which you’ll hear more about in this episode, to my own recently published book the “Mother’s Quest Inspiration Guide,” I hope you’ll find something on the Marketplace page that will light the way on your epic life journey. Visit www.mothersquest.com/marketplace to take a peek!


Journey to Right Livelihood (JTRL)

Led by Lindsay Pera…JTRL is a powerful program that includes live masterclasses, an instructional portal with videos and resources and a private FB community during the 8-week course. As a Mother’s Quest affiliate partner, I’ll be offering a special bonus if you participate in the program. And I’ll be there right alongside you, learning and stepping more fully into my Right Livelihood. Join us if this calls to you!

More about Journey to Right Livelihood

Right Livelihood IS for you

Do you ever tell yourself that you simply can’t make money doing what you love?

Do you sometimes feel as though you can have financial success OR you can be happy, but you can’t have both?

Do you believe that you must sacrifice one for the other because they are mutually exclusive?

We see it all around us, don’t we?

  • People staying in careers they hate
  • Stuck in chronic patterns of lack and scarcity
  • Overworking and overwhelmed as they watch their health and happiness deteriorate
  • An overarching outlook in our Western Culture toward the “bottom line” at the expense of people, our planet, relationships and our values

It’s time to shift these myths

It is your time to claim…

Purpose, Path, and… Right Livelihood

Calling together a circle of women (and men)

  • On the next step of their life evolution (expansion) journey
  • Who feel, deeply, that there is more for them in this life
  • Who are looking to create a stronger alignment between their work and their inner calling
  • Willing to make meaningful changes with meaningful actions
  • Seeking a community full of support and powerful guidance

 

Sign up through the Mother’s Quest Affiliate link here.

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. life, Engaging 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/

 

Open Our Own Doors: My Book Creation Journey

Open Our Own Doors: My Book Creation Journey

I’m honored to share this special episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast, an interview of  me, led by Mother’s Quest member Sneha Jhanb for her YouTube Channel Shift2Prosperity. In our conversation, Sneha helped me reflect on my Mother’s Quest journey, how that led me to writing my first book and lessons learned along the way.

“The Mother’s Quest Inspiration Guide Vol 1. Engage” officially launched on Sunday, with a book-signing at my favorite local book store Reach and Teach and a reception at our home afterward. The experience itself was what I call an “epic snapshot moment.” 

My son Ryan introduced me with humor and heart, my husband Chris took video (and remembered to bring pens for signing!) Jacob sat next to me and tapped my shoulder throughout the reading to tell me things! And I got to look out at a lovely gathering of friends and Mother’s Quest members who asked thoughtful questions that helped me make meaning of my experience.

Special thanks to my friend  Remee who helped me with the book throughout the process and came to take photos.

An especially sweet element was the chance to showcase the books of other Mother’s Quest members who created Tiny Books and to share the event with two of those authors, Jenjii Hysten, Heather Anderson. Lena Velasquez, Leslie Tagorda and Cameron Miranda were there in spirit.

I’m so grateful to Alexandra Franzen and  Lindsey Smith of the Tiny Book Course for guiding me to becoming an author with ease and joy. I’m grateful for every podcast guest, guide, and community member who has enriched my life on this E.P.I.C. journey the last five years and whose wisdom is infused in the pages. And I’m grateful to my family for inspiring me every day to become the fullest version of myself.

Hope this moment of gratitude, and the interview that follows, might be a nudge for you to say “yes” to a dream of your own or invest in yourself in some new way.

If a dream inside you is to become an author…The Tiny Book Course begins again in September and registration closes this Friday, August 20th. I’ll be working on Vol. 2 (and maybe a children’s book with my kids!) and would love to create and celebrate alongside you. Feel free to reach out for more information or visit this link. There are also packages available that provide more one-on-one support for your book creation. 

I am filled with gratitude. Especially as so much in our world is challenging, it’s powerful to celebrate the goodness in front of us and the responsibility and possibility to make an impact. I hope this tiny book has big ripples.

 

About Sneha Jhanb

Sneha Jhanb is an Engineer turned Spirit Junkie.

She is passionate about making small changes to see bigger impacts in her life as well as every life that she touches. She likes to empower her tribe with her experiences, knowledge, and tools in mindfulness, financial services, energy healing and stress management to help them find stress-free prosperity. She regularly posts self-help videos, meditations, tarot and oracle readings, and more. With her, you will find hereall things practical and all things spiritual, all created to help you lead a conscious and prosperous life.

Get a FREE chapter of her book “Stress-Free Prosperity: A Mindful path To Joy, Abundance and Wealth” here: https://shift2prosperity.com

 

Follow Sneha Jhanb 

 

Tiny Book Course

  • Tiny Book Course – Begins 9/1
  • 2021 Enrollment Closes August 20th!

 

Have you dreamed about writing a book? But you don’t want a “DIY” experience. You want to hire the best in the business, work with seasoned pros, and receive the highest level of support. This is for you. Learn more here.

 

Book Production Services

If more support is what you are looking for, you may want to explore their Book Production Package which includes copyediting and proofreading on your book manuscript, interior layout, and cover design to create a stunning book that you’ll be proud to share—and sell!

Learn more here

 

Honoring Black Mothers: A Special Mother’s Day Episode with Anna Malaika Tubbs, Author of The Three Mothers

Honoring Black Mothers: A Special Mother’s Day Episode with Anna Malaika Tubbs, Author of The Three Mothers

Welcome to Season Six of the Mother’s Quest Podcast and this special Mother’s Day episode, which shines a light on the untold stories and far-reaching impact of mothers and in particular Black mothers. For this episode, I had the honor of talking with Anna Malaika Tubbs, the brilliant biographer of the groundbreaking book The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation.

In addition to being a mother to a 1 year old boy and pregnant with another child, Anna is an author, advocate, educator, scholar and Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Growing up abroad and influenced by her exposure to all kinds of cultures and beliefs, and by her own mother’s work advocating internationally for women’s and children’s rights, Anna uses an intersectional lens to advocate for women of color and to educate others.

During her time as an undergraduate student at Stanford University, Anna took from what she’d seen in her parents’ work and began honing her own identity as an activist. As the First Partner of Stockton, CA, she co-authored the first-ever “Report on the Status of Women in Stockton” to guide future policy decisions with the experiences of diverse women in mind. She’s published articles featured in the Huffington Post, For Harriet, Darling Magazine and Blavity, on issues ranging from mass incarceration to the forced sterilization of Black women, as well as the importance of feminism, intersectionality, and inclusivity. Throughout all her work and writing, she draws on her personal experience and extensive research to examine and make relevant gender and race issues in the US, especially the pervasive erasure of Black women.

In this incredible debut book, The Three Mothers, Anna celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America’s most pivotal civil rights heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Alberta King, Louise Little and Berdis Baldwin were all born at the beginning of the 20th century, all were forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women, all forged their own unique paths, using their beliefs and talents to shape not only their children but those around them, and all three had to bury their children, two of them after losing their sons to gun violence.

In these mothers and their stories, amidst the pain and grief, there also existed vibrancy, love and conviction. One of my biggest takeaways from my conversation with Anna is the importance of acknowledging the continued injustices that Black women endure today and that although Black women continue to experience tremendous grief, they also experience joy and they are not “a conquered victim,” but are living through life as whole human beings.

My Mother’s Day wish is that you will find time and space to slow down and truly listen to Anna’s insights about the mothers whose stories she so beautifully tells, that you will get and read her book The Three Mothers, and that you’ll join me in saying “yes” to Anna’s challenge. She asks that all of us advance our understanding of different forms of motherhood. Picking up books she says, especially those that focus on Black mothers and Black motherhood, can bring healing for everybody.

 

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: 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  “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 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:
Facebook 
Twitter 
Instagram
Trayvon Martin Foundation

 

Give a Mother’s Day Gift: Help mothers heal from the loss of a loved one by supporting and donating to the Circle of Mothers, Sybrina’s weekend retreat for mothers who have lost a child to gun violence. You can support the cause here.

Special thanks to Jill Daniel of Happy Women Dinners for introducing us to Anna and her work! 

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Anna’s commitment to fighting the erasure of Black women’s stories.
  • What inspired Anna to focus her first book on the mothers of sons of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • How painful moments like George Floyd’s murder, and joyful moments like Stacy Abram’s organizing in Georgia, had Anna editing and adding more relevance right up until the book was published.
  • Anna’s decision to focus on MLK Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin as the three famous sons, and their mothers, Alberta King, Louise Little, and Berdis Baldwin whose stories she would tell.
  • The lessons revealed in Anna’s book that all mothers can learn from across the E.P.I.C. guideposts.
  • The importance of making visible the lives of Black women as whole human beings, experiencing grief but also joy, and with far-reaching impact. 
  • Anna’s challenge for all mothers listening to expand our awareness through reading and her hope that this book will be seen as a celebration of Black womanhood.

 

This Episode’s Challenge:

Anna invites us to think about what we can all read to advance our understanding of different forms of motherhood. Picking up books that focus on Black mothers and Black motherhood can bring healing for everybody. The more we are informed, the more conscious we become. 

Anna’s next recommendation after finishing her book: The Power of Purpose by Alicia Garza which begins with a powerful description of the impact of Alicia’s mother on her. 

 

Learn More More About Anna:

Anna Malaika Tubbs is an Author, advocate, educator, and a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Anna grew up abroad in Dubai, Mexico, Sweden, Estonia, and Azerbaijan. Influenced by her exposure to all kinds of cultures and beliefs, Anna is inspired to bring people together through the celebration of difference. Motivated by her mother’s work advocating for women’s and children’s rights around the world, Anna uses an intersectional lens to advocate for women of color and educate others.

During her time as an undergraduate student at Stanford University, Anna took from what she’d seen in her parents’ work and began honing her own identity as an activist. She served as the president of Stanford’s Black Student Union when she was only a sophomore and she was also the Executive Director of Stanford’s Alternative Spring Break. In these roles, she organized rallies and events focused on the concerns of the Black community, she fundraised money for women’s clinics in the Bay Area and grew her passion for advocacy and social justice.

As the First Partner of Stockton, CA, she co-authored the first-ever “Report on the Status of Women in Stockton” to help guide future policy decisions with the experiences of diverse women in mind.

Anna is also a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant who has worked with companies and individuals interested in progressing their DEI goals.

Anna has published articles on issues ranging from mass incarceration to the forced sterilization of Black women, as well as the importance of feminism, intersectionality, and inclusivity. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, For Harriet, Darling Magazine, and Blavity. Her first book, titled The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation, is being published by Flatiron Books in February 2021.

Grab a copy of Anna’s The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation HERE!

Follow Anna:

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

Announcements: It’s Mother’s Quest May!

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you’ll seize this holiday as an opportunity to say “yes” to yourself. We’ve declared it Mother’s Quest May in our community and have so many wonderful things to share with you as the month progresses: 

Join the free Facebook Group and sign up for email updates at www.mothersquest.com to learn all the details and come along with us during this special month.  

 

Acknowledgments:

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

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

 

Support the Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ep 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/

Ep 68: Trust-Based Parenting and Philanthropy with Pia Infante

Ep 68: Trust-Based Parenting and Philanthropy with Pia Infante


I’m so honored to bring you this reflective conversation about investing from a place of trust in our dreams of becoming mothers, in our children, and in the causes we believe in, with someone who has been a dear friend and colleague for over a decade, Pia Infante.

As Trustee and Co-Executive Director of the Whitman Institute, Pia leverages decades of multi-sector experience as an educator, facilitator, organizational development consultant and more. In her work at the Institute and as a speaker, she advocates for radically embodied leadership and trust-based philanthropy in settings that have included Harvard Kennedy School: Center for Public Leadership, Ashoka Future Forum, Net Impact, Council on Foundations, International Human Rights Funders Group, and Skoll World Forum to name a few.

Before Pia joined The Whitman Institute, she and I worked together for years as facilitators of a practice called “adult reflection” and also supported one another in our own lives as participants in a women’s reflection circle. I consider her part of my “root system” and so appreciated the opportunity to reconnect and uncover lessons about Pia’s decade-long fertility journey, her relationship with her mother and her ancestors from the Philippines, her experience navigating post-partum depression and the waters of new motherhood, and her perspective about money as energy we can get circulating by investing in organizations and movements over the long-term, from a place of deep, relational trust.

The thread of trust weaved through the entire conversation. I hope you leave this conversation as I did, renewed and inspired to trust the unfolding of your own epic life journey, of your children’s development in their own time and in their own way, and in your own power to invest in the causes that matter to you.

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:
etsuko Kubo of On The Move

This episode is dedicated to the diverse group of 30 women who are mothers, like etsuko, that work for On the Move (OTM) on behalf of themselves, their children and communities.  OTM’s initiatives offer a powerful and groundbreaking combination of strategies seeking to engage and develop new leaders, collaborate with partners in rigorous systems change, and foster communities that are inclusive and equitable.

Based in Napa, OTM was founded in 2004 with a mission to develop and sustain young people as leaders by building exceptional programs that challenge inequities in their communities. Working for over 14 years to expand throughout the Bay Area, OTM has implemented programs and initiatives that develop the next generations of community leaders who reflect the diversity of the communities in which they live and work.

In partnership with local communities, OTM has explored innovative approaches to closing the achievement gap for children of color, transforming outcomes for former foster youth, promoting health and wellness across communities, and building strong, engaged families.

For over a decade On The Move has created and implemented innovative programming that challenges communities and local leaders to push beyond mediocrity and into excellence. Supported by a track record of results-oriented programming and in partnership with the hundreds of established community partners, OTM works to unite communities and focus on the safety and inclusion of all people.

Learn more about OTM and their work here

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • Lessons learned on Pia and her wife Nzinga’s decade-long fertility journey to having their daughter Laniakea and the extra challenges a queer couple faces on that quest.
  • Being present with our intention without being attached to every facet of the outcome
  • Mindful engagement with our children and not trying to force our kids into a prescribed timeline or way of doing things
  • Whitman Institute’s decision to “spend down,” the concept of money as “energy” and why Pia wishes more of us would get money circulating
  • Thoughtful ways philanthropists and donors can shift the power dynamic with those they fund to be more equitable, building non-transactional relationships, reciprocal relationships, and investing as partners
  • Why a funder’s job is to put gas in the tank of those they fund, not to tell them to use this GPS or follow this particular map.
  • The challenges of post-partum depression and that feeling of love and terror simultaneously Pia experienced as a new mother
  • The power of building new circles of community and how connecting with other mothers struggling with the same issues helped Pia crawl onto a life raft from what felt like a swamp.
  • Investing in our children, ourselves, and in the causes we care about

Resources Connected to this Episode:

Additional Resources from Pia:

This Week’s Challenge:

In this episode, Pia challenges us to tap into the power of money as energy and to get it circulating by making a monthly long-term commitment to a cause we think will contribute to an epic life. I said yes to this by personally committing to a monthly, long-term donation to the organization featured in the episode’s dedication, On the Move, and also decided to engage my children and husband in making a long-term commitment to a cause that matters to them by year-end.

Learn More About Pia:

Pia Infante is the Co-Executive Director of The Whitman Institute, which seeks to leverage the power of trust-based philanthropy to promote more equitable practices in resourcing social good.

As Trustee and Co-Executive Director of The Whitman Institute, Pia draws on decades of multi-sector experience as an educator, facilitator, organizational development consultant, executive coach, non-profit manager, business owner, writer and speaker to advocate for trust-based practice. 

Pia also speaks and teaches on radically embodied leadership and trust-based practice in many settings including Harvard Kennedy School: Center for Public Leadership, Ashoka Future Forum, Opportunity Collaboration, Net Impact, Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, International Human Rights Funders Group, and Skoll World Forum 2017. 

She proudly serves as the Board Chair for the Center for Media Justice. She is an I.C.F. certified executive leadership coach, holds a M.A. in Education from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley.

Connect with Pia:

Announcements:

Mother’s Quest Q & A with Ashia Ray

My incredible guest, Ashia Ray, and I have set aside October 3rd from noon to 1 pm for a Mother’s Quest Q & A with Ashia. To register, join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group to find announcements. Click mothersquest.com/comunity to join.

Watch out for a Bonus Episode!

If you want to know what is on Ashia Ray’s bookshelf, join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group where we will be releasing bonus audio to the group next week!

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.

Want More Reflection in Your Life?
Book A Discovery Call

Some key themes that emerge from all my conversations, is the power of reflection and the power of being seen. These are elements that I bring, not only to every podcast interview, but to my one-one-one coaching and Mother’s Quest Circle facilitation. If you’re seeking more space for pause and reflection in your life, I encourage you to reach out to me for a discovery call to learn how we might work together.  Visit mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession to schedule a time to talk.

Click here to book a discovery call

One Minute Mom Manifesto

⚡️Have you been feeling a nudge to say “yes” to create your Mother’s Quest Manifesto? The official challenge and giveaway may be over, but the invitation and content is always there for you to create your #oneminutemommanifesto 

Here are some easy steps you can follow…

👉 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.

–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:

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/