Looking for a way to celebrate the folks who raised you–but from a slightly different perspective than you would get down at Hallmark? The good people over at Strong Families (a project of Forward Together/Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice) present Mama’s Day, a multicultural, queer-friendly celebration of the folks who do some of the most significant (and unpaid) work in our society.
“I can’t find a Mother’s Day card that looks at our identities in a way that is sentimental for me and my mom,” says Shanelle Matthews, communications coordinator at Forward Together, an Oakland-based organization that’s leading the e-Card drive through its Strong Families initiative. Matthews grew up as one of three kids in a single-parent black household, and wants to celebrate her mother’s hard work. “This campaign is personally close to be because I can finally say something to my mom on Mother’s Day that’s actually of cultural relevance and value.”
This past Sunday was mother’s day in the United States.
However, we all know all mothers are not seen as equal. In our increasingly charged political climate, a lot of mothers are being blamed for the ills of society. Immigrant mothers are scapegoated, working mothers are ignored, low-income mothers are demonized, and single mothers have been painted as the downfall of society for decades now. Much of our public policy and national debate is based on a rhetoric of shaming, instead of trying to figure out how we support families and create an environment where mothers and children can thrive.
Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice seeks to change all that. As an offshoot of their Strong Families initiative, ACRJ has started Mama’s Day:
This Mother’s Day, we will be commemorating Mama’s Day: a celebration of the mothers in our lives who are often overlooked during traditional Mother’s Day conversations. In particular, we want to give love to those mamas who are immigrants, single, young, queer or low-income. We know these mamas are often at the core of our families and communities, but are often overlooked or worse — they are scapegoated by policy-makers and right-wing conservatives. Watch the stories unfold on our blog. Download this image and others like it here.
To celebrate, we will be holding a series of actions and events including parties, marches, blogging, a congressional briefing and the release of an original Mama’s Day music video.
Mother’s Day began as a call to action by mothers to protect their families from the violence that was engulfing the country. In that tradition, members of Strong Families and our friends are celebrating the many mamas around us. But we know that celebration is not enough. We will also be working for recognition, rights and resources for the mamas and families in our lives.
Mama’s Day is important because this is reproductive justice in action – honoring different life choices and providing a world where we look to help, not shame or stigmatize. Because we all benefit from a society that invests in its citizens.
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World