We Need To Talk About Mother’s Day – The reFRESH

May 10, 2019

Art from A Compendium of Resistance: Comics for Choice Fights for Reproductive Justice via Women Write About Comics

Written by Jackson Bird

This week we’re shining a light on vital issues affecting mothers and remembering that motherhood is never an uncomplicated subject.

What we’re checking out…

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to honor the moms and maternal figures in our lives, who perform so much thankless work––but it’s also important to remember that Mother’s Day can be a very trying day for many people.

The series Letters to a Grieving Mom offers a letter to be read the first Mother’s Day after experiencing a miscarriage.

We also like these seven tips for speaking to a grieving mother.

For people whose mothers have passed away, Megan Neuringer penned a humorous, yet poignant piece on being a parentless adult and Elizabeth Entenman explores the aggravation of online ad targeting after a parent’s death.

We also want to recognize all of the non-custodial moms out there as well as the stepmoms, like Sen. Kamala Harris who wrote an excellent piece in Elle about being “Momala” to her stepchildren.

GLAAD has a fantastic resource for creating more inclusive conversations or publications about Mother’s Day, ones that don’t erase LGBTQ+ families, and Lindsay King-Miller wrote last year about being one of the many families with a genderqueer parent.

via National Bail Out

This week marked one year since the Trump administration implemented their family separation policy. Learn more about how you can support detained families and check out this new documentary, Las Madres de Berks, from visual artist Michelle Angela Ortiz about four mothers who were detained in Berks County after seeking asylum.

You can also donate to National Bail Out‘s annual #FreeBlackMama’s campaign to help black mothers and end pre-trial detention.

We can’t talk about motherhood this week without discussing the horrifying new bill in Georgia that will criminalize abortion after six weeks (before most people know they’re pregnant). There is far too much to say on this topic so we’ll leave you with Jessica Valenti’s piece about anti-abortion extremism going mainstream and encourage you to explore all of the additional articles she links to.

via @carlissc

Maternal mortality is frighteningly on the rise in the U.S., especially among black mothers. MTV just launched a new initiative called Save Our Moms. Watch the video narrated by Lena Waithe to learn more and take action.

To round out our Mother’s Day theme, our reFRESHing Talk of the Week is Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa’s TED Talk, in which she performs her poem “The Joys of Motherhood” and discusses reproductive justice as well as the experience of Black mothers in America.

The latest from our speakers…

Miriam Zoila Pérez wrote for The Guardian about the systemic reasons why black women face more risks in pregnancy than white women in America.

Ai-jen Poo, alongside Alicia Garza and Cecile Richards, launched Supermajority, a new organization training and mobilizing women towards actionable change on gender equity.

Jamil Smith’s interview with Rep. John Lewis is in the latest print edition of Rolling Stone (and you can read it here too).

Simran Jeet Singh interviewed Asma Uddin about her new book and the dangerous threats of redefining Islam’s status as a religion.

Jackson Bird’s debut book, Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place, was just announced. It comes out September 24th and is available for pre-order.

In Ayana Elizabeth Johnson’s latest piece for Scientific American, she addressed how to build community around solutions for climate change.

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