There’s Sierra Club, 350.org, Mom’s Clean Air Force, Earth Justice and many other worthy organizations fighting to slow climate change. They all seek to decrease our dependence on carbon fuels whose burning releases powerful greenhouse gases. So why join Mothers Out Front as a member and volunteer?
I pondered this question the other day and came up with some answers for myself.
If I were looking at Mothers Out Front from the outside, this is what I would see...
- Mothers, grandmothers, and other nurturers with a laser focus on getting real things done on the ground in communities and states to slow climate change.
- A highly visible, high-impact presence at key legislative events, community meetings, industry events, and climate demonstrations.
- A record of successes exerting irresistible pressure on leaders and entities that stand in the way of efforts and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- A strong sense of the rightness of the cause and a willingness to work hard for it without resorting to hostile, belittling treatment of adversaries.
- A powerful and compelling brand: “Here comes Mothers Out Front in their black t-shirts, so pay attention and do something!”
- An aura of hope, power, and confidence that mothers will not be denied in their work to protect the health of children and communities by slowing climate change.
If I look at Mothers Out Front from the inside,as a volunteer member, I see this:
- A uniquely women-led and women-driven activist organization that elevates relationships, interpersonal warmth, and storytelling as essential ingredients in bonding, communicating our message, building membership, and driving our campaigns.
- An exceptionally high level of professionalism, a broad range of professional capabilities, and diverse domains of expertise among staff and member leaders.
- An emphasis on collaborative, team-based idea generation, creative problem solving, innovative thinking, and leadership development.
- A commitment to seeking and celebrating inclusiveness across all parameters: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identification, religion, socio-economic strata, political affiliation, etc.
- A focus on shared leadership, including nurturing new member leaders, using collaborative decision-making processes, and encouraging the sharing of key activities to spread mastery among members.
- A practice of actively forging bonds with partners and allies across the climate change activist community and adjacent movements such as the environmental justice movement.
- A grassroots, decentralized movement building model rather than an authoritarian one where the “rock star leader” the “competition for power” paradigms often prevail.
Even though other organizations share in some of the attributes and values above, the sum total of all of them is unique to Mothers Out Front, in my opinion. So join us! We welcome you and will be stronger if you stand with us!
- Jean Cummings, Mother Out Front in Concord, MA.