Getting to know … Amie Nelson
Acting up can be a good thing, according to Amie Nelson.
The Edwards mother, editor and photographer is on a global trek that spans five continents to highlight how mothers are making a difference across communities. The women she meets will be chronicled in her book, “Inspiring Mothers: Wisdom and Activism From Mothers Around the World.”
Nelson’s group, Celebrating Mothers, partnered with the Boulder-based Mothers Acting Up to find mothers who take steps ” large and small ” to address problems from child trafficking and access to water and medicine in developing nations to fighting for equal pay and adequate health care in more developed nations.
Nelson said most women are concerned about these kinds of social issues, but unaware of how they can help. Her hope is to show that being a mother may be demanding, but any mother can take a number of small and easy steps to improve her corner of the community.
The way I found these women is I put out a call for nominations worldwide to women and children’s nongovernmental organizations, and I had people send me nominees. So in advance of going out to travel, I actually have their whole story, what they’ve done, where they’re from because I’m trying to get a good representation of women from all over who are working on different issues.
That said, I’m sure in traveling you always meet women and people along the way. In fact, that was how I got inspired to write this book. I had done a lot of traveling, and when I’ve gone to different places, I’ve always been so intrigued by mothers in other cultures, and with women ” how different their lives are, yet how similar. I mean, they’re obviously in such a different environment than I’m living in, but they have the same basic desires for their children, so that’s where you realize that we’re all alike, we’re all one, because you realize that the color of your skin and the socioeconomics don’t change who you are at your core. That’s why I see that mothers reaching out to mothers is really what’s in everybody’s heart already because when you have children you start to care more about other people’s children. You realize you want to take care of your kids, but you also want other kids to be happy and you want a community that’s healthy.
That’s why I think that things need to be initiated by women. I don’t think that it works well when you go in and try to lobby a legislator to make change. It has to be the people in the community and the citizens are asking for it because they’re affected by these policies.
One of the things that’s really nice about the organization Mothers Acting Up is they stage events that are all about taking your children to your legislator’s office and talking to officials about the policy issues that matter and are affecting your kids. And bringing your kids ” it gives them a first-hand view of who these policies are affecting. And the kids learn a lot too, because they’re blank pages at that point. They can learn about the whole process of policy and laws by being included in that. And they’ll do it in a mom sort of way, they’ll bring the legislators cookies and everything, instead of a lobbyist way. The whole idea is you don’t have to be confrontational ” you can bring them cookies, say what’s important to you and talk about it on a human level instead of just a policy level.
For more information and audio interviews with some of the mothers profiled in Nelson’s book, “Inspiring Mothers: Wisdom and Activism From Mothers Around the World,” or to get involved, visit http://www.CelebratingMothers.org. VT
>> Want to see someone profiled in our Getting to Know feature? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (970) 748-0049.
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