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I Mourn, With Hope

Today I mourn.

Yesterday I mourned.

I mourned for the history that has brought us to these days.  I mourned for slavery, for lynching, for Rodney King to Philando Castile and everyone in between.

I mourn for the officers killed in Dallas last night.

I mourn for the African-American man who's heart beats faster today when he passes a police car in the street.

I mourn for the loved ones who send their officers to work today, unsure if tragedy and pain will meet them today.

I mourn that though we've come so far, there is a chasm threatening to grow that causes us to choose sides,  to use the words "they" & "them" instead of "us."

As my husband and I discussed Philando last night, unaware that tragedy was co-occurring in Dallas, he adamantly asked, "What is the solution?"

"I don't know, I don't know, I don't know."

Join MomsRising at the Disarm Hate Rally!!

It’s been a tragic summer of gun violence and hate. Enough! It’s time to make sure our national leaders hear our demands for change as they look forward to the November Elections.

Americans from across the country—including national leaders, parents, activists, and award-winning celebrities—will lift our voices together at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on August 13th to #DisarmHate because gun violence in all its forms, including racism and violence against the LGBTQ+ community, must end.

Your voice is needed too. Will you join us?

It’s time to stand together and say, “Enough is enough!”

Join MomsRising at the Disarm Hate Rally in Washington, D.C. on August 13th! Make sure to RSVP here.

Why I'm Rallying to #DisarmHate!

When I was asked to write a blog for MomsRising, I thought why would anyone at MomsRising want to hear what I have to say?  I am not a mom.  In fact I am a gay man with no children and………That is when I stepped back and realized I was now doing to myself what others have done to me my entire life.  I was undervaluing myself and dismissing my own thoughts and words. This type of self loathing mixed with a society filled with hate is why I feel we find ourselves in the position we are in now as a Nation.

I am organizing a rally in Washington, DC on August 13th to DISARM HATE. As a celebrity hairstylist in the film and TV industry, I would never have expected to find myself in this place but after Orlando I had no other choice.

Simply changing my Facebook profile photo was not going to make me feel whole again. This level of hate has to stop.  As a country of people, we have forgotten how to use our words and we have replaced them with guns. Easy to access guns and a nation filled with rage for anyone different is a horrifying combination. Welcome to 2016.

WIC Nutrition Education: Making Nutrition Work for Your Family

Healthy…  Nutritious… Low Fat… High Fiber… Moderation… Exercise… Carbs… Protein…  These days, you can’t walk down the street or flip through your favorite magazine without being bombarded by directives about what to eat and how to eat it.  Messages on how to live a healthy lifestyle are all around us, but making meaning of it all can be confusing or even overwhelming.  And for new and expecting moms, deciphering all the information to make the right choices for themselves and their families takes on a whole new level of importance.  That’s why nutrition education is a key part of WIC.

#DisarmHate #BlackLivesMatter #EndAllGunViolenceNow

On this show we cover the steps you can take to be an antiracist activist, hear the latest on Hillary Clinton, dive into disarming hate, and talk about hope as we cover where political wins are happening at the local level across the country.

*Special guests include: 

  • Tim Wise, antiracist essayist, author and educator; 
  • Joanne Bamberger, author and editor-in-chief of The Broad Side; 
  • Jason Hayes, celebrity hair stylist and organizer of the #DisarmHate2016 Rally; and
  • Teresa Mosqueda, WA State Labor Council, AFL-CIO


This Heartbreaking Week Compels Us to Address Our Nation’s Legacy of Structural Racism and Toxic Gun Culture

This has been a heartbreaking week for all Americans. We mourn the tragic killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers who were on duty during a peaceful protest. These deaths compel us to address our nation's legacy of structural racism and a toxic gun culture in order to move forward. No mother, father, child or neighbor should ever have to mourn the loss of a loved one to violence. We are better than this.

MomsRising Mourns Death of Philando Castile, Calls for Federal Action to Protect Civil and Human Rights for Everyone

With Cameron Sterling’s heart-breaking cry still ringing in our ears as he mourned the police shooting death of his father, Alton Sterling, we awoke this morning to news of yet another African American man being shot and killed by a police officer. His girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter were witnesses to his death.

Our hearts are breaking but our resolve has hardened. This must stop. We must bring an end to the racial profiling, police brutality, and militarized policing targeting African American and Latino youth, families, and communities throughout our country.

Statement on the police murder of Alton Sterling

MomsRising members are heartbroken for the family of Alton Sterling, and deeply disturbed by his killing at the hands of police. No mother should ever have to explain to her children that their father will not be coming home because he was killed by police, for no reason other than being a black man in America.  And yet, tragically, Sterling is the 114th Black man to be killed by police in the U.S. just this year.  This is not okay. 
While we are encouraged by the Justice Department’s swift announcement of an investigation into Sterling’s murder, our nation has a long way to go to end racial profiling and police brutality that makes a black man 21 times more likely to be killed by police than a white man. MomsRising members will continue to support those tirelessly fighting for justice, and long-overdue reforms to end police violence against Black people in America.  #BlackLivesMatter

#Disability Blog Carnival - Lives can change in an instant

When I recently attended an advance prescreening of Intelligent Lives, a wonderful film by Dan Habib that will challenge our definition of intelligence when it is released next year, in the discussion that followed the clip, a number of participants from the film were answering audience questions. Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, one of the young people featured in the film, a young man from Boston, rose to address the assembled viewers.

We all waited while Naieer composed his thoughts and for the next few minutes, the audience allowed Naieer the time and space to share with us. I felt the energy charging through the room as we all connected and supported Naieer to actively participate in the discussion. We did not need to give much, just our respect and our time - two things we should give to every person.  Two things that cost us nothing, but mean everything. Naieer had something to say and all he needed was the time to compose his thoughts and forum to share his words. It was inspiring to be a part of this moment.

A Mom’s Wish

Today is Justin’s birthday.  So hard to believe that it’s been 36 years since I first held that little miracle in my arms. So many thoughts and feelings overwhelming me at that moment—relief, pride, exhaustion, wonder, love, protectiveness, and yes, fear.  And what new mother doesn’t experience fear?  But when you are a totally blind mother with very little support around you, the fear can run as deep and piercing as a razor-edged dagger to your very soul.  

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