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#Radio This Week: Your Voice, Your Vote

From the Fight for $15 to breaking down barriers to breastfeeding for moms in the military, from ending wage discrimination to getting access to affordable childcare and paid family leave, people across the country are standing up, making their voices heard, and building a better nation for everyone.
 
*Special guests include: 

Representation Matters: Why I'll Show Mom-to-Be My Imperfect Boobs #BBW16

“Right here?” I stuttered.

“Yeah. Why not?”

To my left, my father-in-law was enjoying a plate of scrambled eggs. To my right, my husband was cutting up a waffle for my daughter. I looked down at my 4-day old baby boy. I smoothed my thumb over his tiny fisted hand and took a deep breath. In front of me, my mother glared at me.

The pressure. So much pressure.

Between my throbbing uterus, sore nipples and onslaught of postpartum emotions, I was finding that eating out with the family just days after I had given birth just wasn’t a good idea.

“I’m going to go to the car.”

“You sure?” my husband asked through sips of coffee.

“Yeah.” I said. “I’ll be fine.”

I grabbed the baby bag, gently plopped my baby in the carrier and made my way out of the restaurant. Tears flooded my eyes and I angry texted my best friend as I made my way through the car in the crisp November air.

I was failing at breastfeeding in public and I was mad about it.

On Women’s Equality Day, Still Fighting for Voting Rights for All

Perhaps a million women will be left on the sidelines as we celebrate 96 years of voting rights this Women’s Equality Day.

These are women affected by felony disenfranchisement laws – state laws that deny individuals convicted of felony offenses the right to vote while they are incarcerated, while they are on probation or parole, and in some cases for the rest of their lives.

In 2004, an estimated that 792,200 women could not vote because of felony disenfranchisement laws. This is up from 676,700 in 2000. At this rate of increase, at least one million women would likely be affected today.

Because race and poverty play such key roles in determining who is arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated, it is no surprise that African American women are four times more likely than other women to have had their voting right taken away. This is a sad coda to the vital roles that African American women played in securing the right to vote.

MomsRising Calls Mylan’s Announcement It Will Provide Coupons to Offset EpiPen Price Increase ‘Inadequate and Cynical’

“In the wake of public outcry and the threat of a U.S. Senate investigation, Mylan today announced that it won’t actually LOWER the cost of its lifesaving EpiPens, but will offer a discount coupon to some purchasers. Given that the company has increased the cost of this crucial medication 450 percent in the last three years, and the epinephrine itself costs a dollar to manufacture, this move is wholly inadequate and incredibly cynical. Mylan will still reap outrageous profits overcharging for a medication that many people need to survive.

“I come to this issue not only as the head of an organization that fights for moms and their families, but as the mother of a son who has life-threatening anaphylactic allergies to foods. We always keep two EpiPens on hand for him in case there’s any accidental cross-contamination of food. I was stunned when I went to the pharmacy to purchase two more and learned that the out-of-pocket cost is $730.

Black Breastfeeding Week: Celebrating the Joy Of Black Moms Who Breastfeed

Originally posted over at My Brown Baby but Black Breastfeeding Week has me too happy to stay on just one website.

Happy Black Breastfeeding Week!

Say, look here: I wish to good Gawd up above that there was a gang of Black mom warriors in my corner when I was breastfeeding my babies more than seventeen years ago. Here's what I faced off against: judgmental aunties who just couldn't get over the fact that I had "them babies sucking on your ninny" for a year; judgmental strangers giving me the side-eye for refusing to breastfeed in public bathrooms; judgmental coworkers who were perfectly fine with me pumping in my hot ass car on a New York City street rather than creating a dedicated space so that I could pump without an audience; and barely any sustained support from fellow moms who chose to formula feed their children, as if my decision to breastfeed was some kind of indictment on their decision not to.

Wellness Wednesday Recap: Surgeon's General Call to Action On Breastfeeding #RisersNBM16

We are rounding the corner around the last week of National Breastfeeding Month! This week, our tweetstorm focused on the Surgeon General's call to action on breastfeeding, stats and lots of information. Did you miss it? That's okay! Here's the recap.

 

OUTRAGEOUS. Tell the CEO of Mylan: It's Time to Bring the Price of EpiPens Down!

Take Action!

“Where’s your EpiPen?”

I’ve asked that question more times than I can count. I'm the mom of a food allergy kid. I have the sleepless nights. The grey hairs. The worry lines of that fate.

My son, Connor, has had life-threatening anaphylactic allergies to foods—including to eggs—since shortly after his birth. It’s flat out terrifying to know that an accidental bite of the wrong food could literally kill your child or someone you love if you aren’t careful.

Our family always has 2 EpiPens on hand in case an accidental cross contamination of food happens. And, each start of the school year, we leave 2 EpiPens there too. Why? EpiPen shots can mean the difference between life and death, with just minutes making a difference, if an anaphylactic allergic reaction happens.

*EpiPens are making headlines lately not because they are saving lives, but because the cost is skyrocketing for "no obvious reason," according to the Washington Post, other than increasing corporate profits and giving executives massive raises.

A High School Report Card

I just dropped my son off at soccer tryouts.  He starts high school (yikes!) in less than two weeks.  

We've been talking about and planning for this big day for some time now. He's excited and nervous. So am I. And I think he might be getting a little tired of how much I remind him of the importance of his high school report card, that it's an indicator of how he's doing, and how it can impact his future.  

Our nation got a report card recently, and the grades are alarming.  For the first time, the federal government has produced a detailed look at what it is like to be a gay, lesbian and bisexual high school student today.

We all know that high school isn't easy for anyone.  But for LGBTQ youth, it can be nothing short of hell.  

Released earlier this month, the groundbreaking report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed more than 15,000 ​American high school students unearthed some alarming data.

Of Angels and Healthy, Affordable Foods in Minnesota

In this era of political disagreement, it’s unusual to see political parties put aside their differences, join hands and work together for the greater good. But that’s exactly what happened recently in Minnesota around efforts to improve and increase access to healthy and affordable food.
 
Minnesota is one of the lowest ranked states in terms of access to healthy and affordable foods, according to an April 2016 report prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Wilder Research. Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans currently live in areas where they have limited or no easy access to foods such as fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats and poultry. More than 340,000 Minnesotans face both distance and income as a barrier to obtaining those foods, and approximately 235,000 Minnesotans live more than 10 miles away from a large grocery store or supermarket.

#MilitaryMonday: Breastfeeding On-Duty with WIC

Imagine flying from Italy to Spain, then boarding another plane from Spain to Virginia, and finally, driving down from Virginia to Tennessee all in a matter of days just to turn around and fly out to California. Sounds exhausting, right?

Now add a 5-month-old breastfeeding baby to the mix who is constantly restless, feeding, crying and pooping. When my husband, who is in the military, was transferred to the United States from Italy this is exactly what we experienced. It is a very common, real experience for many military families.

I know I’m not alone when I say: I’ve been separated from my husband for months. I’ve traveled alone to unfamiliar, foreign places where I didn’t speak the languages. I’ve traveled alone with an infant. I’ve been away from my family and friends for long periods of time.

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