Mamas Are the Movement

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Mamas are the Movement

Rae with a piece of Mamas Day art

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I am Rae Dunnaville, a proud movement mama living in Portland, Oregon. And sometimes I am tired as hell. Most days, I push through the fatigue and I show up. It’s what mamas do. Without us, there would be no movement.

Mamas are so necessary in the movement because we anchor our families, our neighborhoods, and our communities. We build with our hands and our hearts. We believe in our instincts, and don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to making change.

Unfortunately, mamas in the movement are undervalued and under-celebrated. Forward Together’s Mamas Day campaign is so beautiful because it uplifts me and other mamas who look like me and want equity for their families, both blood and chosen.

To other mamas, I say: it’s okay to be vulnerable. Vulnerability isn’t the opposite of strength or power. We make real, solid connections with each other when we allow ourselves to be open.

For me, “Power and Flowers” is about celebrating growth and beauty, and finding strength in delicate times. New mamahood is a tender time for mamas, our kids and our families. As we grow into our mamahood and decide how we want to nurture our families and our communities, we’re going to find that sometimes the soil we’re in doesn’t have the nutrients we need. Maybe we need to be in a different location. Maybe we need more sun or less water. Maybe we need more space for our roots to dig into. To me, mamahood is an ongoing experiment where we’re learning how to identify and honor our changing needs and the changing needs of our families and communities.

To other mamas, I say: it’s okay to be vulnerable. Vulnerability isn’t the opposite of strength or power. We make real, solid connections with each other when we allow ourselves to be open.

Let’s continue this fight until we see a shift in culture that believes in the inherent value of all children, families and communities, moving away from prioritizing the needs of individuals at the expense of our larger communities.

Rae and her daughter sitting on the stairs displaying big smiles.
Rae and her daughter
Rae and her new baby are cheek to cheek for a smiling photo.
Rae and her new baby.