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Mothers

Cutting Incarcerated Mothers Off From Families Hurts Everyone

As Wendy Sawyer and Wanda Bertram recently wrote for the Prison Policy Initiative, “Over half (58%) of all women in US prisons are mothers, as are 80% of women in jails, including many who are incarcerated awaiting trial simply because they can’t afford bail… And these numbers don’t cover the many women preparing to become mothers while locked up this year: An estimated 58,000 people every year are pregnant when they enter local jails or prisons.” In this edition of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Debra Bennett-Austin of Change Comes Now about the shocking number of incarcerated mothers in the US today, the barriers keeping incarcerated mothers from staying connected with their families, and the irreparable damage those severed connections cause for everyone involved.

Another Group Of Homeless Moms And Families Are Taking Over A House — This Time In L.A.

Weeks after a group of homeless mothers took over a vacant house in Oakland and managed to keep it, another group of moms is trying to do the same in Los Angeles. On Saturday morning, the protesters and their families moved into a two-bedroom bungalow in El Sereno. They say they plan to remain indefinitely and potentially take over more houses.

The New U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Fails To Capture Many Deaths

Late last month, maternal health experts from around Illinois were videoconferencing in Chicago and Springfield, poring over the files of expectant and new mothers who’d died in the state in 2017. Many of the deaths could have been prevented if only medical and other providers had understood the special risks that women face during this critically vulnerable time.

Solidarity With Moms 4 Housing

The four women in Oakland, California known as Moms 4 Housing  have been evicted from the home they seized from unscrupulous speculators. Despite being removed by police and arrested, they are still a model for action in this latest attack on the rights of black people. The displacement of black people from their communities isn’t new. Urban renewal, popular and accurately known as Negro removal, was a weapon in use for many years. White flight from the cities was accompanied by a flight of capital which left communities in ruins.

Leaked Emails Show Monsanto’s Anger At Mothers Calling For Roundup To Be Taken Off Market

How is it that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is still on North American shelves being sold in a number of places? The answer is simple, I believe it’s deceit and corruption. Corporations like Monsanto (Bayer), have completely undermined our federal health regulatory agencies, making them nothing short of a cesspool of corruption. The pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C..

Homeless Mothers, Activists Take Over Vacant Oakland House

OAKLAND — Sick of struggling with homelessness under a system they say hasn’t helped them, two Oakland mothers took matters into their own hands Monday — by taking control of a vacant West Oakland house. In front of a crowd of supporters, community members and media, 34-year-old Dominique Walker and 41-year-old Sameerah Karim moved their belongings into a house on Magnolia Street that they say has been sitting empty for two years.

Medical Madness: A Mother’s Choice Between A Child’s Care And Bankruptcy

Two years ago, 36-year-old Lindsay Clark was facing a terrible decision. Her 2-year-old daughter Lily had gotten into a small bottle of the anti-nausea drug Dramamine. “It had a child lock on it, but I caught her sitting there with a bunch of white stuff in her mouth,” Clark says. “I immediately swept her mouth with my finger, but I wasn’t sure how many pills she ate.” Clark had to decide: Should she take Lily to the emergency room?

‘For The Love Of Our Children’: Mothers Rise Up In Global March For Climate Action

Marking International Mother's Day, thousands of moms took to the streets in London and across the world Sunday to demand transformative action on behalf of Mother Earth and their children, whose futures are under threat from the global climate crisis. "We need to do everything necessary to clean up our air and create a safer future for all our children."  —Rosamund Kissi-Debra "Business as usual—toxic pollution in our streets and our schools—is fueling a crisis that is making our kids sick and it is families in the deprived areas that are paying the heaviest price," Rosamund Kissi-Debra, whose daughter died from an asthma attack linked to air pollution, said during a rally on Sunday.

#FreeBlackMamas Bails Black Mothers From Jail For Mother’s Day

In 1870, abolitionist Julia Ward Howe issued her Mother’s Day proclamation: a call for mothers across the United States to end war. It was five years since the end of the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment, which banned chattel slavery with one notable exception: involuntary servitude is allowed as punishment for a crime. Nearly 150 years later, Howe’s dream of ending war has yet to become a reality. And the 13th Amendment has become more significant as, over the past 40 years, the number of people being sent to prison has skyrocketed. But accompanying these soaring numbers have been calls for abolition of another kind — to abolish prisons.

Black Lives Matter Is Making Single Moms Homeowners

In May, Tiffany Brown and her children will move into a new home in the historic Black neighborhood of West Louisville, Kentucky. A single mother of three, Brown has spent most of her adult life in public housing. Her first shot at homeownership comes courtesy of a new project by the Louisville chapter of Black Lives Matter to help provide permanent housing to transient families and low-income single-mother households like hers. She had recently relocated to Section 8 housing because of involuntary displacement in her previous location, the result of ongoing practices of segregation and unequal access to housing based on race.

Immigrant Mothers Are Staging Hunger Strikes To Demand Calls With Their Separated Children

AS THE JULY 26 deadline approaches for the government to reunite some 3,000 immigrant parents and children separated under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” program, one immigrant detention center in South Texas has been releasing a few people weekly, after they pass their “credible fear” interviews, in which they describe why they are afraid to return to their countries and need asylum. Those who remain have begun resisting the hurtful and disordered conditions of their captivity, some with extreme measures such as hunger strikes. The Port Isabel Service Processing Center is located about 35 miles from Brownsville and minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, on lonely potholed roads.

Grandmothers Of Plaza De Mayo: 41 Years Seeking Justice

On April 30, 1977, a group of women met in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada, the seat of government in the center of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, after the disappearance of their children. That meeting occurred while there was a state of siege and the meetings of more than three people were forbidden, and they were forced to leave the square by the police. This is how the March of the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo was born. They were accused of being "crazy" but their struggle to know what had happened to their children remained alive to this day. On more than one occasion they suffered repression from on the hands of security forces of the military dictatorship, again and again, they were violently removed from the Plaza.

Poor People’s Campaign Gears Up For Mother’s Day Launch

I am not speaking about the poor. I am not speaking for the poor. I am the poor.” Claudia De la Cruz was speaking at an April 10 press briefing in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Inspired by a similar 1968 initiative led by Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders, the campaign aims to lift up the voices of people like De la Cruz who’ve been most affected by our country’s persistent poverty. A descendant of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, De la Cruz was born in the South Bronx, the poorest Congressional district in the country. Median household income there is about $26,000, compared to $116,000 for the wealthiest district, which straddles Virginia’s northern suburbs. She’s a member of the national steering committee of the Poor People’s Campaign and one of the state organizers for the New York City area.

5 Mothers Arrested At Maryland Statehouse Demanding Governor Take Action On Potomac Pipeline

Five women blocked the doors of the Maryland Statehouse in Annapolis on Wednesday, demanding that Gov. Larry Hogan take immediate action to prevent construction of a gas pipeline and drilling under the Potomac River. Holding enlarged photos of their children and grandchildren, all five were arrested for trespassing after refusing to the vacate the entryway for nearly two hours. Organizers called the civil disobedience action an “escalation” of their efforts to stop TransCanada’s Potomac Pipeline, formally called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion. If built, it would originate in Fulton County, Pa., cross a small slice of Maryland, then pass under the Potomac River and link to the Mountaineer Gas Pipeline, not yet under construction, in West Virginia...

Racism Is Literally Killing African-American Mothers

At first glance, tennis star Serena Williams and the late activist Erica Garner don’t have much in common. They lived different lives on different ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. But as black women in America, they both shared horrifying stories due to complications from childbirth. Our country spends more on health care than any other high-income country — but still holds the worst record for maternal mortality in the developed world. This maternal health crisis is driven by the high rates of African-American women who die while pregnant or within one year of the end of a pregnancy. Black mothers die at three to four times the rate of white mothers due to pregnancy-related complications. While existing health disparities can add to the risk, one recent study found that racism is a major driver of the gap.
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