Category: Equity + Inclusion

Welcome 2 Take Action ✊🏽💥❤️ Tuesday!

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img_2419.jpgThis was yours truly 2 weeks ago today. On the brink of another “break” of sorts. I use quotes around the word break since this word is relative now that I am a mamapreneur. I am reminded that I found myself mentally preparing for the transition in-store for being a solo parent for 3 full days and 2 nights. In fact, I had this to share via Instagram

✨ From Mindset to Truth 💫
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A year ago today, I had this to say:
“Sacred 🙏🏽 My #MamaMindset 💖
It’s Spring Break @ our house so JJ + @steph732011 are off adventuring while this mama works, werks, works 🙌🏽💞 I’ll admit it, when YOU love what YOU do, it doesn’t feel like work.”
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The same can be said today 💕 I love the juggle of my life and wouldn’t want it any other way. The difference: I can now feel this truth in my mind, body, and soul. ✨img_2416.jpg
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What sacred truth is asking YOU to stand your ground? 🌲👣 

Does this #Truthbomb resonate?
Are you resisting what’s true?

What I didn’t know then and that is now crystal clear is that while my wife stepped away to recharge and remember what it’s like to be an individual outside of our realities as mothers, I too would be reminded of the intentional power and love in my role as mama j to our nearly 2.5 year old mixed-raced daughter that I will refer to here as JJ.

Although it’s typical to find one of these daily musings on my Mama J Instagram since taking the leap to embrace my new found identity as Mama J both in role and as a new iteration of my entrepreneurial pursuits in April 2015, it’s now time to shed light on my path of Intentional Justice one Tuesday at a time.

What’s Intentional Justice?

Simply put, it’s bite-sized and deliberate daily action. It’s the result of intentional work in our everyday lives because the endgame of equity and social justice can often feel unattainable. It’s celebrating our daily choices of love and intent with freedom.

As I fully embrace the various cycles of this journey and ways I show up as Mama J, I am reminded of my original aim to “make justice seem more attainable in our everyday lives by celebrating the small daily acts with the hope of sparking discussion on topics that matter” with my Instagram feed being a scrapbook of justice.

What’s clear now is that even then I had a vision to Love Yourself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice™ However, what I know now is that I needed to live, F. A. I. L. (Frequent Attempts in Learning — shout out to my wife for this powerful reframe!), and love in the magic and sometimes cray of juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship to truly understand this aim.  All this is to say that time brings clarity of focus and with focus I am clear about the work I need to feed my soul while also serving you and those who have yet to join our tribe.

Below is a video I recorded earlier this month to bring this evolved vision to life after I spent the morning reminding myself what it felt like to work hard and sweat. In doing so, connecting my head to my heart…

Before or after you watch the less than 3-minute video, I invite YOU to consider:

What bite-sized + deliberate daily action will YOU take today, tomorrow, and each day this Spring to plant the seeds you wish or want for the months ahead?

This Mama J prompt is inspired by The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success and Fulfillment by Deepak Chopra, which I have been implementing as daily spiritual affirmations since the week Jaylin was born. In particular, this is the law of intention and desire.

As I sit with the lessons learned while my wife was away, the truth is I know I have countless valuable stories to tell, resources to share, and light to shed on my path of Intentional Justice™,  so won’t you join me one Tuesday at a time…

In lovelution…

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LGBTQ Families 🌈 Alert 🚨✊🏽👣 5 Actions of #IntentionalJustice 

Is an anti- LGBT Executive Order coming?!

Today I received an email from Our Family Coalition that it’s a matter of days before a “Religious Freedom” Anti-LGBT Executive Order could be signed. On Wednesday, February 1, a leaked draft of the EO was circulated online.  If passed as law, the alleged draft EO would effectively legalize discrimination against LGBT people (my wife, our family, and I, as well as our community) weakening anti-discrimination protections in virtually every area of life under the guise of protecting the right to express religious beliefs.JJ at SF Pride 2016There’s no time to wait, so I am joining forces with Our Family Coalition to take + share these bite-sized + deliberate actions YOU can take TODAY:

  1. Join Our Family Coalition’s Speakers’ Bureau. We are looking to identify LGBT parents/caregivers and children/youth of LGBT parents who can volunteer to speak to the press, share their stories (via multiple mediums) and boost our capacity to speak the truth to power!
  2. Donate what you can to Our Family Coalition, and encourage your friends to do the same! We are fighting for same-sex couples and all LGBT families right now, and are preparing for an even bigger fight (if that’s possible) pending lawsuits. They need our support to raise 30K as soon as possible to hire a field organizer.
  3. Support a local action. Our Family Coalition will be representing at both the Oakland and San Francisco rallies. Exact dates will depend on when the executive order comes out. Check the Facebook pages for the most up to date info.
  4. Join Senator Kamala Harris in rejecting Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary: her long record funding anti-LGBTQ hate groups, who specifically call out trans people as unfit to teach kids, makes her one of our most pointed adversaries.
  5. Sign and generously share Transgender Law Center’s petition opposing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the (stolen) Supreme Court seat. His record shows he would vigorously support a narrow, conservative Christian re-interpretation of our laws, enshrining discriminatory treatment of LGBTQ people.

As many have said: we don’t all have to do everything, but we all are called now to do something. This is the ❤️ of Intentional Justice™ 👣 bite-sized + deliberate action daily.

🏳️‍🌈 Thank YOU for taking action!

In lovelution…

💋 mama j

💕 Turning My Angst Toward the Lovelution 💕 #WhyIMarch ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾3 Steps of Intentional Justice to Speak Y(OUR) Truth

As I sit to write this post about #WhyIMarch, I am aware and acknowledge that I have been silent on this platform–the place I call home to connect my current musings for all things love + intention when it comes to loving, learning, and living in Berkeley/Oakland, CA since my Post-Election Invitation.

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Short on time?! Scroll down to…
3 Steps of Intention Justice™ to Speak Y(OUR) Truth

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Beloved community is formed not by eradication of difference, but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world. -bell hooks

Dear Loved Ones…

Yes…YOU!
From besties to followers, this is to YOU!
From near to far, this is to YOU!
From friends to foe, this is to YOU!
To ALL are family, this is to YOU!

#WhyIMarch#WhyIMarch

I am…

✔️Black ✊🏽
✔️Queer ️‍🌈
✔️Mama 👧🏽
✔️Mixed Race Family 💕✊🏽✊🏽✊🏻💕

Saturday, January 21, 2017 marked a new starting line.

A day in which millions of women + girls: grandmas + mothers + daughters + sisters + aunties + boys + men allies took to the streets to have our voice heard and our physical presence seen in major and rural cities around the U.S. and the world. In fact, take a look for yourself and use it as a reminder of how powerful we are together on those days when your faith may waver. Amazing, right?

Just as quickly as my family marked our calendar to “hit the streets” that day, I was reminded of a when Jaylin was first born less than two and half years ago when a presumed safe protest didn’t even feel like an option with a newborn. As you will recall, Tamir Rice was shot by a police officer after carrying a toy gun in Ohio on November 23, 2014. This just on the heels of the deaths of Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, and Laquan McDonald at the hands of police officers, so folks took to the streets. Now in hindsight, we can see these markers of tragedy and dissent as the formation of what we now know as the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fast forward 6 months to June 2016…

The Orlando shooting happen AND our entire country was rocked to our core to has been labeled as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. As a Black queer mama of a two-mom family, this incident hit too close to home. Here’s what I shared back in July with the Mama Mindset tribe:

While I was taking this small, deliberate action each day, my world / our country was shaken with the Orlando shooting as my birthday week was coming to a close. I’m still figuring out how to put into words the roller coaster of feelings felt as details and stories surfaced. With each one, it became clear how easy that could have been my wife and I just a few short years ago. There’s a lot I could say and yet none of my thoughts are formulating into readable sentences, so politics aside, I hope you’ll take a moment to read the poem I wrote: LOVE feels like a Revolution

Here’s what I know for sure: Prior to the Orlando shooting, I had this grand vision of how my family and I would spend SF Pride. And then, I began second-guessing any public event with large crowds. I mean, we now had someone bigger than ourselves to protect–Jaylin. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I / we would allow one person focused on hate to put me / us back in the closet during one of my favorite SF weekends of the year.

While my wife and I teetered back and forth on what was best for our family, ultimately, we choose to march with a contingency of queer families. This act of Intentional Justice wholeheartedly was a reminder of how many millions of people support not just the LGBTQ community, yet also my / our families. It was electrifying and emotional walking down Market Street hand-in-hand with my wife as I carried Jaylin (and at one point, breastfeeding! #MamaJuggle ♥ )

Click here to view my favorite candid captured from the day.

I share this because the Women’s March in Oakland was not the first time my family and I had taken to the streets, so I’ll end where I began–Saturday, January 21, 2017 marked a new starting line.

Beyond Identity Politics

Since the transformational experience of writing an autoethnography for my master’s thesis, I have been grounded in intersecting dimensions of my identity–I am a Black queer mamapreneur and wife, daughter, sister and friend. I am comfortable naming these aspects of myself because it allows for a reclaiming while being upfront on my positionality. In solidarity with the Women’s March Unity Principles, “Recognizing women have Women Rise Upintersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, we have outlined a representative vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all. As Dr. King said, ‘We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.’ Our liberation is bound in each other’s.”

In the days following the march, I have been drawing on the strength of the millions women and girls, men and boys, and families who took the streets and the countless more who there in spirit or virtually supporting. With that energy comes momentum, momentum to speak Speak Y(OUR) Truth. Not sure what that looks like? Well, here are…

3 Steps of Intentional Justice™ to Soeak Y(OUR) Truth:

  1. Add Your D.C. Officials (your House Rep + Senators) to Your Contacts 📇📲Took less than 5 minutes. They need to hear from YOU 📞☎️
  2. Set a reminder (daily/weekly) to call ⏰
  3. Learn more about the Women’s March Unity Principles and pick your Top 3 issues.

Need Some Inspiration?

What follows are the Top 3 Issues I will be focusing on during the coming weeks and months of 2017.

  1. womensmarch-imarchforENDING VIOLENCE: “Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. We believe in accountability and justice in cases of police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.”
  2. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: “We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”
  3. WORKER’S RIGHTS: “We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments. All workers – including domestic and farm workers, undocumented and migrant workers – must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage.”

Download the Women’s March Unity Principles Full PDF

Thank YOU in advance for raising your voice!

I’d love to know…Why YOU did or did not march? Please share your thoughts below in the comments…

In lovelution…

mama j