I’ll be back in two weeks with a new episode, but I wanted to bring this encore conversation with Mothers Against Police Brutality’s Sara Mokuria in a week where so many of us have been grappling with the issue of police violence and what we can do about it.
This week, our consciousness has been focused on the tragic deaths of two black people, Botham Jean and Atiana Jefferson, who were murdered in their own homes by police officers. Botham was in his own apartment when an off duty police officer shot and killed him, allegedly mistaking him for an intruder in her own apartment. Recently, the woman who killed him was sentenced to only 10 years in prison for his killing. Atiana Jefferson, who was playing video games with her nephew in her own home at the time, was murdered when an officer sent to the house by a neighbor because of an open door, immediately shot and killed Atiana instead of checking on her wellbeing.
I know many of us have been searching for some action we can take about this issue and I want to encourage you to do two things: first listen to this conversation with Sara Mokuria, one of the co-founders of Mothers Against Police Brutality. She will give you insight and advocacy steps from her own experience losing her father. And then, make a donation to Mothers Against Police Brutality, an organization that is seeking change by addressing policy and building police accountability, beginning in Texas but with nationwide impact.
Inspired by my last conversation with trust-based philanthropy thought leader Pia Infante, our family committed to an ongoing monthly donation to support their work over time, and made the donation in honor of two men who lost their lives to police violence over the last year in my own area, Chinedu Okobi and Miles Hall.
As you listen, I hope you’ll consider making a donation as well and I also challenge you to identify just one person who you can share this episode and this call to action with; together we can start to take steps in the direction of police accountability. Now here is my conversation with Sara Mokuria.
P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Click forward now to pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.
Make a donation by visiting http://mothersagainstpolicebrutality.org/donate/.
It’s an honor and responsibility to share this Episode #33 of the Mother’s Quest Podcast with Sara Mokuria, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality. It’s the third and final in a series I recorded as part of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative and it comes to you with a call to action to get involved with this issue today.
This episode was dedicated by Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, who turned her grief from the loss of her son, Clinton Allen, into fuel for change.
In her dedication, Collette reminded us of our common humanity as mothers and that an insult to one mother is an insult to all mothers. It is this knowing that caused me to record this series after I saw the heart-breaking video of Diamond Reynolds and her then four year old daughter after they witnessed the killing of Philando Castile. Philando was like a father to this little girl, was unarmed and was complying with the police officer’s requests when he was shot.
Seeing the trauma and heartbreak endured by this four year old girl, who was the same age as my son when I saw this video, became a catalyst to face the epidemic of police brutality in our country, and to begin taking action, however imperfect.
Much like Diamond Reynold’s daughter, Sara also endured trauma and heartbreak when she watched her father get shot and killed by police at her home in Dallas when she was 10 years old.
Fueled by her own experience, Sara joined Collette along with another co-founder, John Fullinwider, in creating Mother’s Against Police Brutality, as a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition uniting mothers nationwide to fight for civil rights, police accountability and policy reform.
Sara is a mom herself to a seven year old boy. And, in addition to her work with Mothers Against Police Brutality, she’s a sought after educator, community organizer, project manager, and facilitator, currently working as Associate Director for Leadership Initiatives with The Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has two masters degrees, has taught both high school and college at the University of Texas at Dallas and currently serves on the International Mechanism Coordinating Committee for the US Human Rights Network.
She came to the conversation with an open heart she told me, and I felt her generosity and honesty throughout as she shared how police violence changed her life forever, discussed the trauma of being black in America, how the institution of policing and the prison industrial complex contributes to that trauma, and the ways in which an investment in Mothers Against Police Brutality can change policies and systems to reduce violence and create more accountability.
As compelling was Sara’s exploration of the vision she has for our future... of vibrant communities where we invest in our young people, lean into and value our differences, and where each of us taps into our own unique magic to get us there.
We ended our conversation with a co-created prayer, a wish for ourselves as much as for all of you listening, to move into greater responsibility for this work from wherever we are, to have the courage to go to those difficult and painful places so we can create a freer future, and to take this moment right now to support this cause.
I’m doing that today by making a financial contribution to Mothers Against Police Brutality and putting my resources with the mothers, like Sara and Collette, who are closest to the problem and who can see the solution. I hope you’ll join me.
Visit http://mothersagainstpolicebrutality.org/donate/ to make a donation and reference Mother’s Quest or, if contributing on November 28th, Giving Tuesday, visit the Mother's Quest Facebook Fundraising Page to contribute to the Giving Tuesday Campaign.
Mothers Against Police Brutality founder Collette Flanagan, whose son, Clinton Allen, was shot and killed by the Dallas Police in March of 2013.
Sara’s joyous childhood which changed forever when her father was killed by Dallas police officers when she was just 10 years old
How Sara’s mother was her fiercest advocate, even as her mother grappled with the deeply traumatic effects of her husband’s killing and the lack of support as a crime victim.
Disturbing facts about our current law enforcement policies, lack of accountability, the militarization of police, and budget allocations that favor the prison industrial complex over investments that would build a vibrant community
The New Jim Crowe and the War on Drugs and how it has played out as a war on people of color
White privilege and how to move from shame and guilt to responsibility and action
How Sara teaches her son to understand injustice, the history we don’t learn in our schools, and how tenderness, love and joy can be an act of resistance
What happened when Sara met with the officer who killed her father years later and how that shifted her perspective about what the problem really is
How women make up half of the world’s population and how we birthed the other half, therefore we are the world. And, the power of mothers to chart the direction of our families and communities.
The importance of finding your own unique magic to make a difference and why Sara keeps her heart open to welcome people to this cause when they come to it
Our prayer and invitation to you the listener
The Movie 13th, directed by Ava Duvernay
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev
Dallas Woman Turns Tragedy Into Conversation About Race, an article where Sara talks about the system and not police officers being the problem
Stride Toward Justice: 9 Steps to Change Policing in America - policy recommendations from Mothers Against Police Brutality
Have courageous conversation about these issues with your families during the holidays.
Get involved and informed about these issues locally. Become an advocate in your city.
Make a monetary contribution to support the mothers who are closest to the solution at Mothers Against Police Brutality.
If you identify as a woman podcaster, I hope you’ll join us for the third season of the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative. Our group recently committed to the topic of immigration from a social justice perspective, and we invite you to join us by committing to record an episode that can shine a light on this important issue. To take a look at past seasons and get more information visit www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com.
If you’re on a quest to live an E.P.I.C. life, but you’ve been feeling challenged, isolated, or unsure of the path ahead, the Mother’s Quest Circle may be the source of connection you’re looking for.
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A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:
On the Move and etsuko Kubo
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Julie Castro Abrams
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Sage B. Hobbs
Titilayo Tinubu Ali
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Mara Berns Langer
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
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