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Mother's Quest Podcast

Are you a mom who is ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life? A few months before a big milestone birthday, host Julie Neale, a life and leadership coach, community builder and mom to two high-energy boys, decided to stop sidelining her dreams and become the hero of her own journey. She created this show to help light her way by gathering words of wisdom and lessons learned from other mothers further ahead on their quest. Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, engaging mindfully with their children (E), passionately and purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), investing in themselves (I), and connecting to a strong support network (C). Come along with Julie and you are sure to find some treasures of your own.
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Oct 2, 2020

In this episode, I’m honored to welcome back Paola Mendoza, along with the co-author of her new book Sanctuary, Abby Sher with an urgent conversation for this moment, just a month away from our next election.

Paola is an acclaimed film director, activist, author and artist working at the leading-edge of human rights all alongside being a devoted mother to her 7-year old son. A co-founder of The Women’s March, she served as its Artistic Director and co-authored the New York Times best seller Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard around the World.

Abby is an award-winning writer and performer and author of Miss You Love You Hate You Bye, All the Ways the World Can End, Breaking Free, Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying, and Kissing Snowflakes. Abby has written and/or performed for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, HBO and NPR and one of her essays was included in the first season of Amazon TV’s, Modern Love. Most importantly, she says, she is the mom to three very cool kiddos.

I first interviewed Paola after the Women’s March of 2016, personally still shell-shocked by the election of Trump and searching to find my own voice of resistance and path to activism. Since then, she has continued to be at the forefront of social change, especially when it comes to the issue of immigration, as she has organized, demonstrated, documented stories while travelling with the Caravan and now co-written a young adult novel that is both a cautionary tale and story of hope, Sanctuary.

Hope and faith run through this conversation I have with Paola and Abby just as it runs through the poignant book they co-created, a story that paints a harrowing picture of a dystopian future, an America in 2032 that microchips its citizens to easily identify and capture undocumented immigrants. It’s also a book that illuminates resilience, strength, and the power of love.

I hope you’ll listen with an open heart as Paola and Abby share about the teenage protagonist Vali who becomes a freedom fighter, the mother who sets Vali on her quest, how storytelling builds compassion and calls us to action, and how you and I can spread this story far and wide and organize for the upcoming election. In doing so, we can shape a hopeful future and help make possible freedom and sanctuary for undocumented immigrants like Vali, like the families whose stories Paola has documented, like the mothers in Matamoros, and like our own neighbors, who help our communities in essential ways.


Much appreciation,


P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

This Episode is Dedicated by: Lilli Rey of Bay Area Border Relief

Lilli Rey is a community volunteer and human rights activist. She is a founder of Bay Area Border Relief, a San Francisco Bay Area grass roots humanitarian organization whose mission is to serve and advocate for children and families seeking their human right to asylum. She is also on the board of Protect Our Defenders and is a fundraiser for Congresswoman Jackie Speier. Lilli is the mother of 4 adult children and enjoys hiking, skiing, exercising, and traveling to new places.

Follow Lilli on Social Media:

 

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The premise of Sanctuary that sets the protagonist, 16 year old Vali, on a journey for freedom to the sanctuary of California.
  • The impact that Vali’s mother had in setting her on her quest and shaping who she is 
  • Thoughts for how we can inspire people to be informed and care about undocumented immigrants and those seeking asylum
  • Why Abby and Paola made Sanctuary under the Young Adult novel genre and how it is a story for all of us
  • The ways young people like Vali can lead the way 
  • Having conscious conversations with our kids about social justice issues in an age appropriate manner
  • The importance of story to build compassion and understanding
  • Paola and Abby’s hopes for Sanctuary’s impact
  • MPP (Migrant Protection Protocol) and the devastating impact it has had on asylum seekers
  • Why Paola and Abby insisted the book be released before the election and what they want us to do to get involved
  • Paola and Abby’s experience collaborating on Sanctuary
  • Approaching issues and activism with humility and Dr. Barbara’s Love’s Liberatory Consciousness Framework
  • Lessons we can all learn from Sanctuary
  • What’s next for Sanctuary…hopes for a sequel and a television series

This Episode’s Challenge:

For this episode’s challenge, Abby and Paola encourage us to:

  • Get the book and read it
  • Open our hearts as we do that
  • Talk to our children about it and pass the book to them when appropriate
  • Take that experience of how we are moved by it
  • Share its impact 
  • Buy the book for others
  • Donate the book to our libraries or request it be purchased
  • Use this as a spark to reach out to people in our own networks and communities to better understand the immigration stories of those around us

Learn More About Abby Sher:

Abby Sher is an award-winning writer and performer. She is the author of Miss You Love You Hate You Bye, All the Ways the World Can End, Breaking Free, Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying, and Kissing Snowflakes. One of her essays was included in the first season of Amazon TV’s, Modern Love. Abby has written and/or performed for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, HBO and NPR. Most importantly she’s the mom to three very cool kiddos.

Follow Abby on Social Media:

Learn More About Paola Mendoza:

Paola Mendoza is a film director, activist, author and artist working at the leading-edge of human rights. A co-founder of The Women’s March, she served as its Artistic Director and co-authored the New York Times best seller Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard around the World. Paola’s most recent book Sanctuary was released by Penguin in 2020. 

Paola is also a critically acclaimed film director whose films have premiered at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Her films have thoughtfully tackled the complex issues of poverty and immigration on women and children in the United States. She was named Glamour’s Woman of the Year in 2017 and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. She is a co-founder of The Soze Agency and is a co-founder of The Resistance Revival Chorus, the critically acclaimed women’s chorus that believes, “Joy is an act of resistance.

Follow Paola on Social Media:

Resources Mentioned:

Announcements:

Let’s Renew Our Commitment to Racial Justice This High Holiday Season

I published my first piece on a topic so important. Would love for you to share with anyone you think would be open to listening and learning from these lessons/conversations highlighted.

Read the Article Here

If you enjoy the Mother’s Quest Podcast, we’d love your support in sharing this or another favorite episode with a mother you think would appreciate it too! 

Another way to help spread the word is to leave a review at Apple Podcasts. Instructions for leaving a review are here:

How to leave a rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad

On your iOS mobile device, launch Apple’s Podcast app.
Tap the Search tab in the lower right corner of the screen.
Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review. …
Tap the Reviews tab, then tap “Write a Review” at the bottom of the screen.

At the time I’m releasing this episode, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, so many of us are seeking ways to connect with one another, even while needing to stay physically apart. If you identify with being a mother on a quest and you’re not yet a member of the free private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, I invite you to join us for opportunities to learn together, to share what we have to offer one another and where we need support, and to find ways to make meaning of all we’re going through right now. Visit www.motherquest.com/community to join and I’d be honored to welcome you in. 

Acknowledgments:

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:

Lilli Rey
Anne Armstrong
Herve Clermont
Samantha Arsenault
Vickie Giambra
Casey O'Roarty of Joyful Courage
Kathie Moehlig or TransFamily Support Services
Anne Ferguson of MamaFuel
On the Move and etsuko Kubo
Kate Amoo-Gottfried
Nicole Lee
Olivia Parr-Rud
"Vince" of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto 
Sage B. Hobbs 
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko 
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach 
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs 
Erin Kendall 
Niko Osoteo 
Erik Newton 
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Samantha Arsenault
Attica Locke

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Four of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

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Mother's Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

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