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Jessica Burroughs's picture

We are excited to introduce MomsRising’s new class of national Beacon volunteer leaders. This year we have expanded our Beacons network to one hundred and seventeen moms and caregivers from across the country – from Alaska to Alabama, from New Mexico to Tennessee – who have committed to this ten month leadership development and power-building  program. One volunteer described the orientation this way: “I had an amazing night meeting new people and seeing old friends. Sisterhood and sharing our voices is wonderful.” 

In addition to the large number of states represented, Beacons come from both rural and urban communities, and include young moms and grandmothers. Twenty of the volunteers are primarily Spanish-speakers; we have simultaneous interpretation at all of our meetings. As one Beacon commented, “it was great connecting with so many women of diverse backgrounds pushing for the same actions. I want to be able to go into the community & share information.”

Let’s break down the two tracks, or cohorts, of volunteers. The first track is called the volunteer Beacons of Hope Community Leaders program, or New Beacons for short, and consists of 50 volunteers from 27 states. This program is an introductory leadership development program, where MomsRising provides training and support to build leadership as Beacons organize, activate, and create power around themselves in their community. Some of the Beacons have extensive experience while others are trying out advocacy for the first time; all of them are dedicated to working for change in their own neighborhoods and communities. 

The second track, called the Beacon Hub Leaders program, includes all volunteers who have previously participated in the track one New Beacons program or in one of MomsRising’s other leadership development programs. This year’s cohort includes 67 moms from 20 states who are equipped and ready to mobilize both for collective Momsrising actions and for independent local actions. 

Both programs will meet monthly for the rest of the year. Volunteers will get to know each other and learn from each other as they continue to build power around themselves in their communities and together towards our national shared goals. We’ll also be regularly offering them timely action opportunities from across all of MomsRising’s issue areas, so that their power flows up and has a big impact. 

Beacon actions will include showing up at events with lawmakers, tabling at events, holding meetups, delivering petitions, participating in constituent meetings with elected representatives, writing blog posts or letters to the editor, sharing their stories, doing media interviews, participating in our MomsVote work, and helping out in other ways at strategic moments, like when legislation is moving. Each and every one of such actions makes a difference – and collectively makes a huge wave of change. The actions are powerful and almost always only possible because the Beacons are all supporting each other and working together to lift each other up, build power and create change. 
As one Beacon shared during the orientation, “It was inspiring to be around and meet with shared goals of wanting to connect with our community to educate them about voting, humanity, and fair laws. I want to lead and be a part of the change needed in my town, community, and state.” 




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