All the Things, All At Once: An Interview with MomsRising Beacon Alison
"Watching someone who has challenges and was able to provide me with a stable life and allow me to go to college, makes me feel like I have a responsibility to help others decode the system."
#WeAreMomsRising uses personal stories to showcase what it means to be a mom, a woman, and a family member in America.
Today's #WeAreMomsRising story comes from Alison in Illinois. Alison is a Beacon Community Hub Leader, part of a network of volunteer Super Mom organizers partnering with MomsRising to develop leadership skills, build mom power in their communities, and make change at the local, state, and national levels. To learn more about the Beacon program, email email@example.com.
What was your first impression of MomsRising?
I heard about MomsRising in a New York Times article. I don’t remember the precise wording of the quote, but it described exactly what I was experiencing. MomsRising was a group that was looking at all the issues, addressing all the failings, that affect women and families.
Why did you become a MomsRising Beacon of Hope?
Personally, as a professional, and as a mom with a 3-year-old, I’ve seen how EVERY system has failed us. Especially during COVID. Child care. Paid leave. Healthcare. Our systems are beyond broken.
My theory of change for improving life for all Americans is that we have to change many things all at once. I found that MomsRising is doing ALL THE THINGS that could actually change the lives of moms and families in the U.S. So many people don’t have the capacity to handle all those issues at once. MomsRising helps you do that.
What’s been one of your favorite activities as a MomsRising member?
Doing the MOMibuster was fun. And meeting with the other hub leader in my new hub state.
What’s something you want to learn as a MomsRising Beacon?
I work alongside the grassroots organizers at my job, but I haven’t done the grassroots organizing myself. I am excited to learn more about that side of things.
Do you have any influencers or people who influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell us about them.
My dad. He faced challenges – learning disabilities, severe PTSD from Vietnam, single dad. Watching someone who has challenges and was able to provide me with a stable life and allow me to go to college, makes me feel like I have a responsibility to help others decode the system.
What is your superpower?
I will find something I have in common with everyone, usually within a few minutes of talking with someone. People tell me everything. All kinds of secrets.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I grew up ballroom dancing. I did that competitively for years. I spent a lot of college and law school teaching ballroom dancing on the side, earning a lot more than doing work-study!
What are you looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to testifying in Springfield. I get to do that in my current job as a gun safety policy expert, but not as a community member.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a MomsRising Beacon?
DO IT! It makes you feel like, when shit happens, you have a place to channel the frustration. That you are working toward the future and not just a victim of a diabolical system. You're playing a role, and not just waiting for things to happen.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of MomsRising.org.
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