Austin's own Raquel (2012 & 2013 Chapter President) and Tamara (who recently moved to Philly, but we still claim her), joined 98 other delegates at the 2013 Shot@Life Champions Summit in Washington, D.C. last week. For three, work-filled days, Champions learned, planned, networked, visited with their respective congressional staffers and enjoyed themselves in the process.
The United Nation Foundation's Shot@Life
is a campaign to bring awareness to and raise funds for the cause of global vaccinations for children in developing countries. Mocha Moms, Inc. joins other organizations such as American Academy of Pediatrics, Unicef, World Health Organization and others in a Partnership to help eradicate vaccine-preventable illnesses in developing countries.
This year marks two consecutive years of India being polio-free thanks to lifesaving vaccinations provided by organizations like Shot@Life. India must remain polio free for two more years before it can officially be declared eradicated in that country.
Why is this important to Mocha Moms? Our children are global citizens. They are world travelers. As mothers, we understand the basic desire for all mothers is for our children to grow and thrive. We understand that when diseases are eradicated overseas, even our unvaccinated children are free to travel the world and return healthy, not posing a threat to their unvaccinated peers when they return. We saw, in Utah recently, how easily a disease, long-eradicated in our country, can be brought home from abroad and spread among unvaccinated children and adults. We
understand that what sets us apart from mothers in developing countries who walk miles to have their children vaccinated is that we have the luxury of choice. We are fortunate to choose to vaccinate our child or not while knowing that our child will live to see their fifth birthday. We empathize with the mother in Africa whose only hope for their child to see even one birthday is access to lifesaving vaccinations. We understand that there are many moving parts and paths to eradicating diseases, including access to clean drinking water. There are efforts underway to provide access to clean drinking water, but realistically, in many slums throughout the world, clean drinking water is a distant hope. Vaccines save lives, in the meantime, today.
Mocha Moms Raquel and Tamara are honored to have been selected as Champions for Shot@Life. Two friends couldn't ask for a more bonding experience than working together for such an important cause. After the summit, they are prepared to do good work. They are excited about the year ahead and ready to get to the good work of giving mothers across the globe, the gift of celebrating their child's fifth birthday, and looking beyond that to their child's bright future.
Mocha Moms Champions From Left to Right: Tamara Howard (Austin/Philideplphia), LaShaun Martin (Maryland), Kris White (Halifax), Daphne Channel (Atlanta), Raquel Dennie (Austin)
In a beautiful event styled by KR Creations & Events
at the Fickett Boy Scouts Center
last weekend, Susan G. Komen Austin Affiliate
launched their new program, Women In Strides.
This new program focuses on the issues of African American women and breast cancer by informing minority communities about resources that are available to them, yet are under used. Minorities are diagnosed too late and dying too often from cancer. So Mocha Moms Austin is thrilled to support Komen Austin's Women In Strides.
We are also ecstatic to announce that our very own MM Maureen Oyiriaru has been invited to officially join the board of Women In Strides! Maureen was the only Austin Mocha Moms member who volunteered to meet Komen Austin after Susan G. Komen and Mocha Moms Inc. announced their national partnership. She agreed to be the liaison between our organizations without hesitation, and spoke at the Mocha Moms South Central Regional Conference in the spring as part of the Women In Strides panel. There, she shared her powerful, personal story about her mother's battle with cancer. Now that Maureen and Komen Austin have made it official, this whole thing just feels like kismet.
Congratulations, Maureen, on being invited to work with Women In Strides. Komen Austin and Mocha Moms Austin are beyond lucky to have you as part of our organizations.
Here is a picture of MM Maureen (wearing her WIS pink flower) with other Mochas who were at the event. See more pictures from the launch event on Flickr
Over the Memorial Day weekend, we had our second book club meeting discussing the merits of Bringing up Bébé, One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.
Unlike the previous book club selection, not as many strong reactions were registered (although some did not like the tone of this book). The research was appreciated and there was a general sense that we could use less guilt surrounding our parenting choices.
There were fewer takers of the French's early autonomy practice. As MM president Raquel, stated "maybe when Zack is twelve" can he be allowed to go off on a class trip [over several nights] without her; definitely not at the age of four. This led to a discussion about cultural differences of trust and whether the homogeneity of a society fosters that. It did not go unnoticed the role of the French government in supporting families. I think everyone will try to incorporate some part of the French approach to food. If you are wondering why your children aren't hungry by mealtime, take a look at the snacking.
Our next book club selection for the summer will take us away from parenting style guides. Ladies, the national bestselling novel, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
is up next. The novel follows twin brothers and moves between Ethiopia and New York. It's a story of love, betrayal, medicine and intertwining fates. I can't wait to hear the discussion of this new selection. Until then, happy reading!
The week before Mother's Day, Huffington Post, Black Voices and Mocha Moms Inc. joined forces to promote the Sybrina Project to make and send cards to the mother of Trayvon Martin. Click here for Huffington Posts' update
. Our girl is pictured in the slideshow, busy crafting her card in her white dress and pink bows!
Enjoy these extra pictures from Mocha Moms Austin's card parties For Sybrina.
Can I get a woot-woot for Mocha Moms Malika, Tamika, Tracy A. and me (Raquel), for completing Shape Magazine's Annual all-women three mile obstacle course race?! The Diva Dash
was awesome fun. It was a great way to spend the day to help two great causes
, As you can see in the photos we had an absolute blast.
Heads up for our next Team Mocha Moms adventure coming up in May. Can you Say Deutschen Pfest
With our State Coordinator, Natalie Jones (Dallas Chapter) at the helm, the conference planning committee did a stellar job of putting together an intimate, enriching regional retreat. The committee particularly enjoyed assembling all the Mocha pink and brown goodies to accompany our speaker gifts and swag bags. Big thank you to MM Bridget of Austin who crocheted pink and brown hair/lapel flowers with a bit of pink Mocha bling for flair.
After a fun-filled night at the opening reception and slumber party sponsored by GirlTeam Mobile
, our conference day started out with a centering yoga session with Lisa Feder of Being Well Yoga
and East Side Yoga. It was a first-time experience for some of us, and Lisa had an amazing experience herself. She sent a heartfelt email after the conference. Here is some of what she said:"Thank you so much for including me in the Mocha Moms weekend. I truly enjoyed being with you and leading you in Yoga to start the day. Even with the small group, the energy in the room was wonderful. I also enjoyed talking with you all after class. I hope that you will each seek out your Yoga as it serves you to become more present, calm and focused..."
Her yoga session was the perfect way to set the tone for a day that would be all about us!
Our local Vice President, Tamara Howard, had this to say:"I can't say enough about the conference. I had an AMAZING time, right on my own stomping ground! You guys, the swag bags were AWESOME, with the coffee (how appropriate), Body Shop items, Sweet Leaf iced tea, and so many other goodies (props to Trenise and team); the conference t-shirts were perfect (thanks to Tanjour for hooking that up), the meeting rooms and food was delicious and so abundant, and well thought-out (thanks to Karima, Malikah and Tracy A.), and the PROGRAM...Traci/Quel/Raissa/Edna- you guys hit it out of the park. I loved the content of the meeting because it really allowed us to focus on taking care of ourselves as women. We so often neglect ourselves because we're programmed to put our children and families first...all the time! I felt so blessed to be able to spend both nights at the Hilton downtown to help me create my Spa weekend getaway, and it was wonderful and soooo needed! This weekend's theme - Cultivating Sisterhood: Nurturing a Spirit of Wellness was perfectly reflected in the content of the speakers. Dr. Dan from Maximized Living gave an enthusiastic and informative talk on how we can live a healthier life, the speakers from Susan G. Komen gave us a comprehensive talk on breast cancer - from the science of the disease, early detection, and the stories of how it's effected them and their loved ones. The message really hit home. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The statistics are staggering. Ladies on the Committee, you guys worked around the clock pulling this conference together, and it flowed beautifully. It looked seemless! You all rocked and I'm so proud of you for working together and representing Mocha Moms so positively. You all are a dynamic group of women with so many talents. Thank you for making this weekend possible!"
Yeah, what she said.
Our regional conferences happen every other year. Next Summer we all look forward to our National Conference which is taking place July 5-7 in Maryland, the birthplace of our organization. Keep an eye out for more details from our national leaders at http://www.mochamoms.org
Enjoy these other photos from the opening reception...
Much Mocha Love,
Eight of our Mocha Moms met at Mimi's Cafe in the Arbor Walk for lunch and some spirited dialogue about Amy Chua's novel - The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The book generated some great discussion about Amy Chua's over the top parenting technique which she describes as the Chinese Way.
Many felt that her style wasn't so much about Chinese tradition as it was about self ful-fillment and ambition. Whatever you want to call it, there were some definite parental do's and don'ts to be gleaned from the book, which we enjoyed dissecting at our 1st Austin Mocha Moms Book Review for the year.
To compare and contrast with Amy Chua's novel, we'll be reading Bringing Up Bebe - One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
for our next meeting so stay tuned...!
Much Mocha Love, MM Tamara
Our First Thursday Support Meeting went outside! It was the perfect day, and perfect timing to take a tour of our resident Mocha Green Thumb's garden. Those of us who have gardens leaned things to take back home and those of us who don't have gardens, learned lots about how to start one. We were all awed, impressed and inspired to go home and cultivate our own small plots of growing things.
Much Mocha Love, Quel
Check in from time to time to see what we're up to!