ARM hosts first summit on international motherhood movement

The Association for Research on Mothering (ARM) is hosting “You Say You Want a Revolution: The Motherhood Movement of the 21st Century”, the first ever international summit on the international motherhood movement, from Oct. 24 to 26 featuring the leading motherhood movement organizations from around the world.

The conference is embedded in ARM’s 12th annual conference, Mothering, Violence, Militarism, War and Social Justice (see Oct. 15, 2008 YFile), which runs from Oct. 23 to 26 at York. “You Say You Want a Revolution: The Motherhood Movement of the 21st Century”, will be held at York’s McLaughlin College, Keele campus.

It will feature some 28 speakers from 24 international motherhood organizations and includes nine regular sessions, several keynote panels and a book and journal launch. Speakers will hail from Mother Centers International Network for Empowerment, The Mothers Movement Online, Mothers Acting Up, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Save the Mothers, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, The Motherhood Project and more.

"Although the principles and goals of this motherhood movement are not clearly defined, numerous mothers worldwide are actively engaged in organizing for social change in and beyond their communities," says Andrea O’Reilly, ARM founder and director. She hopes the embedded conference will "raise the public profile of the mothers’ movement as a potential force for social change and will provide a collective narrative of the history, core concerns and objectives of the movement in its formative period."

Some of the topics the motherhood organizations and their speakers will tackle include the empowerment of mothers; action and change; global perspectives; reproductive justice; ending violence and seeking justice; creativity, expression and agency; and advocacy and activism.

Monika Jaeckel of Mother Centers International Network for Empowerment will present “An International Response to a Historic Need,”; Heide Göttner-Abendroth of the International Academy Hagia: Academy for Matriarchal Studies and Matriarchal Spirituality, will look at “Societies of Peace. Re-thinking Matriarchy”; while Joy Rose of Mamapalooza Inc. and Lynn Kuechle of Mamapalooza Festival 2008 will present “Find Your ‘M’ Spot.”

The book and journal launch is on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6:30 to 8:30pm featuring Mothering in the Third Wave edited by Amber Kinser, a communications professor and director of women’s studies at East Tennessee State University, and Captive Bodies: American Women Writers Redefine Pregnancy and Childbirth by Mary Ruth Marotte, an English professor at the University of Central Arkansas, both published by Demeter Press. The event will also launch “Mothers and Daughters”, the newest issue  of the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering.

The conference will conclude with a round table of all 24 motherhood movement organizations, “Motherhood Movement Roundtable: Next Steps, Future Directions: Creating an International Motherhood Movement.”

This conference will also feature the touring motherhood exhibit, “Mother: The Job, Building Human Capital, Building Human Beings,” which puts an economic yardstick to the work of mothers. It consists of a short film, sculpture, photography, domestic artifacts, original writings and integrated art forms portraying the day-to-day life of the mother and her intricate relationship with her child. It conveys the passion, intelligence and intuition that go into this, the world’s most important job. The exhibit will be open throughout the conference.

For more information or to register, visit the Association for Research on Mothering Web site.