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Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

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This Mother's Day, Let's Be '7 Billion Strong'

Posted: 05/09/2012 4:01 pm

This Mother's Day is a very special one for me. I'm expecting my first child in just a few weeks. It's a time filled with anticipation and hope. But most of all, this new addition to my family and my life has given even more urgency to our effort to create an inclusive green economy.

It's pretty hard not to want to leave behind a healthier, greener, more prosperous world when it's your own child who will be living in it. Maybe that's why women have contributed so much over the decades to movements for justice and peace.

In fact, we can trace Mother's Day in America back to an early activist. In 1870, fed up with the carnage of the Civil War, feminist and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe issued a "Mother's Day Proclamation" calling for women to band together to promote disarmament and peace. Howe believed women could be an unstoppable force for social change. She was right.

From suffrage to civil rights to farmworkers justice, women have played a key role in the progress we've made over the past century. So when we celebrate Mother's Day, we're also celebrating the power of women to change the world.

That's why I could not be more proud and excited to announce the release our new music video collaboration for the song "7 Billion" by Silent C and Invest.

Their song -- which won Green For All's 2012 Dream Reborn Music Contest -- taps into the power of the planet's growing population to overcome poverty and oppression and create a better world. It also highlights the role women play in creating more peaceful and just nations and communities -- and in transforming individual lives.

Women like my own mother, who worked hard to support our family. I grew up in the shadow of oil refineries and polluting industry, where, too often, families like mine were forced to choose between their jobs and their health. But my mom showed me what people can do when they come together for a purpose. When she joined a union and began to make a fair wage, my prospects in life suddenly improved -- and so did those of all the other kids whose parents were in the union. I witnessed the way community organizing can make a difference in real people's lives -- and that may have been one of the most valuable lessons my mother taught me.

So this Mother's Day, in honor of my mom Gail Lamkins, I'm going to share this inspiring video. And I'm going to fight harder than ever for a greener and more inclusive America.

You can join me. Take a moment to share the "7 Billion" video and tell us about a woman who's inspired you. And help our movement grow.

 

Follow Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins on Twitter: www.twitter.com/phaedrael

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