Forward Together — a charity that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change — is doing their part to make sure all moms have a great Mother's Day this year, and you can help.
The organization has released a line of 2017 Mother's Day cards specifically designed for immigrant and Muslim mothers as part of their yearly "Mamas Day" initiative, and now people can go online and personalize a card for a mom who might need a bit of extra TLC this Sunday. The organization plans to deliver 15,000 cards nationwide, which will be distributed with the help of 28 grassroots organizations including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
"Forward Together created 'Mamas Day' in 2011 to highlight the contributions of the 'mamas' and capture the diversity of what makes a family," Kalpana Krishnamurthy, policy director at Forward Together tells A Plus. "We believe that popular images of motherhood exclude 'mamas' based on their sexual orientation, race, income, immigration status and more."
To counteract that exclusion, each year the organization commissions artists to create original art that celebrates moms who are often marginalized on Mother's Day. In the past, Forward Together has created cards for single mamas, LGBTQ moms, incarcerated moms and more, but this year the focus is on immigrant and Muslim moms.
"Immigrant and Muslim communities are facing increased scrutiny, attack, harassment, and scapegoating in this moment," Krishnamurthy explains of Forward Together's decision to highlight immigrant and Muslim moms in 2017. "Since the start of this administration, we've seen executive orders that target both communities, and a spike in hate and bias related harassment in schools, at houses of worship, and in our communities."
Because of the scrutiny and harassment, Krishnamurthy mentioned, research shows Muslim moms often feel especially isolated. A Channel Mum survey of more than 2,000 women found that over half of Muslim women say they are lonely and believe other people are wary of approaching them. Furthermore, it revealed 35 percent of non-Muslims admit they are cautious about approaching a woman who wears a hijab.
According to The New York Times, there were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, which marks a jump of about 67 percent over the previous year. Since the election, attacks against Muslims have spiked even higher.
Similarly, immigrant communities have been under siege in recent months as well. The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations Hate Crime Report found anti-Latino hate crimes jumped 69 percent in the months leading up to the election, and there were similar (though less drastic) spikes against hate crimes against people of other races, too.
"Forward Together is committed combatting the multiple forms of oppression that prevent our families from thriving," Krishnamurthy adds. "We also believe in the power of art to help us envision a new world. That's why we created 'Mamas Day' — a unique way to share beautiful art and hope with families across the country."
To show your support for immigrant and Muslim moms, create a personalized Mother's Day card of your own. Click here to get started!
Cover image via Shutterstock / JStone / Shutterstock.com.