The message society often sends about black mothers facing the challenges associated with poverty is that they are a problem, unworthy, and need to be controlled. This national narrative shapes how women see themselves AND how other people engage with them...teachers, social workers, employers, landlords and healthcare providers to name a few. This dysfunctional, but pervasive, narrative serves to maintain cycles of poverty.
We believe women who mother from the margins have potential, bring value to their communities, and are powerful change agents. Our work is to get the Infamous Mothers book and associated programming to women who need it most (and cannot afford it at this time). The book and programming help mothers:
feel a sense of hope and inspiration
believe they are beautiful, worthy and powerful
imagine new possibilities and give themselves permission to dream of a different future
develop problem-solving strategies and become more purposeful in their management of resources
learn that they can start building a healthy family and community infrastructure to raise their children
The Infamous Mothers movement is a cultural one. It’s about marginalized mothers owning and redefining their own narratives, establishing their own criteria for beauty, and creating a lifestyle that honors their vision for themselves and their children. It’s about taking the hurt and disappointment of the past and spinning an awe-inspiring future. To ignite this movement, we need to get the tools (the books) and the programming into the hands and minds of as many infamous mothers as possible. The goal of 10,000 books for 10,000 women across 10 cities is about mobilizing and inspiring mothers who need it the most. But it is also about making a big statement: their issues, their triumphs, and their potential should be at the center of national conversations about women.
Starting in the fall, we will begin visiting cities across America to determine which 10 will be recipients to of our books and programming. Next year, we will launch a full, formal tour where we will be hosting half-day conferences for infamous mothers who are facing the challenges of poverty. At the conferences, women will get a free copy of the book as well as an opportunity to participate in a photo shoot, be interviewed and have their stories placed online. These will be transformative opportunities! In addition, Infamous Mothers will provide professional development for social workers and other professionals working to support marginalized women.
To keep this work going, we are building an army of people across the country who are willing to take action. We invite you to become a member of that army and to help send the message that marginalized mothers are valued. There are four different roles you can play. We will send you a toolkit to support you.
I will commit to finding 25 people in my network who will: 1) gift one book and 2) get a friend to gift one book.
I, personally, will gift 50 Infamous Mothers books.
I will work to get my organization to gift 100 books.
I will work with my friends/colleagues to organize a day-long Infamous Mothers pop-up tour in my city. The pop-up tour will include a minimum of four events with 50+ people. Event locations can be held at hair salons, daycare centers, community centers, women’s organizations, colleges and/or churches. Sagashus Levingston will speak at each event.
When we each take action and contribute, we can accomplish great things. As they say, many hands make for light work.
100 Ambassadors = 5,000 books gifted
30 Super Supporters = 1,500 books gifted
15 Organizational Partners = 1,500 books gifted
10 Pop-Up Tours = 2,000 books gifted
Total = 10,000 lives changed
How are you? I remember how excited you were about the Women’s March. It’s seven months later, And I remember our discussion about wanting to keep the momentum going. Here’s an opportunity I’d like to share with you. I am an ambassador for a campaign that is bringing programming and resources to women who mother from the margins of our society: teen moms, single moms, baby mamas, women who abused drugs, women who sex worked, women who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual trauma, etc. And we would love it if you could sponsor one book and programming on behalf of at least one woman. Your pledge of $25 will get her a book and cover the cost of her registration for a one-day conference that will expose her to new tools and skills to put her on a pathway to realize her dreams and goals.
Watch the Video: I know you are busy, but please watch the Infamous Mothers video - it is barely over 2 minutes and well worth your time. You can read about this campaign in this Cap Times article. Or you can watch her TEDx Talk here or read about her mention in the August issue of ESSENCE magazine’s Top 10 (click here for Infamous Mothers in the media).
Meet Sagashus the Entrepreneur: I have been working with (or I have known) Sagashus Levingston for more (fill in the blank). She is my (fill in the blank). She has continually impressed me with her ability to learn quickly, take action immediately, rally supporters on behalf of this work, and her sheer determination. She is relentless! She has met every goal and deadline she sets for herself. I have no doubt that she will grow Infamous Mothers to achieve the impact she envisions. Sagashus is just finishing her PhD at UW-Madison and has already been invited to speak around Madison as well as Minneapolis, Columbus, and Montreal. Currently, she is touring the Midwest and several places outside of it.
Learn More about Infamous Mothers: So often, we view Black women who have gone through difficult challenges as a liability to society. The Infamous Mothers movement proposes that these women are actually an under-recognized and under-utilized asset.
Infamous Mothers celebrates women who have drawn upon experiences that society deems reprehensible to build successful lives as physicians, psychologists, business women, and educators. This movement challenges the stereotypes that not only hold these women back, but also the future of our communities and economies. These are unsanitized stories of the American Dream...women who learned to survive and then learned to thrive.
Infamous Mothers creates materials (publications, videos, multi-media art exhibits), classes and workshops that are provocative and will change the public dialog around the social and economic contributions of Black mothers. These materials will be used by academic institutions and community organizations all over the country. Infamous Mothers will host a national conference that brings women together and will train facilitators who can deploy the curricula nation-wide.
Become Part of the Movement - Make a Contribution: This work must happen. And, Sagashus is the person to lead it. But, Infamous Mothers needs your help. Please make a contribution through the Infamous Mothers iFundWomen site AND share this message with others who you think would like to support the movement.
I am so excited to be an ambassador for the Infamous Mothers 10,000 Campaign. We are on a mission to raise 10,000 books for 10,000 women across 10 cities. And we need your help. Pledge today and arm a mother with the gift of hope, support, and tools to begin realizing her dream and creating a brighter future for her children. Take me to the 10,000 Campaign
This Infamous Mothers Pop-Up Tour has shown up in Chicago, Green Bay, Appleton, Madison...We will be in 13 cities in August. Where will we go next to inspire mothers? To keep up, like our Infamous Mothers Facebook page. And pledge today! Take me to the 10,000 Campaign
Survivors of domestic violence are excited when we show up. We cry together, laugh together, but most important, we get inspired and full of hope together. We talk about next steps and build community together. We build resources together. We need your dollars to help us bring resources to these women. Help us bring 10,000 books to 10,000 mothers across 10 cities. Take me to the 10,000 Campaign
So what is the Infamous Mothers Pop Up Tour? It’s Infamous Mothers showing up almost unexpectedly in cities across the Midwest inspiring women in domestic abuse shelters, low-income housing, substance abuse centers, etc. It’s us letting them know we are mobilizing a nation on behalf of them, and we are bringing resources to them. Pledge today and help us make this possible. Take me to the 10,000 Campaign
Some of our women have left a message on the Infamous Mothers Facebook book page with the hashtag #IM10000. They are telling us why this campaign has to succeed. When you are able, please read some of those posts. And if you feel inspired to do so, pledge today. Take me to the 10,000 Campaign
This campaign is important to me because________________. And I need you to help me make it successful. Pledge today. Take me to the 10,000 Campaign
When you support the 10,000 Campaign, you support a social venture that supports mothers who need it most. We are on a mission to remind families of their power. Help us do so! Take me to the 10,000 Campaign
Across the Midwest, Infamous Mothers is inspiring women in domestic abuse shelters, low-income housing, and other places. Follow them on Twitter.
Infamous Mothers is raising 10,000 books for 10,000 women across 10 cities. Help us! Pledge today. www.ifundwomen.com/projects/10000-infamous-mothers
@ESSENCE recognizes Infamous Mothers as one of their August issue’s Top 10.
Infamous Mothers is putting marginalized mothers at the center of important women’s issues. Check out their TEDx Talk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUlIOQP8YCA
I support the Infamous Mothers 10,000 Campaign because….
Survivors of domestic violence, substance abuse, human trafficking are powerful people. Infamous Mothers loves reminding them of that.
Support the 10,000 Campaign and help us mobilize and release the power of 10,000 mothers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUlIOQP8YCA