Parents of color across the country will face Mother’s Day this Sunday (May 14) with concerns—incarceration, deportation and hate violence among them—not addressed by the holiday’s commercial messaging. Advocacy organization Forward Together recognizes them with its annual "Mamas Day" project.
"We started the project because, at a really fundamental level, we know that the mamas who are a part of our families and communities often don’t get the recognition and love that they deserve," Forward Together’s policy director Kalpana Krishnamurthy told Colorlines about the project’s 2011 genesis. "The traditional Mother’s Day card, the idea that mothers want brunch and flowers—that’s not what the mamas in our communities need."
Forward Together partnered with artists of color to create e-cards, like the two above, that depict mothers and families in situations both joyful and empowering. One from this year’s collection by Innosanto Nagara shows a four-member family with parents and a child raising their fists during a protest. Another by Breena Nuñez features a parent and child birds holding signs reading "Las inmigrantes también son madres" ("Immigrants are mothers too") and "¡La lucha sigue!" ("The fight continues"). All of them honor families of various races, structures and gender presentations unlike the ones typically included in Mother’s Day products.
"We started this collaboration with artists to really show diverse images of motherhood, whether it’s immigrant or single mamas, grandmothers raising grandchildren, mamas who are in detention centers or in jail—who are still mothers, right?" Krishnamurthy said.
This year’s collection highlights immigrant and Muslim mothers impacted by the Trump Administration’s multi-pronged assault on their communities. "With the rise of attacks on immigrant and Muslim communities, including efforts to ban people from Muslim majority countries from entry into the U.S, and mass deportations, we wanted to use Mamas Day as an opportunity to let these mamas know they are not alone," Krishnamurthy said in a statement.
In addition to the e-cards—which can be sent via MamasDay.org—Forward Together and its partner organizations plan to deliver nearly 15,000 cards to immigrant and Muslim mothers.
Visit MamasDay.org to see this year’s cards.