This piece was cross-posted from Professor Janni Aragon’s Blog
Professor Aragon is an American ex pat living in lovely Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. She works at the University of Victoria (UVIC), in the Department of Political Science. She is one of the four co-founders for Breathe Now.
The Moms Clean Air Force (MCAF) is a great example of a community-project that is fighting for the environment. The group is composed of mostly moms and some dads and they work in concert with the Environmental Defense Fund and other organizations to ensure that we don’t experience roll-backs in public policies that will harm people and the environment. Their mission is simple: Fight for clean air for our kids. After being in Southern California for a few weeks, I can attest to the fact that they have their work cut out. You can see the brown layer of smog driving into the Los Angeles Basin. Sure, it’s not as bad as it used to be, but there will still work to do.
The website provides a wealth of information about laws and efforts to protect the environment. For more information check it out here. My favorite part of the website is the call to action–What You Can do. It is so common to feel powerless, but want to get involved and MCAF is a great example of a group who are taking it to the web, writing letters, and attending events in hope of making a difference. What this means is that the organization is part of a long history of parents taking charge in order to make a difference. We can look to other organizations like the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and even the The Woman’s Christian Union (WCTU) as sister organizations that attempted to instill change. MCAF is more akin to Women Strike for Peace, though, via their different efforts. I would argue that MCAF is a proto-feminist, environmentalist organization based on their mission–they are concerned with Human Security and Human Rights via ensuring clean air. I don’t think that this is too much of a stretch.
Funny enough–I wonder how many of the participants would even think of themselves as activists. What might happen is that the activism is so fluid, you want clean air and all the benefits that come with it. And, you might not think of yourself as an activist, but it just happens. MCAF is an activist organization that is fighting the fight at the grassroots level. Who said that social movements are dead?! As a feminist parent, I enjoy finding out about organizations like MCAF, so that I can connect with the organizations and also share the information with others. We can use social media for more than monetization.