Mother Wisdom from the Bioneers Archives

How do we celebrate and lift the voices of all the mothers in our lives? As we gear up for Mother’s Day this weekend, we find ourselves remembering and reciting the wisdom of these mothers and those impacted by them throughout our history. Here are a few from our archives to share:

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

The former CEO of Green For All shares her deeply personal journey of the experience of becoming a mother and her renewed urgency to create a healthier and more just planet. She speaks on race, class, and motherhood, explaining how the intersections have stretched and transformed her approach to leadership.

Being a mother changes the way you think about change and time. Real change is how we relate to one another.

Erin Konsmo, Esther Lucero and Katsi Cook

In this powerful panel at the Indigenous Forum, Konsmo (Metis-Cree), Esther Lucero (Diné-Latina), and Katsi Cook (Akwesasne-Mohawk) speak on the issues affecting indigenous women, mothers, and children today. They discuss the high rates of sexual violence that correlates with fracking and drilling, holding health systems accountable, environmental pollution and trans-generational metabolic/reproductive diseases, and building a network of Native healers.

The notion of woman as the first environment isn’t just about the womb, it’s the

transgenerational lineage to the creator women: mitochondrial DNA.

Nikki Silvestri (Henderson)

Nikki Henderson begins her deeply personal story by sharing the inspiration of her forefathers and foremothers. Sharing her truths on People’s Grocery in Oakland, Food Justice, and Family Activism, she reveals her use of food as a catalyst for environmental and social justice.

Part of my activism now is Family Activism: using the dinner table and family gatherings as spaces to test and practice my ability to love.

Sandra Steingraber

The brilliant health researcher, cancer survivor, bestselling author of Living Downstream, and the most articulate advocate for a toxic-free environment since Rachel Carson, describes her health battles, motherhood and activism. She shows the environmental links to many cancers (including hers) that the medical establishment refuses to look at. She focuses on the effects even tiny amounts of chemicals can have on the fetus and small children, and challenges our collective failure to address our global ecological unraveling or control toxic chemicals.

Any chemical with the power to extinguish a human pregnancy has no rightful place in our economy.

Miguel Santistevan

An ethnobiologist and farmer from Taos, New Mexico, Miguel sees farming as a homecoming. Witnessing the passing of the seasons alongside a powerful community, he discusses his deep connection with Mother Earth.

I measure my success by how many different living things are benefiting from what I am doing.

Alice Walker, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Nina Simons, Sarah Crowell, Joanna Macy and Akaya Windwood

Transformational women leaders are restoring societal balance by showing us how to reconnect relationships – not only among people – but between people and the natural world. This conversation provides a fascinating window into the soulful depths of what it means to restore the balance between our masculine and feminine selves to bring about wholeness, justice and true restoration of people and planet.

We have within us everything we need.

Rha Goddess

Young women are rising up to take their power, and in doing so they are re-weaving a web of relationship that promises to rock the world. Performing artist, activist and hip-hop entrepreneur Rha Goddess explores how this generation’s daughters are branding their own movement of love, power and freedom.

We cannot demand rights that we believe deep down inside we are entitled to and expect to receive them.

For more brilliance, check out our Women’s Leadership and Everywoman’s Leadership playlists, and send a beautiful Mama’s Day Card made possible by CultureStrike (founded by Bioneer Favianna Rodriguez).


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