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Mother Up! Releases Climate Justice Zine 

click to enlarge Allison Korn of Brattleboro with her children - COURTESY OF ALLISON KORN
  • Courtesy of Allison Korn
  • Allison Korn of Brattleboro with her children

Finding ways to collaborate isn't easy during a pandemic. But families across Vermont recently came together to create a 48-page zine — a small-batch, self-published collection of original writing and images— centered around creating a more equitable, sustainable world.

click to enlarge Sueno LeBlond and Autumnrose on a cargo bike - COURTESY OF CAITLIN BURLETT
  • Courtesy of Caitlin Burlett
  • Sueno LeBlond and Autumnrose on a cargo bike

The approximately 18 contributors to the publication, The Future Is Now, are members of Mother Up!: Families Rise Up for Climate Action, a project of nonprofit 350Vermont. The network of Vermont parents, who met regularly in Brattleboro, Montpelier, Burlington and Middlebury before the pandemic, are advocates for climate justice — for the health of families, communities and the planet.

click to enlarge Caitlin Burlett, Selah and Anaïs biking to school - COURTESY OF CAITLIN BURLETT
  • Courtesy of Caitlin Burlett
  • Caitlin Burlett, Selah and Anaïs biking to school

Last year, 350Vermont released two zines related to the climate crisis and COVID-19. Those projects were a great way for supporters to stay connected and write about how those issues were impacting them, said Mother Up! coordinator Abby Mnookin. They also inspired the creation of a more family-focused publication.

click to enlarge Jessica Dolan and her daughter Naia - COURTESY OF JESSICA DOLAN
  • Courtesy of Jessica Dolan
  • Jessica Dolan and her daughter Naia

The Future Is Now organizers provided families with a menu of prompts, asking them to think about how they live sustainably or participate in the climate-justice movement and to respond with a poem, story, interview, picture or photograph.

The zine entries range from an essay about a family of four's journey as they prepare to hike the entire Long Trail this summer to a photocollage of parents and kids on cargo bikes. There's a piece on handcrafting games and toys and a "Little Miss Flint" paper doll that honors 13-year-old Mari Copeny, who became an activist when her town suffered a water crisis. Social justice educator and activist Angela Berkfield shares an excerpt from Parenting 4 Social Justice, a guide released in March by Green Writers Press.

click to enlarge Marco Yunga Tacuri with kids Lucas and Asha - COURTESY OF ALLISON KORN
  • Courtesy of Allison Korn
  • Marco Yunga Tacuri with kids Lucas and Asha

Though the pandemic has prevented in-person Mother Up! meetings this winter and spring, 350Vermont plans to host tree plantings across the state in May as part of its ReWild Vermont campaign, which aims to plant 100 thousand trees across the state by the end of 2022.

Mother Up! members celebrated The Future is Now with a launch event on Zoom on March 23, featuring music, readings and a visioning activity.

"We all did this alone at home," said Mnookin, "and yet it's part of this shared creation that will go out into the world." 

Find The Future is Now online at https://issuu.com/350vermont/docs/thefutureisnow and at local bookstores.

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