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Welfare Warriors are mothers and children in poverty
who have joined together to make our voices heard
in all policies affecting families in poverty,
the larger community, and the Earth...
work to create a voice for mothers in poverty through our
own organizations and media. Through street activism,
advocacy, and our newspaper, the Mother
Voice, we fight for the creation of a federal
program to guarantee that all children
have support to the age of 18.
educate and agitate until all communities recognize that
"Motherwork IS Work" and must be paid and prioritized
by the community and in the workplace.
actively protest the devastation being caused
by "welfare reform."
How Can I Help?
Line ~ 414-342-6662
Warriors MOMS Line, begun in 1990, teaches self-advocacy skills and
the "Three Step Plan of Self-Defense " to about 1200 moms a
year. In addition to telephone training and support, all callers
receive a copy of the 34 page booklet, Moms Survival Guide. This
booklet, updated yearly, provides names and numbers of supervisors and
directors over each welfare bureaucracy, an explanation of Public
benefit laws, names and numbers of appropriate politicians, numbers
for helpful agencies and programs, and information and articles about
the war against the poor. Moms love this Survival Guide and find it
essential in an environment that has become increasingly hostile to
their families' survival.
Mothers and Youth (MAY) Project
Welfare Warriors' Mothers and Youth (MAY) project, begun in 1995,
brings together moms and their children to work for social justice
while learning and developing new skills. It is an exciting way for
families to work together, strengthening the family while building the
community. The children in the neighborhood have a safe, productive
after-school activity where they not only learn the truth about
poverty, but they also develop valuable working skills, from
operating office machines to designing flyers and organizing actions,
to doing mailings and maintenance. By providing volunteer stipends to
youth volunteers, we are able to help families in poverty survive,
while they in turn lend valuable work to an invaluable cause--their
and Grandmothers of the Disappeared Children)
Project, was founded in 1992 to provide support and legal advocacy to
moms whose children have been wrongfully removed by Social Services.
This Project also works to change the practices and laws that allow
the government to needlessly remove children from loving homes, their
siblings, and their mother.
Mother Warriors Committee
Warriors' Mother Warriors Committee, the organizing branch of the
Welfare Warriors, works locally and across the USA to give a voice to
mothers and children to stop the war on the poor and to lobby for a
Government Guaranteed Child support Program. We use music, public
actions, street theatre, publications, marches and more to organize
for social change. Mother Warriors coordinate actions with England's
Wages for Housework, LA's Global Strike Network, and the National
Women's Council of Ireland to the Global Women's Strike each year on
March 8 to demand recognition of women's unpaid work.
How we came to be...
the Spring of 1986 a small multi-racial group of Milwaukee single
mothers came together to create a newspaper that would provide a voice
for mothers in poverty where none before existed. We envisioned a
media that would allow moms to exchange information, offer each other
support and inspiration.
a few months of that initial meeting, we named ourselves
Warriors and our newspaper, Welfare Mothers Voice, because as
Warrior Mothers fighting for the children we wanted to remove the stigma
attached to what had become a dirty word, "welfare". By the
Fall of 1986 we produced the first issue of the Welfare Mothers Voice, a
quarterly publication by, for, and about mothers in poverty.
Inspired by Maria, Liberation of People, a Mexican mothers'
newspaper, the Voice has grown from a type-written publication
pasted together in co-founder Pat Gowens' kitchen, to a 28-page
bilingual, international, activist mothers news journal. The
Welfare Warriors have grown from an informal group of moms who met in
each other's homes to an organization that educates and inspires mothers
to activism around the world.