If someone says the word activist to you what do you see in your mind? For me, I used to see women marching through the streets with signs held high and voices blaring. But after talking with Quiana, I’ve realized that activism takes many forms.
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Quiana believes that all mothers are inherently activists and advocates. We are raising the next generation of changemakers and we shouldn’t take this role lightly. Some moms advocate in the books that we read to our children and the lessons we teach in hopes to raise our children to spread kindness, acceptance and love. Quiana inspires, encourages and challenges the system. She connects with an amazing community through her Harlem Lovebirds blog and social media presence. She also is a very active member of Moms Demand Action, an organization advocating for anti-gun violence and pro-gun safety. She juggles this role as an advocate, in addition to running a marketing, PR and graphic design firm and being a mother to her 2 children.
How did you get involved as an activist?
I moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and had an active shooter situation. It inspired me to get involved with Moms Demand Action, the Wellesley Racial Justice Initiative and started to find that I was getting pegged as an activist or a mom activist in influencer spaces. I felt like I identified more as a mom who became passionate and enlightened about certain things that were coming to my doorstep. I saw it all through the lens of my role as a mother and it made me want to be an active participant rather than a bystander.
Do see yourself as an activist and an advocate?
I’m definitely an activist and an advocate. I think by definition motherhood is that because you by far are impacting, the next generation. You’re setting them up, you’re inspiring them, you’re giving them tools, you’re helping them change the world. So when people say- I’m not an activist- I’m like, well, you’re raising your literally raising the next generation by inspiring them. I think we can’t discount the role that motherhood plays in activism and being able to expand that definition. It doesn’t mean you have to go get a sign and stand in the street and get shot with rubber bullets. Yes, that has its place, but I think there are things that that are happening under our roof that we need to get credit for.
What has this last year been like for you?
I’m a planner by nature so this year was a real challenge for me. I think most people have a challenging time with uncertainty, but this was just uncertainty overload so I struggled a lot with that.
I think i’m starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel and I’m really excited for that. It also makes me think about older generations, who went through much longer periods of either war or disease and just being in awe of what previous generations have gone through. I’m also incredibly grateful for science. I also try to remain aware that there are many people around the world who are still going through this and so that weighs heavily on me. I think alot about how my family is relatively okay and we came out of this pretty unscathed but just because I’m okay doesn’t mean I put blinders on to anything else that’s happening. So i’ve thought a lot about what are ways that I can amplify and bring attention to COVID challenges and other inequities. I try to make sure that I instill in the kids that we’re okay, and then encourage them to think about who can we help next? So always having that world view and thinking about community is a guiding principle for me.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.