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upworthy

elizabeth warren

via 314Handcrafted / TikTok

A mother's experience job hunting with a one-year-old child highlights the reality many parents face and how employers can be part of the solution.

Mother-of-two Maggie Mundwiller, 38, was laid-off six weeks after her one-year-old Mylo was born in the middle of the pandemic. Finding a job over the past year has been hard enough, let alone with a newborn baby.

"A lot of people are not able to pay for the childcare if they're unemployed even if there is one parent that is employed," she told WMUR. "You have so many other bills that you have to pay for."


She recently interviewed for a marketing position at a senior living facility and received a last-minute call from the company to come in for a follow-up. However, her family had prior commitments they couldn't get out of to watch the baby.

Mundwiller asked the company if they could reschedule the interview because she had no one to look after her child. The company told her not to worry, because it's child-friendly. "So, I just let them know, OK we'll be there in a few hours and Mylo will be interview ready," Mundwiller said.


@314handcrafted

Ever been to a toddler friendly interview? #companyculture #toddler #fyp #foryourpage #PrimeDayDealsDance #toddler #covidbaby #job #interview #cute


Mudwiller dressed little Mylo up in a dapper suit, gave him his first resume, and cleaned up his stroller so they could make the best impression possible. She hoped to "make a good impression and make light out of a situation that's a little bit different than what we're used to," she said.

The interview went well because she felt she had nothing to hide. "The interview certainly felt more laid back than a traditional one. I could be my authentic self without hiding parts of my personal life," she told Buzzfeed.

The video of her and Mylo getting prepped for the interview went viral on TikTok earning over nine million views. It even caught the attention of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

"I remember what it was like as a young mom trying to juggle a big new job—standing in the driveway, bouncing my baby on my hip, panic mounting because the babysitter hadn't come yet," Warren wrote on Facebook. "That's why I'm in this fight for quality, affordable child care."

Mudwiller was completely shocked that her video was seen by the Senator.


@314handcrafted

OMG FRIENDS, @senatorlizziewarren, knows my name🤯 #momsoftiktok #momsover30 #toddlersoftiktok #unemployed #how #childcarecrisis #mom #greenscreen


In a follow-up video, Mudwiller revealed that she had got the job and that all she and Mylo had to do was make sure they were the right fit for the company.


@314handcrafted

Part 2! #interview #roadtrip #momsoftiktok #parentsoftiktok @#momsoftiktok #toddlersoftiktok #MyColoredHair #interview #job #toddler #mom #work


The mother-of-two is happy that she was able to highlight an issue that so many parents face and to give them a voice. "You can tell that there's just so many people that relate and there hasn't been a voice for them, and so I feel like finally there's a voice for people who are struggling in the same way that I have been," she said.

Mudwiller's interview made her realize how important it is for companies to cater to employees with children so she's working on a website for parents that lets them know which employers are child-friendly.

On Feb. 8, 2017, Sen. Jeff Sessions was confirmed as our nation's next attorney general in a final vote of 52-47. The Republican from Alabama abstained from voting for himself, and one Democrat voted for him.

Despite resistance and pushback from many organizations — including an open letter from 1,424 law professors from 180 universities in 49 states asking to reject Sessions on the grounds that "it is unacceptable for someone with Senator Sessions’ record to lead the Department of Justice," testimony from civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), a different hearing 30 years ago when a bipartisan group of eight Democrats and two Republicans voted to reject his appointment to the federal bench due in part to a black lawyer testifying that Sessions called him "boy," evidence of his ongoing relationship with problematic organizations (*cough* white supremacists *cough*) — Sessions was voted into office.


Presumably, for the next four years, he will be President Donald Trump's chief law enforcement officer, overseeing how the laws are interpreted around immigration, elections, the War on Drugs, you name it.

It means the next few years could be challenging, to say the least.

Here are 19 real things you can do right now to make sure our justice system is working for everyone.

1. First of all: Don’t freak out. Don’t panic. Don’t give up hope.

We've lived through a lot in our short time on this planet. The world didn’t end when Bush was in charge. Obama didn’t burn civil rights to the ground either or take away everyone's guns. You’re still here. And there are ways to push back. Heck, some judges are already helping with that.

2. Maybe you’ve already donated to the ACLU. But there are other organizations that need your support too.

The ACLU has already raised six times what they normally do online in a year. Which is awesome.

But there are so many other organizations doing important work too, and they aren't getting the same attention the ACLU has garnered in recent weeks. So, if you can swing it, help out organizations like the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, and ProPublica that are also doing important work and could use the money too.

3. Support organizations led by people of color who are fighting for justice and equality on the ground.

Organizations like Black Youth Project 100 are creating the next generation of black leaders. There are a lot of brilliant and talented people of color out there doing super-smart things to help make our country more equitable with a focus on racial justice. But fighting for equality and justice isn’t something that tends to be a huge moneymaker, so many people do it with little or no compensation.

Fortunately,The Safety Pin Box recently came onto the scene. It's an amazing business with two important goals: 1. to turn white allyship into meaningful action toward racial justice and 2. more importantly, to fund black women who are doing hard work to change things for the better. The majority of proceeds from their monthly subscriptions are gifted to black female organizers who are doing said work. Their work will be keywith Sessions in charge. Like their Facebook page if you want to learn more. And then subscribe. (If you need to know why you should subscribe, read this.)

4. Be ready for the midterm elections in 2018.

Take a few minutes right now to set a calendar reminder to vote so you can let the candidates who did (or didn't) vote for Sessions and who are up for re-election in 2018 know exactly how you feel about that. We’re still dealing with election fatigue from a tumultuous 2016, but midterms really are just around the corner. Stay informed and get involved. And make sure you vote.

Remember, Sessions has a history of prosecuting people who help others vote, as Evelyn Turner experienced firsthand.

Which brings us to…

5. Support organizations that help protect people’s voting rights.

Sessions has a history of being a little aggressive about opposing voter rights. In 2013, he called the gutting of the Voting Rights Act "good news … for the South." The GOP has already started to take steps to eliminate the election commission that helps states protect the vote.

So check out organizations that report about and protect the vote, like Let America Vote, Color of Change, and the Voting Rights Institute.

6. Do you know what Black Lives Matter REALLY represents? Maybe it's time to refresh your memory.

One of the criticisms often lobbied at any activist movement — but especially at the Black Lives Matter movement, unjustifiably — is that there is no clear set of goals. That all changed when Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza — who founded Black Lives Matter — and their allies rolled out their guiding principles document, a comprehensive guide to fighting for racial justice in America. Their website has policy agendas, actions you can take, and ways to get involved on a national and local level.

Another organization, Campaign Zero, also has a platform specifically addressing how to reform police departments, offering solutions that will make life better for all involved. If you are a white person looking to get involved, you might also want to check out Showing Up for Racial Justice, which has local chapters across the country.

7. Support organizations that are acting as watchdogs of the Justice Department.

Speaking of policing and crime, Sessions has a history of being a hardliner who prefers harsh sentences for even nonviolent crimes. The Brennan Center for Justice has been keeping track of his long record of filling prisons instead of rehabilitating offenders. Sessions has been very hesitant to let the federal government help reform city and state police departments. He’s blocked common-sense sentencing reforms that even Republicans wanted to implement. And he’s a fan of private prisons.

We wouldn’t know that without checking out organizations like the Brennan Center. So Like them on Facebook, and, if you can, donate to help protect folks.

8. Take some time to learn about the Innocence Project and the Equal Justice Initiative.

About 1 in 25 people sentenced to death in the United States ultimately would be exonerated for a false conviction (if time on death row were unlimited). The Innocence Project is on the front lines of death penalty reform, helping to get innocent people who are wrongly convicted off of death row.

Then, for those who actually did commit crimes in a system that is fundamentally broken, the Equal Justice Initiative is there to call out bonkers things like the fact that taxpayers spend $182 billion a year on mass incarceration or that there are 10,000 children stuck in adult prisons as we speak.

Learn more about them the easy way. Like the Innocence Project and Equal Justice Initiative on Facebook.

9. Learn about hate groups, since Trump no longer is interested in what they do.

A recent survey of law enforcement agencies discovered that law enforcement is far more worried about right-wing extremism and terrorism hurting Americans than the threat of Islamic terrorism.

Since the Trump administration decided not to track terrorism by right-wing or white extremist groups, make sure you’re following the Southern Poverty Law Center. They keep track of hate groups in America.

10. Consider running for office locally. Yes, you. You can do it.

As they say, all politics is local. In many ways, what’s happening on Main Streets across America is just as consequential as what’s happening in Washington. Start attending your local city council meetings, and — better yet — run for office on the promise to uphold civil rights and social justice in every way you know how.

11. Support groups that fight for immigrant rights.

A lot of immigration groups will be under attack in the Trump White House. We know this because Trump has already picked a fight with the entire judicial branch of government over his poorly thought-out Muslim ban.

Check out Informed Immigrant for resources. The National Immigration Law Center is on the front lines of the Muslim ban in assisting immigrants with legal advice. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration is helping fight for the rights of black immigrants. Mijente is on the ground, confronting immigrant abuse by government at the source.

12. National organizations get a lot of attention, but did you know many of them have local branches that need help too?

There are lots of smaller groups doing great work protecting and ensuring progress on social justice at the state and local levels (the ACLU has local affiliates, for starters). Ask around. Do some digging.

Also check out Movement 2017, where you can find lots of local organizations that need financial and volunteer support, and see if there are ways for you to get involved and support these efforts in your own backyard.

13. Share this video of Sen. Elizabeth Warren reading the 1986 letter written by Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions for a position as a federal judge.

Ya know, the one most GOP senators don’t want you to hear. King penned a powerful piece in 1986 specifying why Sessions’ controversial record suppressing the rights of black voters in Alabama should disqualify him from a federal judgeship. Warren tried to read the letter aloud before the Senate but was silenced by the GOP-controlled chamber.

Do her a favor — watch and share the video below:

During the debate on whether to make Jeff Sessions the next Attorney General, I tried to read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate. The letter, from 30 years ago, urged the Senate to reject the nomination of Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship. The Republicans took away my right to read this letter on the floor - so I'm right outside, reading it now.

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

14. Learn about gerrymandering with this super-fun video from "Adam Ruins Everything" so you know what's at stake in 2018 ... and 2020.

Show this video about gerrymandering to anyone who says “gerrywhatnow?” when you bring up the way voting districts can be redrawn to create party majorities. Sessions will probably be doing everything he can to protect this process.

15. Watch the documentary "13th" on Netflix (or read "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," the book that inspired the film).

This Oscar-nominateddocumentary was directed by Ava DuVernay ("Selma") and currently boasts a 97% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Its title comes from the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States."

If you want to better understand the way America’s modern system of mass incarceration is rooted in slavery and racism, "13th" is an eye-opening trip through history.

“By the time her movie ends, Ms. DuVernay has delivered a stirring treatise on the prison industrial complex through a nexus of racism, capitalism, policies and politics. It sounds exhausting, but it’s electrifying.”
Manohla Dargis' review of "13th" in The New York Times

16. Make sure your bank isn't investing in private prisons, and divest from it if you can.

Several large U.S. banks — namely Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas, SunTrust, and U.S. Bancorp — help finance debt by CoreCivic and The GEO, two major private-prison companies. In other words, your bank may be helping keep highly unethical private prisons — which rely on an increasing supply of inmates to make their money — thriving. Divest from the banks that support this practice, and spread the word.

17. Support survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Sessions isn’t exactly known for being a champion for women and survivors of sexual violence. In 1994, he voted against the Violence Against Women Act — a fact that wasn’t lost on Sen. Patrick Leahy, who pressed Sessions on his "no" vote earlier this month.

There are a lot of ways to support local women's shelters doing vital work in protecting and advocating for survivors, whether it be volunteering your time with them or donating to shelters in your area. Also, take the time to get to know orgs fighting to create better policies on college campuses, like Know Your IX and SurvJustice.

18. Help pay off the often steep legal fees for those searching for justice.

Funded Justice, an online crowdsourcing platform, allows people to raise money from friends, family, and strangers to help pay their legal fees. Unfortunately, while justice is blind, our justice system isn’t; if you have the money to pay for the best lawyers and legal resources, you’re more likely to get the results you want. This means low-income defendants aren’t given a fair shake. (For more on this, check out the documentary "Gideon's Army.") Funded Justice helps level the playing field.

19. Follow writers who are speaking out about our broken systems.

Read Ijeoma Oluo’s open letter to white people who want to help. Read Rewire’s list of grassroots legal all-stars fighting for justice. Expand your mind and check out our list of 23 incredible black women activists. Seek out new writers every single day.

We've got a long road ahead of us. It's important to stay sane, stay healthy, and stay informed.

There's probably going to be a lot of depressing news being thrown at you for the foreseeable future. Don't block it all out; that's how they win. They want you to feel overwhelmed. Don't give them the satisfaction.

You won’t know what these organizations are doing if they aren’t in your feed, your email inbox, or your mailbox. Take the time to go back through this article and Like the Facebook pages of the orgs that resonate with you. It'll only take five minutes out of your day. It'll help you keep up to date with what we're up against.

And just to say it: If you do feel overwhelmed, take a break from Facebook when you need to. We're all gonna need one occasionally. That's normal.

When that break is over, get back to helping make sure we all live in a more equitable world someday in the future. And make sure to continue to share important information with your community. Share, donate, volunteer, and support folks who are doing the hard work on the ground.

On Feb. 9, 2017, the Senate invoked Rule 19, effectively barring Sen. Elizabeth Warren from speaking on the floor.

Warren was silenced after reading parts of a letter Coretta Scott King wrote to Sen. Strom Thurmond in 1986 to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship.

"They can shut me up, but they can't change the truth," Warren told CNN's Don Lemon of her colleagues' decision to revoke her speaking privileges.


In response to invoking the rule and removing Warren from the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

With that declaration, Warren was instantly added to the long long of women and girls throughout history who've persisted, even as those who opposed them try to shut them down. As Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote in 1976: "Well behaved women seldom make history."

McConnell didn't realize it at the time, but he had just coined a feminist rallying cry. What he presented as a rebuke of Warren's behavior quickly picked up steam on social media, where people used it to highlight powerful women from history who refused to be silenced.

Here are some of the strong, badass women who nevertheless persisted against all odds:

1. Dolores Huerta, founder of the nation's largest farmworkers union.

2. Ruby Bridges, one of the first black children integrated into an all-white school.

3. Edie Windsor, whose lawsuit against the federal government paved the way for marriage equality.

4. Harriet Tubman, a former slave and spy who led hundreds of slaves to freedom.

5. Bree Newsome, who climbed a pole at the South Carolina capitol and removed the Confederate flag.

6. Ida B. Wells, iconic writer, activist, and suffragette.

7. Hillary Clinton, former senator and secretary of state, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election.

8. Rosa Parks, a seamstress trained in civil resistance who helped launch the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

9. Vera Rubin, the astrophysicist who confirmed the existence of dark matter.

10, 11, and 12. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, who hold it down for women in the judicial branch.

13. Angela Davis, an activist, educator, writer, and fierce advocate for prison reform and gender equality.

14. Nellie Bly, the pen name of Elizabeth Cochrane, a pioneering journalist.

15. Ieshia Evans, who stood strong at a demonstration in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

16. Anita Hill, who stepped forward with accusations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

17. Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American social activist and revolutionary from Detroit.

18. Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to enter the Boston Marathon.

19. Dorothy Height, esteemed educator and advocate for civil rights and women's rights.

20. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.

21. Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first black female journalist to earn White House credentials.

22. Shirley Chisholm, unbought and unbossed, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first black woman of a major party to run for president of United States.

23. Gloria Richardson, civil rights activist and leader of the Cambridge Movement in Cambridge, Maryland.

24. Rachel Carson, ecologist and nature writer who stood up to chemical companies and private science.

25. Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist who helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer voter-registration drive.

Sen. Warren joins a long line of women throughout history who've stood up and remain unbowed in the face of adversity.

She's not the first, and she won't be the last. Who among us will stand up and be next?

Who knows? It might even be you.

On Feb. 7, 2017, Elizabeth Warren began reading a letter by Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor.

The senator from Massachusetts read the letter, written three decades ago, in which the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. expressed her opposition to the nomination of Jeff Sessions — now a senator from Alabama — for a federal judgeship.

Sessions, whose work to suppress black voters prevented him from becoming a federal judge in 1986, is expected to be confirmed as the next attorney general of the United States by the Republican-controlled Senate on Feb. 8.


Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Warren, however, didn't make it through the whole letter — on the Senate floor, that is.

Republicans, claiming she had violated Senate rules by impugning a colleague, voted to silence her. Warren was no longer allowed to speak out against Sessions' nomination.

Of the decision to bar Warren from reading the letter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained:"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

But Warren refused to be silenced. Instead, she read the letter in its entirety on Facebook Live in the hallway outside the Senate chamber. As of Dec. 21, 2017, the video has amassed a staggering 13 million views:

During the debate on whether to make Jeff Sessions the next Attorney General, I tried to read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate. The letter, from 30 years ago, urged the Senate to reject the nomination of Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship. The Republicans took away my right to read this letter on the floor - so I'm right outside, reading it now.

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The letter illustrates why Sessions' past behavior makes him unfit to be our attorney general.

"Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge," King wrote, citing Sessions' partisan voting-fraud prosecutions to suppress black voters. "This simply cannot be allowed to happen."

While King outlined the progress that led up to and followed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, she also outlined why having a man like Sessions in a position of power is so dangerous:

"However, blacks still fall far short of having equal participation in the electoral process. Particularly in the South, efforts continue to be made to deny blacks access to the polls, even where blacks constitute the majority of the voters. It has been a long, up-hill struggle to keep alive the vital legislation that protects the most fundamental right to vote. A person who has exhibited so much hostility to the enforcement of those laws, and thus, to the exercise of those rights by black people should not be elevated to the federal bench."

King concluded:

"Based on his record, I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect not only on the judicial system in Alabama, but also on the progress we have made everywhere toward fulfilling my husband’s dream that he envisioned over twenty years ago."

The choice to silence Warren backfired spectacularly for Senate Republicans.

Within hours, hashtags like #LetLizSpeak and #ShePersists started trending.

In silencing Warren, Senate Republicans drew even more attention to King's letter, reminding many why Sessions is simply unfit to hold the position. It also didn't help that Sen. Jeff Merkley was allowed to read the same letter hours later; allowing a man to do the same exact thing you just barred a woman from doing is, at best, just bad optics.

If you're outraged over Warren's — and King's — silencing on the Senate floor, speak out.

Regardless of whether Sessions is confirmed, you should call your senator and tell them if you approved of their vote. Donate to organizations like the ACLU that will be crucial in protecting civil rights for years to come. And share your thoughts online using hashtags like #LetLizSpeak and #ShePersists to amplify the message.

Even if one senator is silenced, your voice can still be heard.

Read King's letter in full below: