Politics of Poverty

Who has the largest influence on US policy at Oxfam? Our mothers

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From www.oxfamamericaunwrapped.com

It’s moms who showed us what it is to ‘right the wrong.’

In celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, I took a straw poll today about how our mothers influence our policy work here at Oxfam America. Here’s what my colleagues in Washington, DC had to say:

Greg square
My mom was a public employee and so she taught me that policy affects us, not in the abstract, but in the reality of people’s lives…. She also taught me it’s better to make martinis by the gallon.” Gregory Adams, Director of Aid Effectiveness

My mother is a master negotiator and she’s not afraid of ‘no.’ She taught me to always ask for what I want, in work and in life.” Erin Erlenborn, Associate Director of Government Affairs (with her daughter, also a budding negotiator)

My mom was a migrant farm worker, so I have a deep appreciation for how hard she worked. She taught me why it matters to stand in solidarity with farm workers, and also to have a spine in dealing with other people.” Eric Muňoz, Senior Policy Advisor, Agriculture

My mother’s influence in seen in my work ethic and how I interact with people. She taught me to respect everyone and to always have some fun!” Isabel Munilla, Senior Policy Advisor, Extractive Industries

My mother was a dedicated human rights activist, and she led by example. And during her lifetime, she had more letters to the editor published in the New York Times and the Washington Post than anyone I know.” Meredith Larson, Humanitarian Campaign Manager

My mother was against everything I was for, and vice versa.” Barbara Durr, Deputy to VP of Policy and Campaigns

My mother’s work as a research psychologist was included in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. She taught me the importance of research in service of changing the world.” Andrew Yarrow, Senior Research Advisor

My mom taught me independence – the ability to go out and explore and take care of myself, to stake out my own thoughts and opinions, and to argue for what is right even if it might not be popular.” Annaka Peterson Carvalho, Senior Program Officer, Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative

My mom is an incredibly loving and caring person. She takes care of people, always, which is in a way what Oxfam does.” Tariq Sayed Ahmad, Researcher, Aid Effectiveness

Emily Greenspan square
My mom taught me about dogged persistence when it comes to issues I care about. Very useful for policy advocacy (although perhaps annoying for my advocacy targets).” Emily Greenspan, Senior Policy Advisor, Extractive Industries

And my own mother? She taught me the power of words. But even more importantly, she showed me the power of kindness.

Thanks Moms!

Here’s some other stories of impressive mothers who are doing their part to change the world via Oxfam America.

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