Over 20 2020 Mom Ambassadors were in the first class to earn their badges this Fall.
Maria was one of them and also was named 2020 Mom’s 2017 Ambassador of the Year. We want you to know what she has been up to. You can also learn more about Maria by visiting her website www.mommamosaic.com or following her on Twitter: @mommamosaic
What brought you to Maternal Mental Health?
I’m a mother of two. My professional background is in psychology, public relations and documentary photography which placed me at an interesting crossroads when I was personally affected by postpartum depression. After my horrific experience falling through the cracks of the maternity care system, I knew I had to do something to help the countless women who were suffering silently as I had. Thus, as many survivors are called to do, I embarked on a larger journey to make a difference on the front lines of maternal mental health and maternity care.
How did you become involved with 2020 Mom and the Ambassador program?
Five years ago when I was working with Wendy Davis and PSI as their PR/Marketing Chair, I heard about Joy and "The 2020 Mom Project." At the time, awareness and discussion about maternal mental health was still mostly limited to the tragedies of postpartum psychosis and the media's brutal portrayal of them. Frustrated, I remember thinking to myself, "We know what isn't working. Let’s try to identify what is working and springboard off of that." Wendy shared that Joy’s mission with 2020 Mom was exactly this — working within an existing infrastructure to identify and close the gaps in maternal mental health. When the opportunity arose to become an Ambassador for 2020 Mom, I jumped at the chance.
Tell us about some of the projects you have been involved with.
This past spring, I was happy to participate in fundraising efforts for the NYC March for Moms team as well as raise ongoing funds for 2020 Mom via my "Wear Your Activism" Momma Mosaic tote bag campaign. The campaign was an independent fundraising campaign under the Ambassador program where I sold a tote bag, and proceeds went to 2020 Mom. What made it special is that each time a bag was purchased I provided the same bag, to a homeless woman, filled with items she needed, like personal hygiene items. I was able to raise $210 for 2020 Mom and do good in my local community at the same time.
What are your plans as a 2020 Mom Ambassador?
Going forward, I am working to organize a diaper drive, a screening of When The Bough Breaks, and a series of fundraising events in New York City to amplify the issues and challenges surrounding motherhood in the U.S. today.
What impacts do you see 2020 Mom and the Ambassador program having?
Today, as a doula, maternal health spokesperson and advocate, I have witnessed firsthand how the conversation is shifting towards a more open and honest dialogue about the state of maternal mental health in the U.S. Now, more than ever, we have to keep working and fighting to affect change in the field. 2020 Mom is doing important work in this regard and I am honored to be counted among their Ambassadors helping in this mission.