Moms on a Mission Recap: “We Have the Power to Change the World!”

Moms on a Mission 2022, held on March 30th, was a huge success! With approximately 165 parent leaders, children, legislators, staff, and guests on board throughout the day, it confirmed once again what we know to be true: together, parents have the power to change lives.

While the sessions were held virtually, many leaders opted to participate from the COFI office, which created such a fun and exciting atmosphere! Check out this fantastic TV news story on CBS Chicago to get a sense of the amazing energy that day. The piece also highlights COFI’s recent $2 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott!

Here are just a few highlights from the big day:

During the opening rally, guest speaker State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas shouted out East St. Louis parent leader Gloria Hicks for her advocacy for Children’s Savings Account funding equity legislation.

Senator Ram Villivalam, who is sponsoring the Better School Meals Act, said in a session with Health, Food, and Recess campaign members: “I’m sponsoring this legislation because I’m a dad on a mission.” He will be visiting schools with parent leaders to see for himself the state of school lunches. Senator Karina Villa also heard testimonies from Aurora parents and children, and promised to support the school meals legislation and join families at a community forum. She stated, “You’ve made a trust group for parents… they find their voice and support in POWER-PAC IL.”

Senator Laura Fine is on board with parents in her support of HB4238, legislation that will provide more funding for community mental health and substance use services. She said, “When you are in crisis, your crisis can’t wait for you to get off a waiting list.”

Thanks to POWER-PAC IL mothers’ powerful testimonies, Senator Omar Aquino agreed to sign onto to HB4243, which prohibits school districts from withholding diplomas, transcripts, or grades to students with unpaid debt. The session ended with parent leader Lynn Morton shouting, “Girls rule the world!”

Lastly, Jenna Severson from Economic Security for Illinois shared a touching and personal story of how her work has been shaped and guided by POWER-PAC IL leaders, driving home our belief that change starts to happen when parents share their stories.

Congratulations to all POWER-PAC IL leaders for another fantastic, impactful Moms on a Mission event. Thank you for standing up day after day and calling upon our elected officials to defend children’s rights throughout Illinois. Follow COFI on Facebook for legislative updates, and just for fun, watch the Moms 2002 video and feel the incredible energy, especially of the rallying cry from Mamie Cosey of East St. Louis: “We have the power to change things. We have the power to change lives. We have the power to change the world!”