The #Mindrmama Guide to Muppets

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The #Mindrmama Guide to Muppets

"It's amazing how welcoming people are when you arrive with Muppets."

On January 31st, Mindr's Brooklyn community heard from Dr. Abby Bucuvalas, Senior Director of Educational Programs for Sesame Workshop, the creator of world-renowed television program Sesame Street. Abby shared her experiences deploying Big Bird, Elmo, and international muppets for teacher training initiatives in Ghana, community outreach in Nigeria, health programming in Sub-Saharan Africa, and programs supporting meaningful play in low-resource communities in India, Mexico and South Africa, among others.

Big thanks to Abby and Sesame Workshop, and to Brooklyn Label for hosting us so graciously (and baking us scrumptious home-made zucchini and banana bread), Rose & Rex for curating toys for the littles, Little Nomad for the comfy play area, and Sparkle & Conquer for donating a very lucky door prize.

 

photos by emily barnacle


an insight into muppet development

We had a grant to address Water, Sanitation and Hygiene education (WASH) in India, Nigeria and Bangladesh. And we wanted a little girl Muppet to lead this initiative because we know that girls and women are disproportionately affected by water issues around the world. We didn’t have a global character, a character that was familiar in all three countries. So we created a new character collaboratively with all our teams in Bangladesh, India, Nigeria and the US. Basically, we all had to agree what this Muppet would look like, what color she would be, what her hair would be, how her hair would look relevant across these vastly different countries and communities, and what her name would be… Her name is Raya, and we have been able to use her at this point in 14 countries, which is pretty amazing. If she had been developed for a single country I don’t think that could have happened. Our only domestic character that works that well in that many countries is Elmo.
— Dr. Abby Bucuvalas
elmoraya.jpg

The outcome:

Meet Raya, a truly international Muppet.

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Friday Five

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Friday Five

We made it to another Friday, mamas.

Here are the stories that have been getting us through the week.

  1. "Love. Pain. Regret." The New York Times has a new six-part series exploring what it means to become a mother.
  2. For the first time ever, the annual meeting of global business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos will be entirely chaired by women.
  3. Ultimate mom boss Ruth Bader Ginsburg had some thoughts about the #MeToo movement.
  4. 'Mudbound' cinematographer Rachel Morrison made Academy Awards history by becoming the first ever female cinematographer nominated for an Oscar (and by the way, our friends over at Moms-in-Film totally called it.)
  5. A record number of women are running for elected office in 2018, because the best way to fix a broken system is to take it over.

Catch you next week! (Maybe in person, when we hang out in Brooklyn with Dr. Abigail Bucuvalas from Sesame Workshop. Details here.)

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Mamas who marched (in presence and in spirit)

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Mamas who marched (in presence and in spirit)

Over the weekend, more than 200,000 people attended the Women's March on New York. Among them were mamas who joined the call for more female candidates on ballots, an end to the normalization of sexual harassment, and comprehensive healthcare access for women and girls. We caught up with some #MINDRMAMAs who marched in presence and in spirit to find out what the experience meant to them.

What comes next? You can join #MINDRMAMA Adrianne Wright and her organization I Will Not Be Quiet for their anniversary event celebrating women's advocacy on February 17th. Call the people who represent your voice and tell them about the things that matter to you - find your representatives here and your senators here. And, of course, make sure you're registered to vote.

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