How being a mum of young boys has led Karen to XR Families

Karen and her partner have two young boys. We wanted to know how being a young mum has affected how she views what is going on in the world.

You have a young family. How does having the boys affect how you view what’s happening around the world right now?

It makes me feel fear, anger, disbelief, guilt, hope and love all at the same time. My eldest is starting school soon and when going to visit the local schools, I was really struck by the values that the schools had and the work done by the kids on issues like diversity, equality, climate change and kindness. It was incredible to see. I can’t believe those in power continue to prioritise profit at the expense of the wellbeing of the children of the world.

How do you feel about the future for them?

I am terrified and hopeful. I fear they will live in a harsher world. At the same time, I am hopeful that the world will be a better place, greener, kinder and more equal. I think it is important to have hope.

How and why did you first get in touch with XR?

I wanted to do more than sign petitions. My dad showed me an article about Extinction Rebellion and how their approach was different. I joined the group on Facebook and I attended a local intro meeting. I felt welcomed immediately and excited to get involved.

You’ve been to a Rebellion in London and met up with XR Families. What was that like? Why is it important for families to get together in this way?

It was great to join the rebellion and feel part of a movement for change. It was fun walking down Oxford street with my little one in the buggy – everyone I encountered was positive and didn’t mind we were delaying the traffic. I enjoyed being with other families and lots of little people. It is their future we are concerned for. I think it is important for families to feel comfortable, safe and welcome in these spaces so it was great that there was a designated meeting point for families with things for the kids to do.

Getting involved in events can be hard with a young family. How have you supported XR in other ways

I want to spend my free time with my children so getting involved in events is not always straightforward with a 1 and 4 year old! The digital rebellion was great when I couldn’t join in person. I also use my social media to promote XR and I have engaged with other rebels on the telephone to tell them about XR families.

If you had the opportunity to have a conversation with our Prime Minister, what would you say?

So many things! I would question growth economics, wealth inequality, immigration policy, colonialism, short termism…the list goes on. I think a really interesting conversation would be to talk to him about his values. I would suggest he goes back to primary school and listen to the values we are teaching our children and then think about whether those exercising power should be modelling the values that we teach our children. I would invite him to be courageous and make decisions based on the values we teach our children and the wellbeing of future generations.