06 Dec Mom of the Week, Activist, Justice Seeker, Creator of HAVEN – Saira Rao
We first interviewed Saira Rao for our Mom of the Week column in June 2013. She had just co-founded In This Together Media, a company that published books featuring “real” girls as central characters. Since then, ITTM has gone on to publish books featuring brown, black, gay, and disabled kids, with great success. “Representation matters,” Saira explained. All kinds of children like to see themselves in books.
We caught up with her again in 2018 when she was running for Congress from Denver, Colorado where she now lives. Again the message was representation. Feeling that brown and black women were underrepresented in government, Saira wanted make a difference by becoming the first woman of color to represent Colorado.
Now, in 2019, Saira has continued her mission to support women of color by co-founding HAVEN, a new non-profit dedicated to the mental health of women of color through storytelling. Black, brown and Indigenous women experience high levels of trauma and ensuing mental health issues, which are seldom represented in the mainstream media. HAVEN provides these women with a supportive space to “share trauma, share joy, find community and heal.” In other words, these women of color find themselves represented at HAVEN.
Saira is asking friends to donate to HAVEN as the philanthropic year draws to a close. The Harnisch Foundation has pledged to match donations up to $100,000. HAVEN needs help from all people of good will to accomplish its mission.
In addition, Giving Artist, a Denver non-profit, is donating 100% of proceeds from art sales to HAVEN. They have some radical work! Check out the numbered prints of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama and Mick Jagger!
And stay tuned… Party with Moms will continue to follow Saira on her crusade to make the world a safer, fairer, better place for women of color.