'Moms for Liberty' Gains 120,000 Members in 2 Years in Fight for Parental Rights, and SPLC Hates It
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MELBOURNE, Florida – They call themselves "Joyful Warriors" and since 2021, Moms For Liberty has enlisted more than 100,000 members from across the country with the goal of standing up for parents' rights at each level of government. In that time, the organization has become a voice in the 2024 presidential election and has also taken arrows from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The issue of parents' rights is now a top-tier political issue in the United States, with many parents seeing their rights under attack, from being denied any say in the classroom, to transgender issues, to mandating masks and vaccines during the pandemic.
Tina Descovich's devotion to her family led her to become a long-term advocate.
"I served on the Brevard County School Board here in Florida from 2016 to 2020, but before that I was a mom who was heavily involved in her children's schools and education like a lot of moms are really," she explained in an interview with CBN News.
In addition to serving as PTO president of her kids' elementary school, Descovich says she joined nearly every committee available.
"But something really started to change," she said. "I started to see some of the assignments coming home that were concerning. The state had passed some really extreme standardized testing laws that were impacting districts all around the state and that kind of brought me to a new level, trying to get involved at the school district level and even going to state legislators. What I learned is that just a mom, an ordinary mom in a community, can really make an impact and impact change in a lot of these issues."
That thinking laid the groundwork for Moms for Liberty. Descovich eventually met Tiffany Justice, another concerned mom and former school board member in a neighboring county, through their shared congressman.
"So after I lost my reelection in 2020, I did some self-evaluating," said Descovich. "What am I going to do with all this knowledge that I have and that I've gained over the last four years? What am I going to do about the things that are important to me and my life, my children, my family, this country, education and how it's failing American students right now, and the idea for Moms for Liberty came to fruition, and in Florida, you need three board members to start a non-profit and so Tiffany was right there on the list and I reached out and she was like, 'Yeah, we need to help American moms around this country.'"
What started in Florida has now grown to nearly 300 chapters nationwide and 120,000 members in 45 states, with victory after victory for the organization.
"There's easy things to point to but sometimes it's harder to point to all of the little wins which are huge to a mom in a small county somewhere or a small school district who has been fighting tooth and nail to expose the pornography in the classrooms," explained Descovich. "Those are huge wins to get the district to draft a policy that parents now have input on library book selection – huge win."
Last year, Moms for Liberty endorsed candidates in 500 school board races across the country – 275 of those candidates won.
"Our growth obviously is a huge win," Descovich went on. "We've had legislation, I think 14 different bills, over 6 or 7 different states over just the last year, Parental Bill of Rights that have been passed in several states that our moms have been behind from the day they're filed and they help get them across the House, the Senate and into governor's hands and signed. So, the movement has just taken on a life of its own. Moms take it and run with our values and our issue of parental rights and saving education in America and they're just doing a beautiful job with it."
With all of the attention has also come heightened scrutiny. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently named Moms For Liberty an "extremist group," claiming the organization is known to "advance conspiracy theories and spread hateful imagery and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community."
"We reject every word of that," Descovich told CBN News. "The title they put on us is an anti-government extremist group. I just finished telling you that we endorsed in 500 school board races and won 275 of them. Tiffany and I served as elected school board members, participated in our government. We are inspiring and teaching our moms all across the country to get involved in the process in the way they're supposed to get involved; to do their civic duty, to show up at meetings, to comment during public comment which was created for them to comment, to run for office if they don't like what they're seeing and hopefully win and change the direction of their communities. There's nothing anti-government about that. The Southern Poverty Law Center, shame on them. They have put a target on our back and all moms' backs that show up at school board meetings. They are trying to silence us and shame us for the work that we are doing."
And Moms For Liberty does have a target on its back. At its annual summit in Philadelphia this year, angry protestors terrorized participants and tried to shut down the event altogether.
"The night before, we were supposed to kick off our summit at the American Revolutionary War Museum," said Descovich. "Vandals arrived the night before and smashed the windows of the museum. They spray painted graffiti on the mural of Washington Crossing the Delaware. They protested for weeks that we were arriving and then the night we arrived, streets were shut down around the museum for protestors."
Despite being targeted, they call themselves "Joyful Warriors."
"It's a beautiful name, isn't it? Because look throughout history. Warriors, that connotates and draws images in your mind of people that are fighting, that are in battle. They look maybe strong and courageous if you think of a warrior. But what does a mom look like? What does her face look like? When she's out fighting for her children and her children are watching? You're not going to look necessarily like a hardened battle warrior of old times or even on the fronts in World War II. You're going to look like someone who is smiling, who is joyful. Your children are watching that you're enjoying getting out there and standing up for them and fighting for their future."
Speaking of the future, Moms For Liberty has gained the respect of many of the leading 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls, from Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis to Nikki Haley, who all spoke at the Philadelphia summit.
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Looking back, Descovich says it's nothing short of a miracle Moms For Liberty has seen this level of success.
"Can you kind of see God's handprint on getting this off the ground?" CBN News asked. "100 percent," answered Descovich. "We have hit-piece articles written about us all of the time. How can two moms, how can just some moms that don't have a whole lot of experience in education and doing the things that they're doing right now, how do they grow a national movement in two years? How do they grow to 45 states? 300 counties are covered, 300 chapters, 120,000 active members. How did they have 5 presidential candidates at their summit just in the second year of existence? And there's all these theories. Article after article is written that this person is behind us or this person's money is behind us or this has happened. The truth of the matter is God has been with us from the very beginning and that is it. We started in my back bedroom with $500 and a box of t-shirts."
As for what's next for Moms For Liberty, Descovich says it's a matter of expanding their fight for parents' rights. Right now, they're in 300 counties nationwide, on their way to reach all 3,000.
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