“Once upon a time, a woman was walking beside a river and saw a drowning woman being washed downstream. She rushed to pull her to shore just before she went over the waterfall.
The next day there were two women in the river and she saved them both. The day after, there were three more, and the next day four. With the help of her neighbors, the woman saved them all. The village banded together, setting up a 24-hour rescue watch. Yet, every day there were women that needed saving. The village installed an elaborate alarm system and strung safety nets across the river but was overwhelmed trying to save all the women.
Finally the woman had a BGO (blinding glimpse of the obvious): “Let’s go upstream and see who’s throwing the women in the river. If we stop them from being thrown in, perhaps they won’t need to be rescued.”
You’ve probably heard this story before. This is the version Becky uses when she urges people to “connect the dots” about how public policy and laws affect women and families. Becky has kept this focus in her work over the years. As a fourth generation Alamance County native, Becky has worked for nonprofits, mentoring teens with the goal of reducing teen pregnancy, as an advocate for people with mental health needs, organizing past Alamance County Women’s Agenda Assemblies, and recruiting women to run for office to improve public policy. She’s run for office three times herself. Her 25 years of effort resulted in becoming one of the visionary founders of the Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County, the place where women connect women to gain sustainable futures. Most recently, she spent five years on the national Board of the XLH Network promoting awareness, education, and research about this rare genetic disease (x-linked hypophospatemia).
When asked why it’s important to be civically involved, Becky immediately replied, “We don’t live alone. Our neighbors matter… everyone deserves equal justice, respect, and a fair shake in life. I’m working for a just world where everyone has equal opportunity.”
Her mentors, the late Tennala Gross, Representative Bertha “B” Holt, and friends like Dr. Martha Smith “changed my life”. They helped her focus her feminist ideas into direct action. As a young woman, eight months pregnant, she found herself at a demonstration in Raleigh marching at the front of 10,000 citizens demanding the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment by the NC General Assembly. It did not pass and people organized around that defeat to fight for equality in many areas. It has not been an easy or quick journey. Persistence has been required with failures as well as successes along the way. Lessons were learned. Becky encourages others to reach back, mentor someone else, share what you’ve learned and step up to be the leader you are seeking.
Becky Mock’s activist spirit comes to life when asked what she’s most passionate about and her answer: “politics, our country’s future, healthcare as a human right, DACA, and environmental issues.” Where can she be found every Tuesday at 10 am? She is at Congressman Mark Walker’s office with other advocates letting him know they are watching his votes and insisting he put country first for ALL AMERICANS!
Becky’s advice to her younger self: “Think for yourself. Don’t fall into generational roles. Don’t try to please all…you will fail. Filter out the fluff. Be Centered. Find Joy. Love your family. You CAN change the world; indeed, you are responsible to make the world better for the next generation.”
Becky finds her joy with her husband, John, her daughter, Meredith who lives in Australia and her 7-year-old grandson, Chad.
What has Becky Mock excited about the future? The hope that our country will get through this horrible divisiveness, secure healthcare, equal opportunity and justice for all. She has found inspiration in the work of other advocates and her “Persisters”. Retirement is quite full with mentoring new progressives and some long anticipated travel as a reward for years of hard work. Her advice: “Carry on!”