Meet the Team: Laura Bruder

Meet Laura Bruder, BraveLove's Executive Director, who lives in Dallas, Texas.

BL_052.JPGQ:  How did you first hear about BraveLove?
A:  I heard about BraveLove through our founder Ellen right before its launch in 2012.  A mutual friend introduced us, and then I started learning more about the mission, which I found so unique and beautiful.  Ellen and I met a few more times, and then she asked for my help on a part-time basis as they were preparing to launch.  Then shortly after, I was hired as the organization's first full-time employee. 


Q:  How long have you been working with BraveLove?
A: Since 2012 when the organization started.

Q:  What’s your role with the organization?
A:  I serve as the Executive Director, which means I wear lots of hats and get to be involved in programming, operations, fundraising, partner relations, and even some content creation.  I am responsible for the overall operations of the organization and help guide our ongoing strategic plans while managing our team.  But I couldn't do this work without our awesome team! 


Q:  What's one of your favorite parts of your job?
A:  Over the years, I've loved being a part of film shoots in a very behind-the-scenes way, from planning with our filmmaker to helping ease people's nerves as they're sharing some of the most vulnerable parts of their stories.  

Another favorite part of my job — we have a Birth Mom Advisory Council that's made up of a group of smart, trusted birth moms.  We do quarterly calls with them to share updates with BraveLove and get their feedback and input.   I cherish those women and really value those conversations.  


Q:  Why do you care about this mission? 
A:  I don't want birth mothers to be misunderstood and shamed anymore.  They are some of the strongest women I know, and all so different too.  Choosing to place is a big piece of their story, but it's not their whole identity.  I love that we (at BraveLove) get to provide space for them to have a voice and feel less alone. Even though I'm not a birth mom, or an adoptive mom, or an adoptee, I care deeply about this mission.  There are people in my life who were adopted, and if it weren't for their birth parents, I may not know them today.   As my girls grow up, I hope the stigma towards birth parents and adoption goes away.  I hope there's honor and respect for the entire adoption triad.  


Q:  What do you do for fun?
A:  I love trying new restaurants.  So my kind of fun is a date night or going to dinner with friends. 

Q:  What does life look like for you these days?
A:  My life is a funny mix of fast and slow right now.  I am married to Andrew and we live in Dallas.  We met and started dating about 4 months after BraveLove started so he's been around this work since nearly the beginning.  We now have two little girls, Louise and June.  Prioritizing work and family is always a juggle.  There's lots of coordinating of schedules like "Can you do drop-off today?  I'll do pick-up."  Since the girls are still pretty young, we hang out at home a lot, play outside, and watch our fair share of Bluey.  My work schedule looks different everyday.  Sometimes I have to travel to a film shoot or speak at a conference.  Some weeks it's a lot of meetings, Zoom calls, and emails.  We have a small office here in Dallas that I use throughout the week, but I also get the privilege to work from home.  IMG_3920.JPG

Q:  I know you can’t pick a favorite story or film, but which one really stands out to you?
A: That's tough because we've done so many, and they're all so personal.  But this short video really stands out to me.  What's funny is that it's not even a film but a compilation of photos.  We created it around Mother's Day a few years ago.  Honestly, I get the chills every time I watch because I think it's so powerful. 

I remember as a team we were talking through some ideas and how we can better elevate the fact that birth mothers are mothers.  We started asking questions like what's that one universal thing that all birth mothers have in common that will resonate so they feel seen and understood?   We landed on that time in the hospital when they've given birth.  So we invited birth moms to be a part of the project by submitting their photos right around the time of birth, and we put them all together in this beautiful montage

Q:  What's in your Amazon cart right now? 
A:  Valentine's for my kids' preschool class

Q:  What are you reading right now? 
A:  I've got a few different ones going right now. I need to just pick one and finish it!  
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
The Worry-Free Parent by Sissy Goff
How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen by David Brooks

Q:  Favorite TV show at the moment? 
A:  We're watching Masters of the Air right now.  But if I need to watch something quick and funny, Seinfeld is always reliable for laughs and lightness.

Q:  Go-to coffee or tea order?
A:  Black coffee in the morning.  If I need a real pick-me-up, I'll drink cold brew with some coconut milk.