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Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov 20th: Transgender Day of Remembrance

This past Saturday people from all over Maryland gathered to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance. Events occurred throughout Baltimore city and in fact, events occurred simultaneously all over the world on November 20th.

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance website collects the names and manner of death of gender variant people all over the world who died as a result of violence and/or medical neglect. From November 21 of the previous year until the next November 20th, the website adds to their list. Ever year, at vigils around the world, these names are read, along with information about the person, their activism, their lives and their manner of death.

Many find this important because violence against gender variant people is often ignored or inappropriately reported on in the popular press.

This year there was an unusual addition to the list. In the few years that I have been participating I have never heard of a child's inclusion.

was sixteen months old. While I am pretty sure Roy (a little over a year old) did not self-identify as trans, gender queer, or gender variant, ze was beaten by Roy's mother's boyfriend -Pedro Jones- who was "trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl.” (To read news article: click here.)

I had and still have so many thoughts running through my head. Anger at the man who did this, confusion at how someone could be so invested in the gender conformity of a one-year old. I need, also, to recognize the ways in which I have internalized gender conformity and expect it of others. I can't imagine how that might present itself if I were a parent, trying to prepare a child for life in our culture(s).

I don't have any answers, solutions, brilliant things to say, or really much to say at all. I just feel that we need to have this discussion, we need to recognize how harmful gender conformity is for all of us. Kidz City has had and plans to continue to have discussions and skill shares around supporting gender NON-conformity in all of us, and especially in our childcare. We want to interact with children in a way that supports them, loves them, and helps us all to question various identity 'boxes.'

We HAVE to interrogate how gender conformity (and those who enforce it in overt-violent and subtle ways) is literally killing members of our communities.

Please feel free to post your thoughts and reactions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Re-post from

Kid-free flights? How about family-friendly culture?
By Chloe | Published: November 15, 2010

Highlight from the article:

"So we could keep on parent-shaming and ostracizing people who dare to travel with their children. We could keep complaining about the fact that a three-year-old hasn’t yet been socialized not to loudly express her discomfort, fear or desire to get the hell out of this confined odd-smelling space. Or we could think of ways to accommodate parents with kids and help them to share space in a way that is more comfortable for everyone involved. Either that, or put noise-canceling headphones in every seat pocket and sleeping pills on every tray table."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kids’ Noise

In 2005 I toured with Ariel Gore, the founder of HipMama magazine and author of six books. I had never toured before. At each event, Ariel announced that we were OK with kids’ noise; our words had, after all, been written in the real life chaos of our lives and so how appropriate that they be read that way as well. Parents should not worry because we could speak over any child. The way she put it always got a laugh and a lot of appreciation.

Later Vikki Law and I used this approach in our “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind” (DLYFB) workshops. We have also made these announcements when we have been speakers and suggested this to others as a way to make a space more child-friendly.

What I personally like to say is that we are glad to see parents and children in the audience, that many times parents are given the “hairy eyeball” if their children make any little sound, and then feel that they must leave and not hear the information. We don’t want to do that so we let the audience know that sounds are fine with us, and that we can speak louder to be heard.

We the speakers can deal with it and we ask the audience to too. If someone has a problem with some sounds, maybe they should pick up their chair and move to another part of the room rather then thinking the parent and child should. Or perhaps they should offer to take a restless child out of the room so the parent can continue to listen and give input instead of thinking the parent should leave. Giving children attention by including them in the discussion or sharing with them a task they can do (instead of only telling them what they shouldn’t do or ignoring them) can help the situation flow smoother as well.

Children’s sounds aren’t the end of the world. But somehow we have the notion that complete silence is necessary when “important people” speak. However, having more space to yourself can be seen as a huge factor within who is more privileged than another. Many parents cannot afford the complete silence of uninterrupted time and space. Our conversations and planning may go on while juggling other activities, within our discontent on the job, in the corners of the dawn or at the edge of kitchen tables.

Many public activist conversations also have problems with adults (some groups of adults more then others) taking up too much space, talking over each other, and other improper behaviors, but a child just being a child is greeted with a greater amount of anger. What are they doing here? seems to be the reaction. If you don’t have a partner, can’t afford a babysitter, or don’t feel ready/want to be separated from your child – you should stay secluded with them in the children’s spaces or at home, and not join us at these talks.

The noise of children is seen as something that is an intrusion on adults. Perhaps is it still the old “seen and not heard” rule.

But it doesn’t always have to be like this. In different settings, as well as in other cultures and countries, the attitude can be vastly different. Activists who have traveled to Chiapas and spent time with Zapatistas commonly report that children run in and out of the room and are present at every gathering. One person told Vikki that, in addition to children’s sounds, sometimes a meeting was interrupted by the sounds of a military helicopter flying overhead: everyone would run out to look; then return to continue the meeting. To this person, although they recognized their own limits and did not want to do childcare personally, the idea of anyone being upset with the sounds of children was absurd!

But often in North America and --it seems to me --most prominently in predominately white middle class spaces, a noise from a child will cause the whole room to turn and give a disapproving look. What usually happens then is the parent’s tension rises, they become more militant to suppress or prevent any sound, and when it happens again, they get up, flustered, and leave. Sometimes even in vocally child-friendly spaces a parent will leave something that they have looked forward to and worked hard to get there, feeling like a bad parent, upset and alone, to soothe a fussy child who will not be easily soothed. Parenting is hard work, especially new parenting where one’s life is majorly changed and one often does not even get enough uninterrupted sleep. Parents may have to leave a room more frequently than others, but they shouldn’t be pushed out before they feel ready to leave.

Recently, Amy told me about trying to make a more child-friendly space at a bookstore reading by bringing blocks to occupy children in the audience. The blocks made sounds and the feeling in the room was like electrified tension. The parent and child left to get away from that.

I remember in our original DLYFB talk – which is geared towards those without children of their own: only a few parents were in the audience. They were struggling with a child playing with fold up chairs. Within our discussion they felt brave enough to bring up their feelings: A parent raised her hand and shared that this was the kind of thing that would cause them to usually leave. We stopped our conversation on hypothetical supporting parents and children situations and started a new group discussion based on what was happening right then: What would be the best way to handle this? What would make this room more friendly and relaxed? The parent said it would be nice for others to make eye contact with them or their children or smile. They are afraid of being an inconvenience to others. From this first discussion came our list of concrete ways to support parents. It seemed a very constructive use of a workshop, to gather and to interact with each other, all different members and needs, not make it some place where only some feel free to speak, though it’s important to acknowledge all those who couldn’t make it there that day and why.

I remember when I first met a new mom zine-friend, Connie, who had traveled all the way from Colorado to California on her own with a new baby to meet Jessica, Tomas, Rahula, and I for our book reading in Modern Times Books. I had told her she would have support when she arrived and wanted to make sure that happened. I ran out, maybe a little too enthusiastic, and offered to hold her infant, to give her arms a break, so she could tend to what ever she needed to and listen to our reading. I made my usual announcement about not worrying about baby noise. When we gathered next, at the Bay Area Bookfair, Connie came up to me with a gleam in her eye. “Remember to make that message again!”

That announcement is always appreciated and it works really well. You can use your own words and put it however you like, but it puts everyone at ease.

Vikki recently told me that while on the “The Community and Resistance Tour” before speaking about prison abolition and incarcerated womens’ resistance, she always includes the announcement about being fine with children’s noises. But even as she pushes others with this form of activism she admits to me that sometimes children’s noises do interrupt her thoughts. (after all, that’s why we mothers often want childcare) But she works to keep her thoughts together, to look back down at her notes, and get back on track, because, she laughingly states: if a pair of 3 year olds can derail her so easily how does she ever expect to go up against the Prison- Industrial Complex and win? And we play to win, so welcome the sounds of the movement growing.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Hi everyone,

IDKcE was a great success. Childcare was fun, safe and well integrated into the larger conference.

My experience at this conference's childcare was so inspiring. When the children ran beyond the confines of our couch fort, set up camp under dinner tables and danced in the middle of the floor, conference goers were delighted, helpful and respectful.

For some reason, my pessimistic self worried about childcare being in the main room, and not set apart. I worried that people might make anti-kid remarks or hate the noise or look at us weird. But it was just the opposite. There were no weird looks, or snide remarks (that I heard at least -- there's my pessimism again).

When one of the kids wanted to play on the stage right before a speaker was to go on, another conference goer (Debra Kate you rock!) helped me to convince her that getting off the stage would be just as fun. When that same kid decided right before dinner was to be served to tuck her stuffed animals in for a nap under the tables, the conference goers were delighted and encouraging. The kids were incorporated in these ways as any other person at the conference was.

Kids listened to Kate Bornstein's workshop, danced, played dress up (some of the best drag queens ever!), drew crayon mustaches on their faces, drank incredible amounts of juice, watched Talbolt do some amazing puppet characters and more.

Simply put, I had fun.

For me this was childcare done right. Oh, and best of all, the local organizing committee (gender justice collective -- Xander, especially) thanked us for our hard work. Being thanked seems small. But to be thanked for our hard work, appreciated for making the conference more accessible, was wonderful and perhaps we don't hear it enough, because I was so surprised and appreciative for those two simple words.

So I will say these lovely words too:
Thank you, IDKcE and the Gender Justice Collective!

Thank you, amazing volunteers (Alina, Aimee, Talbolt, Laura, Michael, Daniel, Sergio, Ciara, Annie, Anna, and Bonnie!).

Thank you, children who we had so much fun with (Farren, Lotus, Sunny, Mirah, and Willow).

Thank you, fellow collective members (Yay for Sara SK, China and Sine!).

yours for the on-going inter-generational revolution,


Thursday, October 7, 2010

SUPER KIDz!!! Gender Justice at IDKcE Baltimore!

Hi everyone,

The International Drag King (gender performance) Community Extravaganza Conference is only two weeks away.

There is a conference with workshops, and shows every night. Go to their website for more info --

It's from Oct 20-24!

And of course, because we're involved, there will be childcare!!!! (We would advertise a conference that didn't!)

We're calling it Super Kidz and we're very excited to announce workshops and a safe, fun space for children 12 and under. We will also have a sleep over night for parents wanting to attend and perform in Showcase. (For parents and caretakers performing/attending other nights, please contact us.)

What we still need:

VOLUNTEERSSSSSS!!!! (please contact Harriet to volunteer -
STUFFFFF!!!! (we need supplies, food, drinks, crafty things, etc. please contact Sarah SK -
WORKSHOPPERRRSSS!!! (as always we want to offer children some great workshops, especially those that incorporate performance, justice, and resistance to oppression. please contact Sine -
PARREEENTTTS / CARETAKERRRSS!!! (if you want to chat with our parent liaison please contact China -

We hope to hear from you all soon!

eternally yours for the inter-generational revolution,

p.s. If you're on Facebook so is IDKcE and KIDz CITY. Search for IDKE on the search bar and do the same for KIDz CITY. We want to be your virtual (and actual) friends. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Potluck = Great Success! and other news...

Hi everyone,

The 1st ever Community KIDz CITY Potluck was a lot of fun! Thanks for all those who came. We had a great time with bubbles, tossing a frisbee, playing and listening to music, swinging on swings, talking, eating and more!

Our next community event will be a KIDz STORY HOUR at the Baltimore Bookfair in the Radical Book Tent.

It is during the zine bazaar. Friday, September 24th from 4 -5 pm. We'll be reading "Click Clack Moo" (and a typewriter activity) and "My Head is Full of Colors" (and a crown making art activity).

We'll see you all soon.

(Let us know if you want to volunteer for the childcare program at IDKcE -- October 20-24.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

KIDz CITY Community Potluck

KIDz CITY is hosting our first ever community potluck. And you're invited!!!

Saturday Sept 18th (in one week, oh my! -- hurry up and write it on your calendars!)
from 12 noon - 4 pm
in Wyman Park (we're gonna start off at the playground -- corner of 29th and Charles)

Of course there will be food to eat, games to play and MUSIC! And best of all we'll have you!

If you have any questions, or want to share excitement, you can e-mail us: radkidcare -at-!

(If you're an over-achiever you can label your food dish with any common allergy ingredients it contains. Ex: "this has peanuts," "dairy in here," "wheat!" etc)

We can't wait to see you on Sat!

love! KIDz CITY (Harriet, Sine, China and Sarah!)

p.s. Rainy-day back-up location - TBA.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

SUPER KIDz Brainstorming Meeting! 8/15/2010

Yesterday, we (Sarah S-K, Sine, China, Harriet, Jake, Dany and Anna) met to have a fantastic brainstorm about the children's programming at IDKE XII ( (Coincidentally, there was also a huge rainstorm.) We're calling it SUPER KIDz!

Here are the results of the "What is Gender Justice" Brainstorm:

What does “Gender Justice” mean to you?

  • motion
  • fighting back/gaining justice
  • knowing how/when to say something: strategies in different situations
  • the freedom to love and be loved
  • being your whole self
  • challenge yourself: be challenged
  • space to think a different way outside the status quo and dominant paradigm
  • belonging
  • comfort
  • being safe: body free from attack/social safety/professional safety/legal safety
  • knowing there are folks who will have your back
  • being supported, protected, and defended
  • conscience of gender binaries
  • the right to be a parent
  • conscience of your own struggles and how they can affect others
  • linking our personal struggles to larger issues
  • linking larger issues to each other
  • there is more then one component to justice

How about as it specifically applies to children?

  • caring and happiness
  • encouragement to explore
  • having space to be fluid
  • not telling little 3 year old boys to “stop being a little bitch” when they cry
  • stop policing children for their emotions and self-expressions
  • stop putting gender on everything that really has nothing to do with gender (but is just perceived that way)
  • wanting affection is OK –and Good!
  • respecting boundaries: children’s boundaries are often not respected

How to talk to children about these issues:

  • ask questions, children like to talk, ask them what they think
  • you can keep things light
  • let children have their own questions and opinions
  • answer their questions simply without shame ex. “yes I do have armpit hair”
  • give examples of other people, especially people they know “Sara has armpit hair too!”
  • it’s OK if you don’t have a concrete answer
  • no one knows everything: there is no book of every right thing to do and say
  • some children do like concrete answers and to talk about gender a lot
  • more important then indoctrination is to teach critical thinking

Here's a picture of us the with the peach sponge cake, made from China's great-grandmother's recipe. Yummmm! (thanks jake for taking the picture)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

SUPER KIDZ - childcare @ International Drag King Extravaganza, Baltimore - Oct. 20-24, 2010

Gender Justice: SUPER KIDZ Programming –

SUPER KIDZ is a creative program so that the children of IDKE XII participants in Baltimore – Oct. 20-24 2010 - be cared for by the greater community and also have space and activities just for them.

Everyone, no matter how old they are, deserves to feel safe and good in being who they are—while respecting the rights of others. We all have things in common and we all have differences. Lets work together to support everyone’s right to be super!

SUPER KIDZ is about taking care of yourself and taking care of each other. Free to be you and me. Lets get together and make this world a better place.

Activities may include:

story time
dress up
work on a play to show everyone
discuss: what does being a super hero mean to you?
go for a walk
go swimming
learn consensus

Kidz City’s SUPER KIDS is a creative program intended to support parents' access to participation at IDKE XII Baltimore – Oct. 20-24 2010 - and to promote respect and community care for children. We believe that while we are working (and playing) together we should make sure no one is left behind.

One important component to any conference/gathering where folks want full participation from a variety of people is access to that conference. Access for parents and child-caregivers is an important part of any grassroots or community gathering. However, at many conferences and gatherings, children’s and caretakers’ issues are often marginalized and addressed last, if at all.

We have formed SUPER KIDZ to help address these needs. We will be making space and programming for children, with a youth show that everyone is encouraged to attend. We wish to change the overburdened and isolated capitalist hierarchical model of childcare into one more in line with a community justice model that respects all people, ages, and needs.

What we need from you is your time and energy. Please consider volunteering. Together we can do more then we can alone - If everyone volunteers a little that adds up to a lot!


Workshop presenters: Consider sharing your skills/concepts in the children’s space. Feel free to contact us and we will help you develop ideas on how your work applies to children.

Artists and Presenters: Please submit a page to our SUPER KIDZ coloring book. Create fun child-friendly images outside the mainstream binary gender coding children's coloring books. Lets draw and imagine a beautiful world where everyone is celebrated. Feel free to contact us and get feedback on your ideas.

Parents: Please contact us ahead of time. Let us know the ages of the children you are bringing, as well as other concerns, including those with special needs, so we can provide for them.

Volunteers: We need volunteers who would like to participate in respectful, creative, and caring community childcare. We are especially looking for artists, dancers, singers, and educators who have experience working with children. However, those with little previous experience with children are also welcome and will be paired with more experienced folks. There is a place for everyone in Kidz City.

Conference Participants: Look out for the youth around you and support everyone’s right to participate at their own level. Talk to parents and children and see how you can support them. Examine your privileges and see how you can support others’ struggles as well as your own.

Donations: For those who do not want to volunteer or cannot volunteer, you can still be supportive by donating any of the following: juice boxes, 
soymilk boxes, 
carrots, fruit, graham crackers, other healthy foods, dress-up clothes, art supplies, baby wipes, paper towels, money - or if you can donate or lend other supplies also let us know!


Kidz City/SUPER KIDZ Organizers China, Harriet, Sarah, and Sine
Blog: Mail: P.O. Box 4803 Baltimore MD 21211

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dream Clouds, Rain Drops, and Lighting Bolts

At the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, June 2010, seven radical childcare collectives (From NYC, Austin, DC, San Francisco Bay Area, Philly, Chicago, and Baltimore) facilitated a workshop together. It was called "Building an Intergenerational Movement for Collective Liberation: the Work of Childcare Collectives Across the States and the Galaxy!"

I would like to share the group results of 3 "visioning exercises" which the whole room participated in. Thank you everyone in our workshop that day!

Dream Clouds: We broke down into 5 smaller groups to discuss and write on a ‘dream cloud’ our answers to these questions: "Why is childcare work important and how is it political work? What would childcare look like in your ideal vision and who do we envision to be taking on this work?"


- Supporting women in the low income and women of color movement

- Makes women stronger

- Kids give revolution work perspective

- Mode of resistance vs. individualistic culture

- Mode of resistance vs. state-run, church-run, privately-run childcare

- Diversity in the movement


Meeting needs today while strategizing vision for the future

Practicing holistic and humanizing work

Building community and long term relationships

Exposing kids to the wide world

Prepares a next generation to be activists

Engaging with kids in a different way than authority

Rethinking division/not separating

Really valuing intergenerational work/not just some people’s responsibility

Kids are insightful

Enhancing pluralism

Applying your talent

Ideal vision-kids are in all spaces

Cultural shift

Not exclusive

Creating a fully intergenerational space to enrich us all

Make fun

A group to take care of selves and each other

Hold each other accountable

Don’t be flakes

Nutritious food access



Necesitamos a todos en el movimiento (mams, papas, ninos) – we need everyone in the movement (moms, dads, kids)

Debemos crear espacio para los ninos para que el movimiento sobreviva – we need to create space for kids to be around so the movement can survive beyond the current generation

Apoyar y reconocer a mams de color, para que podamos organizarnos – help and recognize us mamas of color, so that we can organize

Para que las mamas y papas tengamos un “break” – give moms and dads a break from childcare

Responsabilidad por educar politica de los ninos – responsibility for political education of children

Para abrir la mente de los ninos – to open the mind of children

Criar ninos en comunidad, es una co-responsabilidad – raise kids in community, it’s a co-responsibility

Incorporar a los ninos al trabajo de organizar – incorporate the kids in organizing work


Poder para los ninos – empowerment of children

Accessible – accessible

Divertido - fun

Saludable - healthy

Alegre - happy

Limpio - clean

Familiar -

Colorido – colorful, diverse

Seguro – safe

Verde - green

Techo – roof? Covered? Protected?

Comunitario - communal

Intergeneracional – intergenerational

Inclusivo - inclusive

No violento – non-violent

Integrada - integrated

Participation politico (de ninos) – political participation (of kids)

Multilingue y multicultural – multilingual and multicultural

Imaginativo - imaginative

Organico - organic


childcare is never optional

early childcare workers valued and respected

all genders and races, diverse movement included

childcare is a shared responsibility and everyone’s work

more work for cis-gendered men

kids being integrated into the community

treating young people as full members (anti-adultism)

making childcare empowering and freeing




kids are awesome

having kids around is normal (many ages being together is normal)

learning/working with different styles

trained (some needs require extra knowledge)

working on policy changes to resource the work that needs to be done

all feel effortless

using childcare as a political tool, we are providing a service together

men who come out to do childcare don’t feel criminalized

childcare spaces that support children’s full gender expression

not segregating children with special/heightened needs, never say no to a child


dialogue between children and parents and elders

relationships with children less authoritative, different ways of interacting with children


snacks/food for all ages

childcare givers are nurtured

teaching and learning with kids


Model new world through PLAY!

Personal is political

Kid/Parent led

Supporting mothers and the work of mothers

Keep it intergenerational

Build support for immediate needs

Making connections between parents/community caregivers child allies

Develop multiple intelligences

Collective and community building

Challenge white supremacy & ALL forms of oppression!

More men involved in caregiving for children

Bringing marginalized groups to the center!


Parenting is full-time; parents need childcare to get involved

Youth must be included within the spaces of the movement

Addresses priviledge issues- single moms want to be involved in organizing; non-parents can help make it more accessible; can't do both full-time childcare work and organizing work/ activism is great "uniter"

Childcare is political act- as is motherhood! Responsibility of an entire community- intergenerational movement building improves the movement

Act of solidarity; opportunity to bring more women in! families interdependence- we all need each other!

Creating spaces where the children can really feel like they belong and everyone in the space takes an active role in caring for children

Ideal childcare would have more resources, space, and people

Intergenerational spaces, extended family, merging with senior organizations

Fluid, having healthy connected relationships

Getting childcare extremely accessible

Whenever a break is needed 24/7

Who? -everyone, in different facets, it will reshape a child's perception of community

Children being the center of the movement

After we finished that exercise we rotated in two circles where we each answered a question one on one - taking turns listening. "In relationship to the vision that you just talked about in your small group, what’s really going on with your childcare work. What is your practice/relationship to childcare work?"

Rain Drops: "What is the most powerful thing about the work that’s going on right now, what’s revolutionary about this work?" Each person will write their partners answers on a rain drop.

This is what everyone came up with:

  • -trading childcare
  • -free!
  • -adds creativity back into movement
  • -multiple age groups
  • -getting women/parents voices heard
  • -supporting women of color voices
  • -cooperative-based
  • -non-commodity
  • -no money for childcare
  • -parents are struggling and I don't know what is happening with our childcare. however, I am super excited to share ideas from here with my community.
  • -break down the current paradigm of individualism
  • -most affected people leading
  • -women of color at movement's center
  • -addressing intersectionality
  • -momentum
  • -coalition
  • -accessible free art classes for youth
  • -inter-generational community
  • -building relationships with youth and families over the years; seeing them grow
  • -takes a village to raise a youth
  • -long sided revolutionary struggle
  • -inter-generational dialogue
  • -celebrating lack of life experience (wonderment)
  • -inter-generational sustainable structures of support rooted in anti-oppressive work
  • -building community
  • -empowering
  • -spontaneous mutual aid among parents
  • -figuring out what's going on with parents in neighborhood
  • -build/support family while addressing oppression
  • -connection to basic fundamental human interaction
  • -reminder of specialness of all individuals
  • -blends pragmatic politicking with beauty of parenthood
  • -sharing time and ideas and space with other mothers/relatives, neighbors, friends
  • -children learning to be a part of the community
  • -most powerful: radical curriculum in childcare collective
  • -most revolutionary: community bridges and building them
  • -movement won't survive if children not integreted
  • -faja contra el abuso de ninos
  • -organizacion de hombres para cuida a los ninos
  • -looking to the future for revolutionary childcare
  • -childcare not affordable
  • -providing a need
  • -potential
  • -womyn-friendly space
  • -caring for children of incarcerated mothers
  • -bridging generations
  • -holistic change
  • -create structures that incorporate all
  • -anti-colonial
  • -long-term strong relationships with organizations and kids in them
  • -connection with movements in South Africa
  • -support
  • -dialectic of childcare
  • -parental involvement
  • -revaluation of care work and making it truly a central community effort
  • -provide support to dis-empowered community
  • -todos los grupos incluyendo hombres tienen la oportunidad de cuidar los ninos
  • -children becoming powerful, vocal, creative, active, in movements along with parents
  • -forming deeper relationships with people in the community
  • -making new friends within and across movements
  • -community
  • -long-term vision of revolution
  • -allowing more marginalized to empower each other
  • -willingness for community care and support
  • -moms most affected so their participation is crucial
  • -building community through childcare
  • -creative ways to make childcare affordable
  • -meeting
  • -personal
  • -radical childcare
  • -public support in loving way
  • -disabled kids campaign: DC collective
  • -special needs
  • -that a childcare collective exists
  • -radical collaboration
  • -mamas leading
  • -parent networking
  • -forming co-op
  • -kids absorb and electrify the movement
  • -free
  • -transformational
  • -retos culturales
  • -apoyo a madres solteras
  • -learning from kids
  • -male involvement
  • -challenge gender roles
  • -intergenerational culture spaces
  • -relationship building
  • -cultivating new spaces out childcare community (parents, kids, allies, everyone)
  • -involving children in political actions
  • -seeing this!!
  • -powerful opportunity outside traditional childcare
  • -political and cultural re-imagining
  • -re-imagining gender roles
  • -challenging oppressive dynamics
  • -men's involvement
  • -I get to step out of my comfort zone
  • -inter-dependent
  • -inter-group connection
  • -engaging youth
  • -support childcare providers
  • -kids' perspective integral to personal growth
  • -inclusion
  • -opening space
  • -awesome

Lighting Bolts: "Talk about one super difficult, road blocking challenge to the work." Each person will write their partners answers on a lightning bolt.

This is what everyone came up with:

  • - New concept for community
  • - Lack of vision needs to be prioritized…not discussed.
  • - People’s bad attitudes about kids
  • - How to make sure caregivers are safe: trust
  • - Availability
  • - Too busy! Too much going on to really help.
  • - Lack of support for childcare providers
  • - Commitment to prioritize. Revaluing (childcare) beyond (a) responsibility.
  • - Accessibility of decent care (shared values)
  • - Commitment
  • - Find volunteers that want to be engaged for a long time. Time.
  • - Communication. Accessibility.
  • - Time. Willingness. “Burden” on a few.
  • - Building trust between people.
  • - Scheduling. Finding volunteers and people to participate.
  • - Time. Organizing consistency.
  • - Accessibility. Isolation of parents in our culture.
  • - Time/money. Resources.
  • - Building commitment with community members.
  • - Inherent failure of human kind.
  • - Affordability and safety of childcare spaces.
  • - Understanding childcare as collective, not just individual. And understanding South Asian community as political.
  • - Learning to relate to kids.
  • - Own upbringing and history interferes with caring, loving skills.
  • - Getting cis-me involved…questioning gender dynamics.
  • - Sustainable commitment levels.
  • - Time. Capacity. Finding dedicated volunteers.
  • - Not enough time for volunteering.
  • - People not grounded in building community. Not a priority. Reconfigure our sense of community.
  • - Community resistance to politicizing childcare.
  • - Self-esteem.
  • - Lack of respect for children and mothers in the movement
  • - Public transportation to spaces.
  • - Safety and security (eg, child abuse and molestation)
  • - Everyone should be included.
  • - Budget cuts, accessibility to any childcare.
  • - No tiene experiencia cuidar a ninos ni organizacion.
  • - Degree, license, education.
  • - Connecting with new groups.
  • - Falta de tiempo y un espacio para organizer. (No space or time to organize)
  • - Burnout!
  • - Building relationships with parents.
  • - Retention. Involving men.
  • - Finding ways to incorporate non-traditional learning/values into a curriculum; lack of funding, inability to provide childcare staff with adequate salaries.
  • - Space
  • - Growth
  • - Lack of kids in community, isolation of kids from community (private childcare).
  • - Capacity and commitment.
  • - Organizational structural support.
  • - Lack of time, lack of commitment.
  • - Sustaining membership.
  • - Lack of resources.
  • - Logistics, finding volunteers, community support.
  • - Cost of childcare ($$), lack of planning (last minute planning).
  • - Idioma (language)
  • - Time; lack of time.
  • - Time; $$$$.
  • - Burn-out/exhaustion; too few people; paid vs. volunteer childcare.
  • - Transcending ed à not transmitting trauma; overcoming gendered idea that it’s a woman’s task.
  • - Childcare.
  • - Generational separation. Separation of people with children and people without children. Lack of material resources. Lack of follow-through. Lack of time.
  • - Lack of communication between need and providers lack integration.
  • - Childcare is marginalized and de-prioritized in radical spaces. Be friends, be involved – don’t just talk at meetings.
  • - Gice … lejos (no idea what this says).

We taped everything to the wall where we could look at all these replies together. We discussed what the next step would be, and what do we need, to fulfill our collective visions. (the river below the other shapes) We came together to make rain in the closing exercise. I said it last year at the AMC, and I will say it again this year: Detroit has Rainbows! The conversations and energy I find there lasts the year long.

will say it again this year: Detroit has Rainbows! The conversations and energy I find there lasts the year long.