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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.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

US Social Forum

The 3rd United States Social Forum ( took place in Detroit, Michigan from June 22nd through 26th. Baltimore KIDz CITY was there is full force -- Sarah SK, China, Sine and I were all there!

Childcare collectives from all over the country worked in the months beforehand to plan a workshop called: Building an Intergenerational Movement for Collective Liberation: the Work of Childcare Collectives Across the States and the Galaxy!
This was a historic moment (okay maybe not in the grand scheme of things, but pretty historic to us). Radical/feminist/anarchist/anti-racist/social-justice childcare collectives have never gathered in the US on that scale before (as far as we know). It was goose-bump inducing fun and fantastically facilitated. We had a brain-storm, with vision clouds, barrier lighting-bolts, tool tear drops and a river of dreams for the future. I’m getting tingly just thinking about it again.
The room was packed with people who want community and activism to be intergenerational and are doing something to make that happen. It was like hanging out with a bunch of feel-good kindergarten teachers! Below is a picture of the organizers of the workshop. The day after the workshop we gathered and made plans for staying in touch, and continuing to work together, forming the IFCC (it sounds super official and stands for Intergalactic Federation of Childcare Collectives!)

(do you notice that we attempted to be in a rainbow? Cute, right?)