At the U.S. Social Forum in
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
B) HOW TO GET THERE
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
Applying your talent
Ideal vision-kids are in all spaces
Creating a fully intergenerational space to enrich us all
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
Responsabilidad por educar politica de los ninos – responsibility for political education 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
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
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
- -adds creativity back into movement
- -multiple age groups
- -getting women/parents voices heard
- -supporting women of color voices
- -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
- -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
- -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
- -womyn-friendly space
- -caring for children of incarcerated mothers
- -bridging generations
- -holistic change
- -create structures that incorporate all
- -long-term strong relationships with organizations and kids in them
- -connection with movements in
- -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
- -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
- -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
- -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-group connection
- -engaging youth
- -support childcare providers
- -kids' perspective integral to personal growth
- -opening space
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:
will say it again this year: Detroit has Rainbows! The conversations and energy I find there lasts the year long.