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Monday, October 25, 2010

Success!


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,

Harriet

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I'm glad it went so wonderfully and that everyone was super-supportive of the kids' presence!

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  3. Since children create our culture, it makes a lot of sense for us to be with children as much as possible - especially when older people are busy in cultural work. We benefit by being together and sharing together, learning from each other across generations. The idea of moving children away from adults is about controlling everyone, across generations - lessening power rather than expanding power. As human beings it is our cultural legacy for generations to be together, cooking, singing, dancing, playing, storytelling, negotiating, role playing as human beings, together - creating culture and community at once. So it is inspiring to see an effort at bringing people across generations together, and hear how well it worked. When older people listen and respond to younger people, we learn how to create spaces for human beings, spaces that are alive and full of dignity. Thanks for sharing! Keep up the great work in Baltimore!!!! - Tom Kertes

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