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Monday, November 21, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

As many of you observed Transgender Day of Remembrance yesterday, you may have noticed that among those who were mourned was a child.

Ashlynn Conner, a 10 year-old from Ridge Farm, Illinios, took her own life on Friday, November 11th. Ashlynn had been experiencing teasing and bullying for two years, being called "pretty boy" (after cutting her hair short), "slut," "ugly," and "fat." When she went to teachers for help, they told her stop tattling.

This is scary, disturbing, angering, saddening, and much more. Let us not forget that gender-violence and harassment affects children deeply.

I am at a loss of words of wisdom or comfort. I am hoping that by reminding those of us who work and play with children to remain caring and compassionate, that a little bit of the culture that supports harassment, bullying and violence will be weakened.

In solidarity.

Monday, October 31, 2011

China's report back on Fair Childcare Now! children's programming

Well it's over - and I really want to say something about how it all went. It went great! So many people worked together for this! There were new-ish volunteers from past actions that now were part of the organizing team, and that was so cool. There were really wonderful youth (about 7 or so - mostly around 12 and three 3 year olds). There were neat people who dropped in and played. There were lots of volunteers* and games and discussions. There was rides and packing up and packing down and little bags of carrots and tomatoes. and juice boxes. and hide the juice boxes, lets just stick with water. And strawberries!

There was duck duck goose, thumbs up, musical chairs, fast games, slow games. There was rain and snow. There was the buddy system. There was all these intricacies of interactions that I would love to be able to write about, I would write and write and It would take days and someone would need to edit it and cut out about at least one third to half of my words; and run spell check. But that wouldn't happen, probably.

You see I always want to write reflections from when the event is over - but I usually never do. So much preparation goes into making an event happen, and when it's over you often feel happy, satisfied, relieved, tired, and ready for the next things you need to do. So you don't write your reportback. Cuz it all feels so BIG. where to start? What to say?

So I just wanted to start a new pattern. A new personal goal. That every time an event is done I will post just a little something about it. Even if its not perfect. (Thats a lesson for me lately too, to do things, although they are un-perfect)

As the bottom liner on this, I wish I started organizing (a month or two) earlier, and this is a rule I KNOW, but all I can say, is remember that for next time. I know this stuff really well, but I still wound up doing a lot of stuff the day before (as well as the week before) and waking up to finish packing and not getting enough sleep so I was sleepy and out of it at the end of the day. But it was ok because we had everything planned and responsibility divided and I just walked away and didn't worry about it. (my shift was past done, and they have my cell phone, I'm just in the next building)

I drank coffee and ate a brownie. And held babies. Which is great, more for me, I think. Holding babies is good for you.

I remember when I was taking a break, hearing this facilitator (on a workshop on facilitation, or group dynamics, or something) talking about that these skills - we need to learn them. We need to learn how to work in groups, there are some good tools with that. And if we learned this stuff when we were young, how useful that would be. And I thought: thats like Kidz City!

I think we are all learning how to work together, sharing different aproaches with each other. Making that space for that to happen in. And the best way to learn these skills, is just like how we were all playing those games together --- is hands on. Its much better hands on then anything I can write here. I love having an actual space to build together, our kidz city, for a day or two. Childcare and children are part of the United Workers, its not like childcare isn't something that should be an integrated part of the whole - just its great to build a space, with intentions and priorities, for youth like Kidz City too. I really see us all learning stuff, together, every time we get together. Trying to build a new model, trying this experiment and work in progress called radical childcare. I like it!

But also part of that, is the reflection afterwords. To discuss and learn for next time. So I am going to put writing report backs on my final list of things to do when planning an action, just like thanking the volunteers and organizers and asking for anyone's feedback - good or places where we have room for improvement to learn for next time- and maybe one day it will feel normal and not stretching too much to do that, just like how it now is for us to plan for food.

So, it went good!
A lot of folks helped!
Thank you,

*three volunteers on each (two hour) shift, plus one kidz city organizer doing three hour bottom lining shifts, plus some folks doing more than one shift = 13 total volunteers. There was a good amount of volunteers - I think thats really important. Keep a high ratio. You never know how many kids will show up (we had a 5-15 estimate). Organizations stress pre-registration, and it would help us prepare a lot, but many participants do not register ahead.

What is Fair Childcare?

Fair childcare is respect and care for every child and every caregiver
Fair childcare respects mothers and doesn't separate them from their children through forces such as economics and borders
Fair childcare is divided across all sectors in a more equitable fashion
Fair childcare means all children to have the physical and emotional requirements they need to grow and blossom
Fair childcare supports caregivers and children's leadership & dignity
Fair childcare is respect for individual differences and culture
Fair childcare value's the work of growing bodies, hearts and spirits
Fair childcare is concrete support for all families
Fair childcare is community solidarity
Fair childcare centers those on the margins in this unjust system
Fair childcare is beauty and self expression, even when that self expression isn't so beautiful
Fair childcare is affordable, free, sliding scale, collective
Fair childcare is wonderful and necessary
Fair childcare is healthy
Fair childcare is equal
Fair childcare is putting your resources where your mouth is!

What does "Fair Childcare" mean to you?

original flyer and spanish translation here:

This project was inspired by the "What is Fair Development ?" photo booth project (check out the photo set - lots of youth and kidz city volunteers mixed in!)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fair Childcare Now! - Children's Programing at the Fair Development Conference Oct. 29

Hello! Kidz City is preparing for the children's programming for the Fair Development Conference (in Baltimore) at the end of the month. WE NEED LOTS OF VOLUNTEERS! Volunteer for a two-hour shift! Let me know if you are interested and mark the date

Time: Saturday Oct 29, from 9 am to 5
Place: 2640 Saint Paul
Estimated: 5-15 kids. But they don't really know.

I am also interested in assembling a planning/organizing team!

Second organizing meeting this tuesday, oct.11 at 6:30 in Hampden. Let me know if you would like to come. We will also have a volunteer orientation the week before the event.

yours for the long term intergenerational building,
china/kidz city


* Make Halloween Costumes with/for Kids! They can use them to march around the next day for the Sunday action (There is going to be a giant pumpkin prop involved in the United workers demo), to feel part of the larger action, and also trick or treat in. I am thinking it would be neat to set up a sewing and costume station and get a lot of creativity going on around this.

Create a "Fair Development" GAME for children! Build Something meeting the criteria of using public resources fairly, with respect for all, and is sustainable. Or perhaps experience the game in two ways, with one boss; and then in a collaborative way. various ideas - but creating a game is a really cool idea!

Create a village, there own town. Building a community. Verbally or with waterpaints. Older kids building with younger kids.


Workshops for Youth.

Assemble Packages of crayons, paper, and toys to put in each workshop so that children that go to workshops with caretakers have stuff there to be occupied with.

Work on ways to develop youth leadership, incorporate youth decision making.

Represent "Fair Development" in Kidz Terms: youth to experience collective decision making.

Work on a Fair Childcare Bill of Rights! What is fair childcare? Perhaps work with kids on a Children's Bill of Rights.

Photo Booth Project: If we make signs we could be part of the larger photo booth project which will ask a question like: "what is fair development?"

Develop some kind of idea for presentation that could come from the youth to the greater assembly before supper

Have ideas? Get in touch ASAP. Especially with workshop ideas and folks that could give workshops to youth. We need to put that program together.

More about the Fair Development Conference:

The 2011 Fair Development Conference is a going to be an incredible convergence of some of the most dynamic and effective organizers and scholars locally, nationally and even globally.

Check out the amazing program of workshops, events, and actions here!

People are traveling far and wide to share stories and strategies for building the power needed to develop our communities and economies in ways that respect the inherent worth of all people. From the Dominican Republic, Vermont, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, organizers, artists, faith leaders, and students will be making their way to Baltimore to participate in the Fair Development Conference. We hope that you will make your way too.

So don’t miss out, register online today!

Be on the lookout for additional updates on Fair Development Conference events, actions, and news.

Here’s a list of just some of the participation groups
Amnesty International
Baltimore Algebra Project
Baltimore Bicycle Works
Centro de los Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha
Civilian Soldier Alliance (CivSol)
Coalition for Economic Justice
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Community Law Center
Democracy Collaborative
Fight for a Fair Economy
Generations for Peace and Democracy
Good Jobs Better Baltimore
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Justicia Global
Keeper of the Mountains Foundation
Media Mobilizing Project
Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
Milk Not Jails
Northeast Pennsylvania Organizing Center
National Economic and Social Rights Initiative
Philadelphia Student Union
Picture the Homeless
Poverty Initiative
Puppet Underground
Spectres of Liberty
United Workers
Urban Justice Center
Vermont Workers Center
War Resisters League
And More!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BOOKFAIR!!!! starting tomorrow ...

They've got a great line up of talks aimed at radical parents and kids
this year in the Radical Bookfair Pavilion at the Baltimore Book
Festival, taking place outdoors in Mt. Vernon Place, September

Saturday 9/24 @ 1PM: Rad Dad

Tomas Moniz, creator of the zine "Rad Dad", presents the new
anthology collecting the best of "Rad Dad" and "Daddy
Dialectic"---essential reflections on the politics of
fatherhood. (In the Radical Bookfair Pavilion)

Sunday 9/25 @ Noon: Encouraging Reluctant Readers

Iris Kirsch, Baltimore City public school teacher, leads a
discussion workshop on "Encouraging Reluctant Readers": we all know
reading is vitally important, but how do we get kids to realize
this? (in our brand new Baltimore Free School Lit & Language tent).

Sunday 9/25 @ 1PM: Urban Theory for Kids!

Art activist Becky Slogeris presents an interactive workshop for
kids based on her new book, "The Baltimore Textbook"---a
middle-school level introduction to critical urban theory focused on
Baltimore. (in the Free School Lit & Language tent).

There's tons more great stuff going on in the Radical Bookfair
Pavilion, and at the larger Book Festival itself, all of it 100% free.
Check out the full schedules at and

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DIY Fest! "The flower of independence blooms from the soil of interdependence."

"Do It Together" Children's programming at DIY Fest – this Saturday!

WHERE: 2640 St Paul Street Balt. MD 21218

WHEN: Saturday, September 17 - between 12 PM and 6 PM.

Kidz City is excited to be working with DIY Fest to program more activities for children, support for parents, and all-ages community building skills. There will be:

- children’s craft table with Grandma Shirley;

- making dinosaur eggs (and hang out in the dinosaur nest) with Kidz City;

- puppet theatre;

- and jewelry making for (older) children at the jewelry making table

Come to DIY Fest and bring your children!

The flower of independence blooms from the soil of interdependence. Let’s work together to make a great DIY Fest for all.

More Info about DIY Fest:

DIY Fest 2011 (Do It Yourself Festival) will be the 5th DIY Fest to be held in Baltimore City. The event is free (donations are greatly appreciated) and is open to anyone wanting to learn a new skill, teach or present one of their skills/hobbies or just check out what goes down at a DIY Fest.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Harriet's Reflections on the IWW CONVENTION

So the IWW Convention is over, it's been a week or more, and I have spent some time reflecting.

Coordinating childcare for this event has really helped to revitalize my hope for our collective, for Baltimore 'radicals' and for the world (okay may that's over stating it).

I think doing Kidz City work I've gotten comfortable with the role of someone who has to push to be heard, who has to shout to be considered. I went into organizing with Baltimore IWW folks defensively, ready to be disapointed. Well I was not disappointed, I had such a great time, and developed a deeper repsect for all the people in the IWW branch and for the IWW in general.

Visiting delegates were also on the whole lovely people, many of them came and said "thank you for your work" to the childcare volunteers. There was a lot of respect for the 'work' that each person did. And it seemed that care work was just as appreciated by the people that I had the pleasure of speaking with.

We also had new volunteers join us for the first time labor day weekend, and they were amazing. I can't wait to continue working with them, and learning more about them.

The coloring book I make was just a blast to research, draw, paste up and copy (many hours at Kinkos). There are still copies available if anyone wants one.

Kidz City has other activities coming up very soon. It seems like the organizing with DIY Fest has been going really well, and the kids program looks amazing.

If you want to be on our e-mail list to volunteer or recieve updates please e-mail

In solidarity and love,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

IWW Convention !! One Big Union.......One Awesome City!

Kidz City Baltimore and the Baltimore IWW Convention Planning Committee are partnering to bring amazingly fun and educational childcare/children's programming to the
2011 IWW Delegate Convention.

Saturday, Sept 3rd – 8:45 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday, Sept 4th – 11:45 am to 8:00 pm
Monday, Sept 5th – 8:45 am to 5:30 pm
* for schedule concerns please feel free to contact us.

Programming: Baltimore IWW and Kidz City have a lot of great ideas and plans for children's activities including radical song writing (in the IWW tradition), sign making, story telling and more. The schedule of the planned activities for the thre days will be posted outside of the childcare space on the first day of convention.

How to participate: It takes a lot of volunteers to keep a kids' space fun. If you'd like to volunteer or if you would like to lead an activity for children please contact Harriet, from Kidz City, by e-mail: You can also participate by bringing the children you care for, or by buying a Kidz Stamp – more info below.

Coloring Book: It's a Kidz City tradition to create a short coloring book for each of the conferences/events that we organize with. We are working hard to provide one for this event in the style of the Little Red Song Book. If you have ideas or suggestions let us know.

Kidz City contact: Please contact Harriet from Kidz City with any questions, suggestions or to register a young person for childcare. E-mail:

Kidz Assessment Stamp: There will be a $10 stamp offered this year that directly funds the childcare space and Kidz City's work. Please consider buying one (or two...) to show your support.

Wikipedia IWW page.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Volunteer for the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy!

Dear Kidz City volunteers,

Kidz City is excited to participate in the (quickly) upcoming Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy July 8-10 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County! The ECWD brings together worker-cooperatives and coopertively-run organizations to strengthen the network of democratic workplaces in the Eastern United States. Check out their website to see the amazing workshops they've got lined up and for information about the walking tour and showcase of Baltimore co-ops on Friday, July 8.

Kidz City is going to be providing childcare throughout the conference weekend and we *really* need your help! So far, we've got 6 registered youth, 2 under 13 years and 4 between 13 years old and 18 years old. We know its quite a hike to get out to UMBC, so we'll try our best to set up shuttles or carpools to get folks down there. All volunteers will also be able to get meal cards so you can get food throughout the day. On Friday, the ECWD is hosting a showcase of worker-cooperatives in Baltimore at the 2640 space. Its from 6pm - 10pm and includes an awesome buffet with vegan, vegetarian, and meat options. Kidz City will be creating a Kidz Zone and folks who'd like to volunteer are welcome to eat for free and enjoy the showcase. We'll also be providing childcare on-site at UMBC on Saturday and Sunday throughout the day. Please take a look at the following schedule and let us know *all* of your available shifts and how many shifts you're willing to work per day.

Friday, July 8:
Showcase at 2640 St. Paul Street
Shifts: 6:00-10:00pm (can do only part)
2-3 volunteers needed

Saturday, July 9:
Shifts: 8:30-10:30am, 10:30-12:30pm, 12:30-2:30pm, 2:30-4:30pm
2-3 volunteers needed for each shift

Sunday, July 10:
Shifts: 8:30-10:30am, 10:30-12:30pm, 12:30-2:30pm, 2:30-4:30pm
2-3 volunteers needed for each shift

Lastly, we're thinking about arranging a field trip to Baltimore on Saturday for some of the older kids so if anyone is interested (and possibly has a mini-van), please let us know. More details about that upcoming. Thanks y'all!

With love ,
Sine and Kidz City

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kiz City's Volunteer Orientation

Kidz City is super excited to announce that our first ever volunteer orientation will be held Sunday, June 12th from 1:30-3:30 at the Baltimore Free School!

We have a lot of awesome events coming up, including programming at the AlternateRoots Festival, and conference childcare with the Industrial Workers of the World and the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy. We're looking for people who are excited about participating in radical childcare and supporting an intergenerational movement.

Don't worry about this being another drab orientation'll be interactive, fun, and friendly. Not only will you learn about Kidz City and what we mean by radical childcare, but you'll get an understanding of how to create a safe, inclusive space for children and parents. There will be snacks, games, and lots of educational fun.

If you'd like to attend, please RSVP at Childcare will be provided, but please inform us ahead of time if you plan to bring children. Unfortunately, the Free School is not wheel chair accessible. Please let us know if this will be a problem for anyone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

STEW at Open City Exhibition

Hello there!

Kidz City will be tabling at STEW on April 15th.

OMG that's in just a few days!

STEW is teaming up with the curators of the Open City Exhibition for a unique community-culinary experience. For info click here.

Unlike, past events STEW will not have a childcare area.

However, we'll have an awesome arts activity at our table and we hope to make our table the hub of the event. ;)

Looking forward to seeing your lovely faces on Friday.

yours truly for the inter-generational movement,

Kidz City

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Repost: Teaching Boys Feminism

The following is an interesting blog entry by Ileana Jiménez on her blog "Feminist Teacher."

When I was in college, I always thought that teaching girls about feminism was my life’s calling. It turns out that teaching boys about feminism has made that calling even more profound.

In the past three years, I have taught a high school course on feminism titled Fierce and Fabulous: Feminist Writers, Artists, and Activists. Each year, girls and boys sign up for the class and each year, these young men are awakened not only to injustices regarding race, class, and gender in national and global contexts but also to injustices regarding how they have been socialized as boys.

With every example of women, girls, queer folks, and people of color facing discrimination, marginalization, and violence, boys awaken. White male boys begin to realize the male privilege they have enjoyed in a culture that valorizes powerful white men while boys of color gain language to describe their painful experiences of racism and classism. And each year, without fail, regardless of racial identity or socioeconomic class, the boys—both straight and gay—express their fear of being called a “fag.”

Boys of all backgrounds begin to share that they have been robbed of learning how to express their masculinity in ways that are healthy, loving, and emotive.

...continue reading...

feel free to comment with your own stories teaching feminism, racial justice, and other areas of social justice, equity, and care ...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Int'l Anti-Street Harassment Day Community Meeting

Hi everyone,

Holla Back Bmore will be hosting a community meeting about street harrassment.

Time -- Sunday, March 20 · 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location -- Baltimore Free School (1323 N. Calvert; Baltimore, MD)

To learn more about Holla Back check out the website.

And of course there's a Facebook page.

You can read even more about this project reported on by the City Paper.

Soooooooo.... Kidz City is providing childcare at this event! YAY!

Stay tuned for other great happenings with childcare.

Over and out, for now. And yes, we're still yours for the inter-generational revolution.

- Kidz City

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Childcare in the Occupied Capitol Building in Madison, WI

Hello friends!

We've been trying our best to stay tuned in to the struggle of workers to defend their collective bargaining rights in Madison, WI. As workers, we are always aware that our ability to organize and live simple healthy, happy, and connected lives is constantly under attack. As childcare workers, we know the most radical organizing is for our basic needs and dignity.

That's why we were really excited to hear about the childcare space in the occupied capitol building in the latest dispatch released by Baltimorean Ryan Harvey. Thought we'd share it with you too:

Yours for the inter-generational revolution,

Kidz City

Monday, February 14, 2011

2640 Monday SING-A-LONG!

Hi Friends,

Every Monday from now on, our great friends Alina and Lanie will be hosting a Monday (10am-12noon) sing-a-long, playgroup for all ages. If the flier and people organizing this event are any indication you can bet it will be AWESOME!

If you missed it this week, there's always next Monday (when some folks from Kidz City will be there, too!).

What: Play time, singing, great company
When: Mondays from 10am - 12pm
Where: 2640 St. Paul Street, Baltimore
What to bring: yourself; optional: kids, musical instruments, toys to share

- your friends at Kidz City

Kindergarten in Cairo!

Some fellow childcare enthusiasts sent this our way:

"Egypt: The camp that toppled a president

Cairo's central Tahrir Square was the focal point for anti-Mubarak protesters during 18 days of demonstrations. As the protest neared its peak, the BBC's Yolande Knell took a tour of the area. Explore the protesters' camp by clicking on the links."

Of special interest to us: click on the tag that says "kindergarten".

Yours for the inter-generational revolution,

Kidz City

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Event Request Form!

Hi Everyone!

After some careful editing, we have the new Event Request Form for KIDz CITY.

One thing that has changed in how to approach our work and requests for childcare and children's programing is the delineating of our expectations of the event organizers.

I'm including that section here to share with other childcare collectives and event organizers who might be interested.

We've already had some really great requests and we'll be deciding soon what events we'll be participating in!