Revolutionary childcare in NYC

My friend shared this article/blog post about revolunationary childcare with me recently. It is an exciting initiative in NYC that has very similiar objectives and principles to the Dreamers Dream for Children group. Do folks know if there are other such groups in the country?

Below is the vision statement for the NYC group, called Regeneración:

In this city that never sleeps, in which we are constantly moving, running on concrete and breathing clogged air, squeezing into small spaces that are stacked on top of each other, involving kids into our organizing work is a struggle in itself.

Across the city, many women of color led projects recognize kids and families as integral to movement building. Inspired by these projects, a group of organizers pulled together Regeneración. We participate in child-raising as a form of resistance that builds radical communities and relationships.

The name Regeneración has a lot of meanings. It suggests our capacity to regenerate community, culture, and resistance. Regeneración is a word that looks very similar in the two main languages that we work in, Spanish and English. We are inspired by movements throughout Latin America, in particular our connections with movements in Argentina and Mexico. Regeneración was the name of the newspaper of the Mexican revolutionary Ricardo Flores Magón, a key figure in the Mexican Revolution who was eventually killed in the United States’ Leavenworth Prison. We raise the name of Regeneración to honor our prisoners, those who cross borders to build a better world, and the radical movements that continue to surge from the South.

How are we doing this?

Regeneración focuses on building relationships between childcare volunteers, children, parents, families, and organizations. We provide childcare at organizational meetings, events, and in collaboration with community based childcare collectives and cooperatives. Our partner organizations are those whose visions inspire us.

We seek honest and healthy communication between the organizations, kids, parents, and families with whom we work. In constant reflection, we provide spaces for dialogue around identity and privilege. We challenge ourselves and our communities, in a healthy and loving way, to overcome our internalized oppressions. We organize trainings, skill-sharing, and educational gatherings to continue to expand our understanding of children and community autonomy and educate ourselves as volunteers, members, and partners.

We recognize that kids are in a constant process of transformation. We promote a childcare process that respects the autonomy, growth, safety, and health of children. We reach out and make ourselves accessible to kids and families, listening and acting with humility and patience.

Who’s Doing Childcare?

We come in many colors, genders, and styles. Some of us have less money, some of us have more money, some of us used to have more money, and some of us used to have less money.

We work within and come from many movements and histories of struggle. We are people remembering and learning the stories of those before us in order to carry them into our future. We are people committed to building a multi-generational movement for collective liberation. We are especially committed to the kids and families of low-income women and queer folks of color.

This is a collective project that each of us must actively grow. We are people talking and listening to each other across age, class, race, language, and gender. We are people accessing and building our collective resources to radically transform the world around and within us. We will make mistakes. We want to be changing, learning, and growing. Walking we ask questions.

We Value:

KIDS, and the way they affect our perspective in ‘political’ spaces.
CREATIVITY: rather than being reactionary, this project is part of global movements to build positive, autonomous, self-sustaining communities that respect life.
COMMITMENT: We show up on time and get things done.
COMMUNICATION: We are in an ongoing conversation.
LEARNING from other efforts to create children-centric and multi-generational movements.
HUMILITY: Working with kids and parents gets to the core of us, and what we think this world should look like. We’ve got to really listen to each other.
RE-CLAIMING ‘FAMILY’ and child rearing as a communal process.
RETHINKING SOLIDARITY : Our struggles are bound together and yet we find ourselves in different spaces of privilege and oppression. We talk about this. As people of color and white folks with more privilege/mobility, we question and explore our desire to be accountable to communities of color that are struggling.
LOVE, HEALING, AND RESPECT: Everyone brings vulnerability to the space.
FLEXIBILITY: We work on family time, nothing is predictable!
ORGANIZING: This can’t be the only thing that we do, and we can’t be doing this to be a part of a ‘scene’. This is one thread in a larger web of action.
ACCOUNTABILITY, instead of guilt.
REVOLUTION: This work is part of a larger political project and serves to deepen our understanding and application of critiques of capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, heterosexism, and other systems of oppression.

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