I make a quick stop to visit China Martens in Baltimore.   China wrote some of the first mamazines that I ever read, (and recently released The Future Generation– a compilation through Microcosm Publishers), so, needless to say,  this visit meant a lot to me.  In true fiercemamafashion China welcomed me into her home and showered me with love and solidarity. She really WANTED to support me and was eager to talk about what it means to support mamaz and to build stronger selves.  She shared her thoughts about who inspired and supported her and  we talked about what it means to dedicate yourself to movement building that includes caring for yourself.  She is currently committing herself to working on a local level within her community and, to this effect,  she  is involved with birthing radical methods for community caretaking, through contributing to creating a collective for radical childcare.   From their blog;

“We are dedicated to advocating for parents and children in the radical community. Too often, we find that parents and children are driven out of radical spaces, because they’re “loud,” because they’re “annoying,” and because people “just hate kids.” We say, “SCREW THAT!” In a world based on anarchist principles of mutual aid, sharing, caring and support, no one should be pushed out because they have children, especially because it is parents (and often mothers) who are in need of support by the community.”
In the few short hours I spent in Baltimore, we talked about Baltimore, poverty and ways that poverty-related issues impact all members of its community.  We talked about ways that mamaz have always been such huge contributors to radical movements and have frequently been overlooked or had their needs ignored.  We talked about working from a place of vision instead of reaction and we talked about the capacity that mamaz have to be such strong movement builders because they have to act and hold space for vision in their own lives so often.  I was SO inspired by the ways that China, and her community, had chosen to address root issues of poverty and inequity within their community by building radical solidarity and forming a solution that took into consideration the needs of all members of its community in through its agenda.  I also loved that so much of this work is grounded in creativity and intentional inter-generational exchange!  I’m excited to return and learn more about their work and lives.

So, go head Baltimore, you rock! Are you committed to radical lives in Baltimore or the surrounding areas? I’d love to learn more from you too. There will be an upcoming dialogue hosted by China Martens during April.  Please contact us here if you’d like to be involved!