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China Martens


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China’s short story, “On the Road (with baby)” was published in Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers (Seal Press, 2001) and has had various other essays printed in publications such as Baltimore Indypendent Reader, HipMama, WIN Magazine, and Revolutionary Motherhood. She also is a zinestress extraordinaire producing titles such as BWI Spy, Supermarket Supermodel, and Catbird; was the submissions editor for the collaborative mama/papa zine project Mamaphiles #4 “Raising Hell”; a columnist for DIY newsprint publication Slug and Lettuce (from 1994 to 2004) and won Baltimore City Paper “Best Zine” Award for I was . . . a Student Nurse!

Since 2003, China has facilitated workshops to create support for parents and children in activist and radical communities. In 2009, she co-founded Kidz City, a radical childcare collective in Baltimore. She is currently collaborating with Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Mai’a Williams to create This Bridge Called My Baby: Legacies of Radical Mothers, an anthology centering the writing of mothers of color, low-income mothers, and marginalized mothers.

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don'tleave

Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities
by Victoria Law & China Martens
Published: September 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60486-396-3
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 256
Dimensions: 6 by 9
Subjects: Politics-Activism, Family-Relationships
$17.95

Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind is a collection of concrete tips, suggestions, and narratives on ways that non-parents can support parents, children, and caregivers in their communities, social movements, and collective processes. Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind focuses on issues affecting children and caregivers within the larger framework of social justice, mutual aid, and collective liberation.

How do we create new, nonhierarchical structures of support and mutual aid, and include all ages in the struggle for social justice? There are many books on parenting, but few on being a good community member and a good ally to parents, caregivers, and children as we collectively build a strong all-ages culture of resistance. Any group of parents will tell you how hard their struggles are and how they are left out, but no book focuses on how allies can address issues of caretakers’ and children’s oppression. Many well-intentioned childless activists don’t interact with young people on a regular basis and don’t know how. Don't Leave Your Friends Behind provides them with the resources and support to get started.

Contributor include: The Bay Area Childcare Collective, Ramsey Beyer, Rozalinda Borcilă, Mariah Boone, Marianne Bullock, Lindsey Campbell, Briana Cavanaugh, CRAP! Collective, a de la maza pérez tamayo, Ingrid DeLeon, Clayton Dewey, David Gilbert, A.S. Givens, Jason Gonzales, Tiny (aka Lisa Gray-Garcia), Jessica Hoffman, Heather Jackson, Rahula Janowski, Sine Hwang Jensen, Agnes Johnson, Simon Knaphus, Victoria Law, London Pro-Feminist Men's Group, Amariah Love, Oluko Lumumba, mama raccoon, Mamas of Color Rising/Young Women United, China Martens, Noemi Martinez, Kathleen McIntyre, Stacey Milbern, Jessica Mills, Tomas Moniz, Coleen Murphy, Maegan 'la Mamita Mala' Ortiz, Traci Picard, Amanda Rich, Fabiola Sandoval, Cynthia Ann Schemmer, Mikaela Shafer, Mustafa Shakur, Kate Shapiro, Jennifer Silverman, Harriet Moon Smith, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Darran White Tilghman, Jessica Trimbath, Max Ventura, and Mari Villaluna.

Praise


"This book is mind-blowing, brilliant, and urgently needed! It is full of useful models and strategies for creating resistance that breaks down barriers to participation for children and people caring for children, and integrates deeply transformative commitments to building radically different activist culture and practice. This is a must-read for anyone trying to build projects based in collective action." —Dean Spade, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law

"Don't Leave Your Friends Behind is an essential resource for the interdependence revolution in progress. As a queer, chronically ill woman of color who loves and needs the parents and kids in my communities, I am hungry for these on the ground stories of how parents, allies, comrades, fam and friends are rewriting the world by refusing to hold mamas, papis and kids anywhere but at the center of our movements and communities, where we're supposed to be." —Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, co-editor, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities

"Activist mothers Law and Martens propose that radical movements interested in winning must welcome parents and their children—the youngest rabble rousers. They have created a practical guide for us all to do just that, but with zero guilt trips and moralizing. Don't Leave Your Friends Behind puts teeth into the slogan, Another World is Possible by showing us what a healthy left might look like."
 —James Tracy, co-author of Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times

"A powerful mixture of self-help and literature, putting ‘family values’ in a new light and on the agenda of social justice movements. And it's not just self-help for radicals who are parents, but food for everyone who seeks to become their better, more compassionate selves." —Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, activist, teacher, author of Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years: 1960-1975

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Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities
by Kjerstin Johnson
Bitch Magazine
December 2012

What do nonparents overlook when it comes to family-inclusive organizing?

China Martens:
There isn’t any one-size-fits-all answer. That said, here are some points to remember: All issues are also parents’ and children’s issues. If you do not see parents and children around you, ask why. Planning for family inclusion needs to start at the beginning, not at the last minute. Remember to discuss childcare issues and possible solutions collectively.What are some basic steps to make organizing family-inclusive?

VL:
Talk with families—both caregivers and kids. Find out what they need to participate! 
Some need childcare, others need people to help with their children in the same room. Remember that not everyone’s needs are 
the same.

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Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities
By Eleanor J Bader
Truthout
November 16th, 2012

All told, the collection is stimulating, and whether we are parents, eldercare providers, or simply concerned human beings, inclusivity - not leaving anyone behind - is key to making the changes we wish to see. After all, if another world is possible, doesn't it have to include the young, the old and the in between - whether able-bodied or not?

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Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities
HipMama Magazine
June 2012

There are many books on parenting, but few on being a good community member and a good ally to parents, care- givers, and children as we collectively build a strong all-ages culture of resistance. Any group of parents will tell you how hard their struggles are and how they are left out, but no book focuses on how allies can address issues of caretakers’ and children’s oppression. Isolated by age within an individualistic society, many well-intentioned childless activists don’t interact with young people on a regular basis and don’t know how. Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind provides them with the resources and support to get started.

Read more | Buy the book now | Download e-Book now | Back to reviews | Back to top


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