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CommunityCareWe are glad to be posting Eric Mann's piece as part of the ongoing conversation on Self and Community Care on Organizing Upgrade. Mann's book Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer has 2 chapters on taking care of self and taking care of others. In this piece he highlights how many people do community care so well and sometimes at the expense of caring for themselves and what that means for the movement. —Ed.

The discussion in Organizing Upgrade on the relationship of self-care to movement-building, initiated by B. Loewe, has been very exciting. Props to B for putting out a clear point of view and encouraging this level of engagement.

Let me explain how I see the integration of "self-care" and "collective care." In the quote B uses, Yashna Maya Padamsee says, "Talking only about self-care when talking about healing justice is like only talking about recycling and composting when speaking of environment justice." But no one I know is only or even mainly talking about "self-care" isolated from the collective struggle—and in fact, way too often it is "self-care" that is urgently needed to keep comrades in the movement.

Published in Community Care

CommunityCareAn End to Self Care written by B. Loewe has had well over 10,000 views and it sparked a number of response articles and social media flurries. There is alignment, there is disagreement, there is push back and push forward. There is a range of responses, and two weeks later, a common thread has emerged: a feeling of relief and enthusiasm that this conversation is opening at this scale, on this platform and with this energy. As I mentioned in the launch of the Community Care Channel, this is not a new topic on Self Care and Community Care within Social Movements but this is a particular insurgence of new fire around this conversation online.

Published in Community Care
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 03:00

Care is the Core of Change | Subhash Kateel

CommunityCareYesterday, an old colleague from the immigrant rights movement, B. Loewe wrote a thought provoking piece on self-care titled, "An End to Self Care." After I read the piece, I told him how hard it was to not have an immediate and viscerally negative reaction to it. After we spoke, I realized that some of my reaction was based more on what I thought he was saying than what he was actually saying. But other parts of my reaction felt valid enough for me to respond to the piece.

Most of B.'s (I really should have asked him how to put an apostrophe by his name) primary point, as I understood it, is compelling enough:

"..self-care... inherently rejects collective responsibility for each other's well-being..."

But as I kept reading, I got a sense of where my reaction was coming from:

Published in Community Care

CommunityCare

B Loewe recently wrote this article: An End to Self Care. Many folks on my Facebook friends list posted it and wrote about it in glowing terms. Many disabled, chronically ill, brokeass, femme and parent friends of mine reacted to this article with a huge amount of anger, grief and trigger. While it might not have been loewe's intention, for a lot of folks, reading the article brought up a lot of feelings about how the abelism and unsustainabiltiy of movements have pushed us out of them. So, on another chronically ill femme of color organizer day in bed, I read it. I had a lot of feelings. And, fueled by PMS, working-class femme of color crip rage and grief, and some coffee, I pounded out the following article.

Published in Community Care
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 06:26

Community Care: A Conversation

CommunityCareThere is an opening and a flow right now in the conversation on care. People are talking about this everywhere I go. It's as if a dam has broken; the conversation is rushing in like waves. Everyone has an energized opinion, a poignant perspective, a digging question, a heart-felt experience to share, to push up against, to rally around. Community care, self care, our movements, our bodies - there's so much at stake. No wonder things are getting heated. This is a really important conversation about our capacity to survive and thrive, individually and collectively.

Published in Community Care
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 19:14

An End to Self-Care | B Loewe

SelfCareSmallerI’m going to say it. I want to see an end to “self-care.” Can we put a nail in self-care’s coffin and instead birth a newer discussion of community care?

As I most often hear it, self-care stands as an importation of middle-class values of leisure that’s blind to the dynamics of working class (or even family) life, inherently rejects collective responsibility for each other’s well-being, misses power dynamics in our lives, and attempts to serve as a replacement for a politics and practice of desire that could actually ignite our hearts with a fuel to work endlessly.

Published in Community Care
Monday, 15 October 2012 19:13

An End to Self Care | B. Loewe

SelfCareSmallerI’m going to say it. I want to see an end to “self-care.” Can we put a nail in self-care’s coffin and instead birth a newer discussion of community care?

As I most often hear it, self-care stands as an importation of middle-class values of leisure that’s blind to the dynamics of working class (or even family) life, inherently rejects collective responsibility for each other’s well-being, misses power dynamics in our lives, and attempts to serve as a replacement for a politics and practice of desire that could actually ignite our hearts with a fuel to work endlessly.

Published in B Loewe

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