by Victoria Law & China Martens
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.
Contributors 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.
"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
About the Editors:
Victoria Law is a mother, photographer, and writer. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, which won the 2009 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award and earned her the 2011 Brooklyn College Young Alumna Award.
Widely known as the grandma of the mama zine scene and a pioneer in the genre of radical parenting writing, China Martens raised her daughter as a single mother on welfare and working poor while continuing to put out The Future Generation, the longest-running parenting zine in the history of the Western world (1990 to the present). Her daughter is nearly 24 years old and her zine has been anthologized into the book The Future Generation: The Zine-book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends and Others (Atomic Book Company 2007).