New York State Partners in Policymaking 2018 Speakers Series

June 8, 2018

Caitlin will be presented a workshop on Community Organizing for Inclusion as part of the New York State Partners in Policymaking 2018 Speakers Series this August!

Get all of the details by clicking here.

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Community Building for Inclusion at the TASH Conference in Atlanta

October 6, 2017

TASH is holding their annual conference in Atlanta, GA December 13-15, 2017.  I will be presenting a 4-hour workshop on Community Building for Inclusion on Wednesday December 13th from 8am-12pm alongside Community Builders Basmat Ahmed, Jenna Quigley, Teri Schell. To register or get more information, visit the conference website here.

Pasted below and linked here is a description of the workshop:

For nearly nine years, a group of ordinary people living across the state of Georgia have been actively learning together how to work for social justice and build opportunities for intentional and reciprocal relationships between people with and without disabilities.
Drawing from approaches and philosophies such as Asset Based Community Development, Popular Education, Intersectionality, Person Centered Values, and Visionary Organizing, we have learned much about the conditions that encourage all members of a community to contribute and meaningfully participate in civic life, enhance social connections through collective action, and build more avenues to natural supports and relationships outside of human services. Our approach centers people who live at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, whether they have a disability and/or they are a person of color, LGBTQ, poor, an immigrant, a refugee, or have experienced homelessness or incarceration. We are finding ways to build solidarity and reciprocity across and among identity lines and are learning to become better allies with others working to overcome the injustice of social exclusion, whatever its cause.
This workshop will include an in-depth overview of our work and approach through storytelling and interactive, experiential large and small group activities. Participants will be offered practical ways of how to take these ideas and use them back home.

 


Leading by Stepping Back: Building Community Partnerships that Actually Work

January 15, 2017

I am thrilled to share this upcoming opportunity for students, faculty and community partners of Loyola University Maryland. For more information or to register, visit http://www.loyola.edu/department/messina/calendar/abcd-workshop

Leading by Stepping Back: Building Community Partnerships That Actually Work

Friday, October 7, 2016 & Saturday, October 8, 2016
Sponsored by Messina, the Center for Community Service & Justice and Campus Ministry

About the event:

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach to community building that focuses on discovering and mobilizing the assets that exist in every community. When we focus on what is already there—lift up and mobilize the gifts and talents of everyday people, and build and honor intentional and authentic relationships—we have the opportunity to begin asking new questions that can lead to sustainable and reciprocal community-centered change.  Ongoing and intentional application of ABCD makes our communities healthier, happier and safer for everyone.

Guided by two powerful speakers, Caitlin Childs and DeAmon Harges, this interactive workshop will take participants through the basics of ABCD while offering practical tools that you can put into practice in your communities, schools and organizations. Choose one of the Part I workshops and consider signing up for Part II on Saturday afternoon for a more intensive training.

Part I of the workshop will be offered twice:

  • Friday, October 7th from 4:00pm-7:00pm in Cohn Hall 133 (light dinner provided) 
  • Saturday, October 8th from 10:00am-1:00pm in Cohn Hall 133

Part I participants from either session may also sign up for a the Part II training:

  • Saturday, October 8th from 2:00pm-5:00pm in Cohn Hall 133 

Lunch will be provided for all Part I and Part II attendees on Saturday, October 8th from 1:00pm-2:00pm.

To facilitate richer conversations, we have reserved equal number of spots for students, employees and community partners.

Register now for the ABCD Workshop

Community partners who are interested in attending this workshop may register here.


About the Presenters:

Caitlin Childs and DeAmon Harges have a friendship based on trust, understanding and healing. Over the past 7 years they have used their connections to make social change with the people with whom they work and live. In their community-building work, they use a variety of tools and practices including Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), popular education, intentional listening, and art to creatively generate sustainable dialogue and action.

Caitlin Childs is a community organizer, writer and consultant from Atlanta, GA. She has nearly 20 years of experience in grassroots organizing working on a variety of social justice issues. She is passionate about interdependence, intersectionality and building movements that cross identity lines and support communities to create their own solutions to their problems. You can learn more about her by visiting www.caitlinpetrakischilds.com.

At Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, DeAmon Harges is the original “Roving Listener.” By listening, he discovers the gifts, passions, and dreams of citizens in his neighborhood, using them to build community, economy, and mutual delight. DeAmon’s work is based in the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), joining neighbors and institutions to discover the power of being a good neighbor. His organization, The Learning Tree, brings those ideas and others to the forefront of community and organizational life. As an artist, DeAmon uses his art for social change and community building. He characterizes his work as “deep listening” and “positive deviance” a big difference from typical models of neighborhood organizing.

Resources for Attendees:

Recommended books:

  • Portfolios of the Poor by: Stuart Rutherford, Jonathan Morduch, and Daryl Collins
  • The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits by: John McKnight
  • The Long Haul: An Autobiography by: Myles Horton
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twentieth Century by: Grace Lee Boggs
  • Asset Based Community Development: When People Care Enough to Act by Mike Green with Henry Moore & John O’Brien

Questions for Discussion and Reflection:

  • What is power? Do you think that marginalized people have power?
  • What do you think the phrase “lead by stepping back” means?
  • Is it possible for well-meaning outsiders, large institutions, and people with privilege to be involved with community organizing in marginalized communities without taking over or perpetuating charity approaches and savior mentalities?
  • What do you think communities can do to create and implement their own solutions and supports around folks without relying on the human services or government to do it for them? How do we create structures to support this?
  • Who is missing from the table?

Five College Intersex Symposium

September 6, 2012

I am thrilled to be presenting at the Five College Intersex Symposium, Friday October 5, 2012 from 10:00am-4:45pm at Mount Holyoke College, Chapin Auditorium. I will be debuting a brand new talk on the intersections of disability and intersex. Please spread the word and visit Intersex Symposium on Facebook for more information.

Schedule:
10-10:30am Welcome (Coffee / Tea)
10:30-11:30am Speaker 1: Lynnell Stephani Long
Intersex 201: Alliance with your LGBT organization on or off campus
11:45am-12:45pm Speaker 2: Caitlin Childs
Intersections: How disability can inform intersex in the classroom and beyond1-1:45pm Lunch
2-3pm Speaker 3: David Rubin
“An Unnamed Blank that Craved a Name”: A Genealogy of Intersex as Gender
3:15-4:45pmTeaching Intersex Panel

Abstracts:
Speaker 1, Lynnell Stephani Long (Intersex Activist & Educator)
Intersex 201 – Alliance with your LGBT organization on or off campus

Through alliances with existing organizations, the Intersex community can better leverage limited resources to make information and peer support available in all communities. LGBT organizations are the most resourceful organizations with which the Intersex community can develop such relationships. Through the relationships that we develop, we can enhance both the work of the Intersex community and that of LGBT organizations working at the national and local level. Organizations and their members can also help by talking to their friends and family members about the Intersex movement. The idea is that the more people are aware of Intersex the less likely they will be to accept surgery as the only option when they or someone they know have an Intersex baby.

Speaker 2, Caitlin Childs (Activist & Advocate)
Intersections: How disability can inform intersex in the classroom and beyond

When the Intersex Society of North America was founded in 1993, it incorporated the prior work of disability rights activists and disability studies scholars. Building on that history, this presentation will approach intersex by exploring its intersections and collisions with disability. Weaving my experiences as an intersex person and activist together with reflections on my organizing work in development disabilities and social justice, I will consider how ideas from disability studies and disability justice activism can continue to inform intersex discourse. Intersex and disability provide useful contexts for one another because of their many commonalities. Like disability, intersex is a large umbrella term under which many medical diagnoses fall. People with disabilities and people who are intersex live in bodies that are generally deemed undesirable and in need of correction and/or erasure through related processes of social and medical normalization. Issues of voice and agency compound the impact of this normalization. Medical experts and parents assume decision-making authority for both groups, imposing choices on their behalf and in their alleged “best interests” that deny them the right to fully informed consent and bodily integrity. Academic and professional experts who are not personally impacted routinely determine outcomes in policy, academic discourse, medicine, and general terminology without including intersex and disabled people or acknowledging the vital importance of their personal expertise and experience. This presentation will offer both practical and theoretical ways of addressing intersex in research, pedagogy, and organizing work that draw from and build upon disability studies.

Speaker 3, David A. Rubin (Senior Lecturer of Women’s and Gender Studies at Vanderbilt University)
“An Unnamed Blank that Craved a Name”: A Genealogy of Intersex as Gender

This lecture traces a genealogy of intersexuality’s underrecognized but historically pivotal role in the development of gender as a concept in twentieth-century American biomedicine, feminism, and their globalizing circuits. Using a queer feminist science studies approach, I argue that intersex has been and remains central to the history of gender as a classificatory schema, object of knowledge, technology of subject formation, and paradigm of sociality in late modernity. This genealogy pushes beyond current scholarship on intersexuality to suggest that, while dominant understandings of sex and gender have overdetermined the meaning of intersex, historically speaking, the concept of intersex paradoxically preceded and inaugurated what we would today call the sex/gender distinction. Through a close reading of psychoendocrinologist John Money’s biomedical research, I show that intersex was integral to the historical emergence of the category gender as distinct from sex in the mid-twentieth-century English-speaking world. I argue that Money used the concept of gender to cover over and displace the biological instability of the body he discovered through his research on intersex, and that Money’s conception of gender produced new technologies of psychosomatic normalization. Situating Money’s work within the history of feminist theorizing about sex and gender, I conclude by reflecting on what the intertwined histories of intersex, biomedicine, and feminism might mean for the field of women’s and gender studies.

Five College Intersex Symposium Sponsored By:
Five College Feminist Science and Technology Studies Initiative
Five College Women’s Studies Research Center
Five Colleges, Inc.
University of Massachusetts WGSS
Mt Holyoke Gender Studies
Hampshire Feminist Studies
Smith SWAG
Stonewall Center

More information available on Facebook

Stonewall Anniversary Weekend in the ATL

June 14, 2009

Atlanta Pride had humble beginnings in 1971 as a protest march organized by the Atlanta Gay Liberation Front to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, and has since grown to be one of the largest Gay Pride festivals in the U.S. and definitely the largest in the South. Unfortunately, it has lost much of it’s radical queer roots in the process and has become more of a large party with tons of corporate sponsors and assimilationist politics (but that is another blog post.) Because of a number of issues Atlanta Pride has been moved to Halloween weekend this year, instead of the usual Stonewall anniversary weekend. This has left a great opportunity for local organizers to plan events that are political, community based, and that remind us of the reason we celebrate the last weekend in June.

There are a number of exciting events being planned to fill the gap. You can read about them on the on the Stonewall 40 Atlanta website here and Atlanta Pride website here.

I want to highlight a reading I am involved in that will take place Stonewall weekend for the fabulous two-volume anthology I have a piece in called ‘Visible: A Femmethology’. I am especially excited to commemorate Stonewall weekend with a reading from this book, as I think the fact that it challenges the queer community on assumptions and ideas around femininity and femme identity is especially appropriate. The event is free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

Stonewall Anniversary Weekend Femmethology Reading
Saturday June 27th, 2009 8:30pm  @ Aphrodite’s Toy Box (3040 N. Decatur Rd. Scottdale, GA 30079)

‘Visible: A Femmethology‘, the only two-volume anthology devoted to femme identity, calls the LGBTQI community on its prejudices and celebrates the  diversity of individual femmes. Award-winning authors, spoken-word artists,  and new voices come together to challenge conventional ideas of how  disability, class, nationality, race, aesthetics, sexual orientation, gender identity and body type intersect with each contributor’s concrete notion of femmedom. Join us as we celebrate the release of this anthology, with readings by 5 local contributors: Brook Bolen, Caitlin Childs, JD Dykes, Asha Leong, and Margaret Price.

You can view the Facebook invitation here, read about the book on the Femmethology website here, read about the fabulous publisher here, and get info on the venue hosting the reading, Aphrodite’s Toy Box here.


Femmethology Spotlight on Yours Truly!

April 29, 2009

Every week Homofactus Press features a interview with a contributor from Visible: A Femmethology. Below is a excerpt from my interview. Click the link at the bottom for the whole thing and check out the archives for past interviews. I am honored to be published alongside so many smart and thoughtful queers!

How do you define your femme identity?
I am a queer intersex woman who purposefully and thoughtfully creates and plays with a feminine gender that was consciously created by and for me. My femme gender is smart, sassy, tough, glamorous and fun. My shoe collection consists of tons of heels (4″+ please!), skate shoes and lots and lots of boots. My style varies between classic pin-up burlesque bombshell, punk rock riot grrrl and the always trusty jeans and t-shirts. My armpits are always hairy but I shave my legs most of the time. Bikini Kill’s self-titled EP changed my life, yet Britney Spears is one of my favorites. When I grow up I want to be a combination of Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls and Ruth from Fried Green Tomatoes. My femme identity did not come easily or quickly, and I had to work through a lot of my own internalized femme phobia and misogyny to get here. My identity as a femme changes and gets deeper and more complicated daily. I love contradictions. I love the surprises people hold and the way that opposites can co-exist in one person.

How do other identities you have not only intersect with femme but also contradict it?
As an intersex person, I have often felt different from other femmes. So much about femme identity and femininity is linked to being penetrated vaginally (I was born without a vagina) and often to having children (I was born without a uterus too.) Being a femme woman in a body that was initially assigned female but finding out when I was a teenager that my body didn’t quite fit that narrow category definitely informed my views on my own gender identity. Many assumptions are made about me and my body because of how I present my gender, because of my time as a sex worker, etc.

Read the whole thing on the Homofactus Press website by clicking here


Upcoming Events

March 31, 2009

I know I haven’t posted anything in a while. My life has been extra special chaotic and writing has gotten temporarily moved to the back burner.

I do have a couple of upcoming events that I wanted to share with folks:

Tuesday April 7th 7:00pm I will be doing a Intersex 101 at Agnes Scott College in the Teasley Auditorium which is located in the Science Building off of W. Dougherty St. This presentation will include basic intersex definitions, some or all of the film ‘One in 2000’ by Ajae Clearway, my personal story, plus time for q&a and discussion. This is a really good way to get the basics of what intersex is, learn about intersex activism, and how you can be an ally.

Thursday May 14th from 7:30-9:00pm I will be taking part in the official Atlanta Visible: A Femmethology launch party at Charis Books and More. This event is presented by Charis Circle and sponsored by the Atlanta Femme Mafia. It will feature readings from the Atlanta contributors featured in the two books including myself, Brook Bolen, Asha Leong, Margaret Price, and JD Dykes. It will be an evening full of fabulous writing on femme identity, thought provoking conversation, snacks, and fabulous fashion (I know I have been picking my outfit out in my head for months.)

There will also be another reading at Aphrodite’s Toybox sometime in the near future. Details TBA.

Please feel free to spread the word about these events and bring your friends, family, co-workers, next door neighbor, etc!