It’s time for caregivers to recognize our economic value and claim our power as advocates for change!
Join Parent Advocate and Caring Economy Leader Kate Duva in February for this rare opportunity to articulate our worth as caregivers and share strategies for building a society that recognizes the value of nurturing.
Claiming the Value of Care
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Caregivers and parents do crucial, complicated, artful work. We give and protect life. We cultivate human potential. And the decisions we make on a daily basis are, quite literally, choices about how to evolve our species. So why do so many of us feel isolated, overworked, judged, unappreciated, depleted, or downright invisible?
In this interactive webinar, we who give so much will slow down, and open to receiving. We’ll call back some of the scattered pieces of ourselves, and investigate our true worth. We’ll learn about historical legacies of domination and discrimination that wrote caregiving out of our economy and erased it from public life, and we’ll share strategies for building a society that values nurturing and thrives on partnership.
You’ll connect with parents and advocates from around the world, and share links to exciting caregiver movements and collaborations that you can follow as they grow. You will practice speaking your voice, articulating your value, and asking for what you need – from yourself, your community, and your world.
Participants will receive:
• Access to the interactive, live 2-hour online program with Kate Duva
• Caring and Connected Parenting Guide published by SAIV (Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence)
• A recording of the live session to replay
• A comprehensive resource list with links to caregiver movements and organizations that support and empower parents
• Caring Economy Fast Fact Sheets for Caregivers
Parents and Caregivers are Shaping America’s Future
by Kate Duva
I, like many of my fellow Caring Economy Advocates, am a person who plays many roles – writer, performer, “warrior mama,” as I like to call myself, and lover of humanity. When I was in college, I kept switching my major, from dance, to creative writing, to psychology and anthropology, until I finally settled on education. I figured that being a teacher would allow me to be creative AND to satiate my curiosity about human nature – plus, I was sure I’d always be able to get a decent, middle-class job with benefits.
But I was wrong. Before my position was cut, I was buried under regulations from bureaucrats who never met my students, but insisted that I teach them a certain way, as public education came increasingly under attack, with shrinking staff and growing class sizes, subsidies to corporate charter schools, and mass closings of public schools in my home city of Chicago, especially schools that serve low-income black and Latino youth.
After I gave birth to my daughter, I went back to work doing home visits with families through a federal education program called Early Intervention, and I discovered an underground world of caregivers, some men, but mostly women, who are literally shaping America’s future, but doing it for free. Caregivers receive no tax credits or social security to keep them afloat, and their crucial, life-giving work is almost invisible.
If we factor the work of caring for human beings and our planet into the economy, we can literally make care count.
I realized that it wasn’t enough to complain that a woman only makes 73 cents to a man’s dollar, because many women, and men, can’t work, or are working around the clock to juggle jobs and caregiving. And yet, we can measure the work of caregiving, and its effects. If we factor it into our GDP, or gross domestic product, it represents a whopping 30-50% of our economy. The United States recognizes destructive activities like weapons production and the building of for-profit prisons as boosts to the economy – but if we factor the work of caring for human beings and our planet into the economy, we can literally make care count, and make huge gains in our paradigm shift from a domination system to a partnership system.
In the Caring Economy Advocates Program, we go deep into the work of cultural historian Riane Eisler, who says that “the devaluation… of caregiving is our inheritance from times in which women’s bodies and women’s work were male property.. [and] women, and anything associated with women, were basically invisible in economic thinking.”
The Caring Economy Campaign has helped me to crystallize my feelings about this deep inequality, and turn them into words, and action. I look forward to facilitating conversations about The Caring Economy with people from all walks of life – parents, grandparents, teachers, activists, and people who have yet to realize their potential as activists, listening to everyone’s stories, and gathering our ideas about how we can make our vital work more visible – and more valuable.
Kate Duva is a Caring Economy workshop leader, parent educator and 2016 graduate of the Center for Partnership Studies’ Caring Economy Advocates Program.