Queenie’s Crew engages children in learning about building communities of care without prisons or policing. Every month, members receive an email with an activity that kids can complete to learn more about abolition: Queenie's Crew shares activities like coloring pages, word searches, word scrambles, mazes, and reflection exercises. Using readings and art projects, they support children in imagining a collective future where we are all free.
After every three actions, participants receive patches in the mail to commemorate the lessons they've learned. Members’ names and patches are also displayed on the Queenie's Crew website. While children are welcome to participate from wherever they are, the program is based in North America. Queenie’s Crew members also get together for virtual events throughout the year.
From the Queenie's Crew x One Million Experiments Zine by organizer Zara Raven:
Launched in March 2022, Queenie’s Crew has been an experiment to engage children in learning about building communities of care without prisons or policing. We’ve engaged more than 300 caregivers, educators, and organizers with our monthly newsletter; kids have taken more than 100 actions to hone their abolitionist imaginations; and we’ve hosted a number of events, including caregiver circles to discuss parenting with abolitionist values, as well as arts, crafts, and musical spaces with kids like zine making for conflict transformation with Mar Erazo of Emulsify, the history of the protest song with Lindz Amer of Queer Kid Stuff, and wondering towards abolitionist futures with Ki Gross from Woke Kindergarten.
As state governments in places like Florida ban Black history from being taught in schools, states across the U.S. introduce more than 100 new laws threatening trans and queer people, and widespread COVID denialism leads folks to disregard basic safety measures that protect disabled people, it is essential for those of us invested in liberation to foster alternative learning spaces that value and celebrate the pasts and presents of Black people, queer and trans people, disabled people, especially those who live at the intersections of Blackness, queerness, transness, and disability.
Together, Queenie’s Crew kids and caregivers have been exploring ways to subvert oppressive norms, learn new ways of being, and imagine the world anew.
Queenie’s Crew came together with the support and collaboration of many different partners, including a number of queer and trans artists we were able to pay to develop activities with us, the labor of love from illustrator Bianca Diaz who adapted art into activities for little ones, the communications and graphic design work of Arda Athman who helped us get the newsletter out to our community each month, and of course the brilliant thought partnership, guidance, and support of Mariame Kaba who birthed the idea of Queenie’s Crew and ensured that Project NIA had the resources to sustain the program for two years! We were able to work with Erin Miles Cloud, the Executive Director of Movement for Family Power, to have conversations about mandated reporting and family policing. We were able to ask Mia Mingus, the founder of SOIL: A Transformative Justice Project, to support us in finding resources for responding to child sexual abuse. We worked with queer zinester, doula, and cultural organizer Mar Erazo to create our website, teach kids and caregivers about zine making, and develop art for the zine you are reading right now! For organizations that have the resources and relationships to replicate this program, it is exciting work that we hope will continue on the local level. For everyday people, the work is in creating care teams by meeting your neighbors, making connections, and learning together with kids in your own communities.