This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview was conducted remotely with Maija Reed on November 16, 2020 from her home in Hudson, New York. Maija is an artist and early childhood educator, in addition to being the Youth Commissioner for the city of Hudson. Maija started the interview talking about her role as a private early childhood educator, her relationship with the family she currently works for as they manage COVID-19 safety precautions together and the type of communication that is required. Maija speaks at length about work as the youth commissioner in Hudson, including discussions of the restructuring that occurred in response to COVID, what it meant and looked like to support her staff and teams, and the ways in which the youth center adapted and found ways to adjust while remaining open. Maija's discussion about early childhood teachers and caregivers and the daycare center led to a broader discussion which could be summed up by a question she posed: who takes care of the children? And how do we take care of them? She also shares about movements for racial and economic justice, and the ways in which those fights intersect with issues of childcare and the work of the youth center.
Rachel Meirs is an artist and musician currently living in Brooklyn, New York on the unceded land of the Lenape people. In her woodcuts, paintings, and sound-based work, she uses food as a jumping off point for exploring family, care, and bodies. She received her Masters in Public Health from Columbia University in 2019, where she began her still ongoing research on creative gig workers and health care access.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.