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Reconceptualizing activism through a feminist care ethics in the Ontario (Canada) early childhood education context: Enacting caring activism

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Richardson, B., Powell, A., Johnston, L. & Langford, R.
Publication Date: 
10 Feb 2023


While early childhood education (ECE) in Ontario has always had a vibrant social activist community, it is characterized by tensions within and between individuals and institutions at the minor (childcare centres, post-secondary ECE programs) and major (mainstream media, public policy) levels. ECE activism is further complicated by the fact that it often feels impossible/unsustainable within our existing patriarchal, neoliberal political structure. In this paper we, four ECE activists and leaders, turn to feminist care ethics (FCE) to reflect on our own activism experiences and imagine a different way of doing and sustaining activism in ECE. We insist that activism be understood as a relational process that bridges major and minor spaces (and everything in between) in a way that cares about, for, and with all those involved. We enthusiastically invite other to join us on this journey, exploring and navigating the beautiful awkwardness, discomfort, tension, and possibilities in caring for and with each other in major and minor political spaces.