CALL: Lucina Kayee on Abolishing Foster Care

Even if you restructure the prison system, even if you abolish the prison system, you will still have child welfare, and child welfare — like every system — adapts. In Los Angeles, the largest group of people who are on death row come from the foster care system.

The “Celebrating Badass Minnesota Women” event was underwritten by Minnesota Women’s Press sponsorship partners: Vote. Run. Lead., Valvoline Instant Oil Change across Northern Minnesota, Seward Co-op, and Global Rights for Women.

From an 11-part series recorded at the April 16, 2022, “Celebrating Badass Minnesota Women” event.

Thanks to First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis for hosting the April 16, 2022, event on behalf of the 38th anniversary of Minnesota Women’s Press and its kickoff of Changemakers Alliance.

To become a supporting member of Changemakers Alliance and its conversations-to-CALLs-to-action, click here. Contributions also can be made via Venmo at @mnwomenspress.


Excerpts

My name is Lucina Kayee. I am a multimedia artist, screenwriter, I co-run an organization called Black Disability Collective, and I am the executive director of Atlas of Blackness. I focus on working with young people who are survivors of the foster care system. I have been organizing since I was an incarcerated foster child when I was 10 years old. I helped organize a bunch of Black kids at a facility in Blaine.

Even if you restructure the prison system, even if you abolish the prison system, you will still have child welfare, and child welfare — like every system — adapts. In Los Angeles, the largest group of people who are on death row come from the foster care system.

I always want people to realize that one thing about white supremacy and one thing about American individualism, we always think we do something by ourselves — this idea that we have to do this work within our own groups, within our own circle. That is what white supremacy wants you to do.

If you figure out how to do things as a community, there is no way for white supremacy to stop you. If you have multiple people from different communities, there is no way for us to be stopped.

My organization runs a program called Documenting MN. Right now we are looking for funding, because May is Foster Awareness Month. We do mutual aid work and we want to make sure that the work we are doing can continue to grow.

We also have a program called the Black Scholars program. There are many organizations in Minnesota that are run by Black women you can donate to. While white supremacy is consistently targeting us, we can do our work without having to feel like we are by ourselves.

History of Orphan Trains