Nina’s Place

Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

Buenos Aires    I had heard Andrea Kydd describe her bucolic country life in the summers for years where she would take her big dogs to upstate New York and live in a doublewide on some acres up there.  I had not realized until she died some of the rest of the story, including the fact that she had asked that any donations or memorials after her death be directed to support what she and Rhoda Linton called “Nina’s Place.”  They had given over the property to the Oakland-based Applied Research Center (ARC) as a bequest.  ARC was founded by our long time comrade, Gary Delgado, who has often joked that his legacy may be more real estate than organizing, and this may be another example.  ARC is now run by the energetic and gifted organizer and writer, Rinku Sen.  Anyway, take a look.  This is worth knowing about — and supporting — in a lot of ways.

Longtime friends and supporters Rhoda Linton and Andrea Kydd have made a bequest to the Applied Research Center of “Nina’s Place,” 38 1/3 wooded acres that includes housing in the Finger Lakes region of central New York.

Located in the Town of Enfield outside of Ithaca, New York, “Nina’s Place” was named after Rhoda’s mother who spent her life committed to public service and who called the township home from 1942 until her death in 1992. The property includes a geodesic domed house, two permanent trailers and a spring-fed pond.

Opening up Nina’s Place to the larger movement community first came from Rhoda Linton’s involvement in the Women and Documentation Project with several women from the Center for Third World Organizing and other organizations. Initially, Rhoda wanted to have a retreat site for women organizers, but since then, her vision has evolved to make the property available for rest and creative work for racial justice workers working with poor people.

Rhoda says, “For both Andrea and myself, we grew up in the movement. We started in welfare rights, which was a huge part of our lives, and was also the place where we met people like Gary Delgado, George Wiley, Tim Sampson, Marcia Henry, and Hulbert James. We both continued to work for social justice in different capacities, and now, at this stage in our lives, we find ourselves asking, ‘What more do we have to give?’ We recognize that we’re part of a legacy of people who’ve worked for change and we want to leave something that can be useful to support the work.

ARC’s mission of racial justice not only parallels my own political vision and values on an intellectual and analytical level, but more simply, taps to where my heart is for our movement. While the personal relationships I’ve gained from my connection to ARC have been fulfilling, it is my belief that ARC’s commitment to racial justice coupled with the need to secure a place where those doing important justice work can sustain and revive themselves can, in the long run, make a positive impact upon future movement generations.”

Andrea Kydd: “In the work we do–organizing, public policy, philanthropy–we’re always thinking about what needs to get done and we’re required to be on our toes. When you’re constantly on the go, mentally and physically, sometimes what you need is to simply get away, lie under a tree, and not hear the noise of everyday work life. For me, Nina’s Place has become an important place that provides solitude, but more importantly, serves as a place for me to regenerate. Our movement work has required people, especially women, to make sacrifices in their lives, and yet never get the credit for their hard work.  I have been very fortunate to make a salary that’s enabled me to buy a place where the mind and spirit are rejuvenated, and I’m pleased to offer that same restorative opportunity to movement folks.”

The Applied Research Center extends our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Rhoda and Andrea for this remarkable gift!