Mutual aid

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Mutual aid describes acts of care, reciprocity, and solidarity people engage in to meet each other’s needs without support from the state or charities, particularly during times of crisis or changes in political conditions; building new social relations to create more survivable conditions. - Dean Spade, adapted by Michelle Xie [1]

Examples of mutual aid

Food distribution

  • Collecting food from grocery stores, restaurants, or individuals and then distributing to those who are houseless, at risk or sick. [2]
  • For example, the Black Panther Party’s used a breakfast program to provide 20,000 meals a week to Black children in nineteen cities [3]

Pandemic safety

  • Mutual aid groups in San Francisco supplied masks, sanitizer and health information to undocumented labourers [4]
  • Auntie sewing squad made more than 20,000 masks in Los Angeles for hospital workers, farmworkers, former prisoners, immigrant communities and other vulnerable groups. [5]
Disability networks
  • Lead by people with disabilities, these networks ensure disabled folks have the things they need to thrive (food, medical care, transportation, emotional support etc). [6]

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