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Mutual Aid: Information & Resources

About This Guide

This guide is intended to provide educational resources regarding the purpose and function of mutual aid. Mutual aid is a long-lived practice of interpersonal support and community organizing which oppressed, marginalized people have been leveraging for generations in order to support their own safety, well-being, and survival in response to hostile conditions imposed by capitalism, white supremacy, and settler colonialism.

Mutual aid has seen a popularized resurgence in 2020. Numerous mutual aid networks have formed across the nation in response to dire community needs compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several Arizona-based mutual aid networks, and resources to aid organizing in your community, are linked on the homepage for this guide.

This guide is a work in process, and will be updated periodically with expanded resources.

How-To Resources

Resources on starting a mutual aid project in your neighborhood, dormitory, or local community. 

Understanding Mutual Aid

 

Kinłani/Flagstaff Mutual Aid is an all-volunteer community response to the threat of Covid-19. We have organized a hub to coordinate volunteers to collect and distribute necessary resources to those most vulnerable in our community and support unsheltered relatives. This group is created for autonomous relief organizing based on the principles of mutual aid, solidarity, and direct action.

Mariame Kamba shares a thorough and impassioned introduction to mutual aid. The presentation defines mutual aid, shares some historical and contemporary examples of mutual aid, and also offers space for thinking through how to start a mutual aid project in your area. 

Mutual Aid by Dean Spade

Mutual Aid by Dean Spade bookcover

ISBN: 9781839762123

Publication Date: 2020-10-27

This book is about mutual aid- why it is so important, what it looks like, and how to do it. It provides a grassroots theory of mutual aid, describes how mutual aid has been a part of all larger, powerful social movements, and offers concrete tools for organizing, such as how to work in groups, decision-making process, how to prevent and address conflict, and how to deal with burnout. Mutual aid isn't charity- it's a form of organizing where people get to create new systems of care and generosity so we can survive.

Undoing Border Imperialism by Harsha Walia, Andrea Smith (Foreword by)

ISBN: 9781849351348

Publication Date: 2013-11-12

By reframing immigrant rights movements within a transnational analysis of capitalism, labour exploitation, settler colonialism, state building and racialised empire, Undoing Border Imperialism offers relevant insights for effective strategies to cultivate sustainable communities striving toward liberation. Contains short contributions from over twenty organisers and writers from across North America.

Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination by Alondra Nelson 

ISBN: 0816676496

Publication Date: 2013-09-01

Between its founding in 1966 and its formal end in 1980, the Black Panther Party blazed a distinctive trail in American political culture. The Black Panthers are most often remembered for their revolutionary rhetoric and militant action. Here Alondra Nelson deftly recovers an indispensable but lesser-known aspect of the organization's broader struggle for social justice: health care. Drawing on extensive historical research as well as interviews with former members of the Black Panther Party, Nelson argues that the Party's focus on health care was both practical and ideological. The Black Panther Party's understanding of health as a basic human right and its engagement with the social implications of genetics anticipated current debates about the politics of health and race. That legacy--and that struggle--continues today in the commitment of health activists and the fight for universal health care.

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