Our recent webinar, Exploring Radical Imagination for Mutual Aid, yielded some great discussions about the future of the DDCSP Alumni Network. Though the methods and ideologies have long been practiced (by Indigenous, Black, Disabled, and LGBTQIA+ communities), COVID-19 health crises and Black Lives Matter protests have brought the term "mutual aid" to the vocabulary of organizations, mainstream media, and organizers. Of course the popularization of a term is often unfortunately followed by the misuse of it. So what exactly is mutual aid? What is it not? And how can we see it in the future of DDCSP?
I only recently learned of the term myself and will not attempt to explain it or its uses/ processes in my own words here. Rather, I am using this post to share resources that I think might be helpful in learning the fundamentals of mutual aid and in applying it within our networks. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and organizer Mariame Kaba put together a toolkit that makes the principles of mutual aid pretty easy to understand. You can look at an extremely comprehensive list of models and tools for starting mutual aid projects here. And you can check out this zine by Regan De Loggans, Let's Talk Mutual Aid.
A lot of DDCSP alumni have shown interest in mutual aid for and by the network, and I know that some projects are in the works! ELP and the DDCSP Steering Committee are in the process of thinking how to best support these endeavors. As alumni, let's keep supporting each other and asking for support however and whenever we can. I'm excited to see how this grows!
If you have a project that you would like advertised to the larger network, please contact Sydney Fuller.
**Thank you Samara Almonte for facilitating such a great conversation and for providing some of the above resources.