As systems continue to fail us, mutual aid is a compelling framework to explore. It asks us to move from the individualism of white supremacy to collective action based on interconnection. It offers a model of community care that is not reliant on oppressive institutions. It could be one of the keys to our survival as a species.
This video, “Shit’s Totally FUCKED! What Can We Do?: A Mutual Aid Explainer” offers a helpful overview of mutual aid, with examples of what it can look like, such as the National Bail Out. It reminds us that mutual aid is “solidarity, not charity.”
For those of us motivated by the possibilities of mutual aid, there are resources out there to guide implementation, and examples of mutual aid being put into practice. The makers of this video suggest the mutual aid toolbox on BigDoorBrigade.com.
Co-operate WNC is an organization focused on mutual aid in this region. I do not know much about their work, though I did have a conversation with founder Zev Friedman as he was getting started with this project. I appreciate that their website names that their organization is all white and that they are a journey to change that. I mention Co-operate WNC here because they are promoting mutual aid, hosting learning circles, and offering support to those who want to start their own Mutual Aid Hub in WNC.
The dominant culture teaches us to focus on ourselves and our immediate families. This limits our capacity to be in right relationship with the human and more-than-human ecosystems we are a part of. Developing networks of mutual aid can help undo that socialization, creating new norms of tending to the whole.
Southside Rising this Saturday
Southside Rising for Culture, the second annual community pride celebration hosted by Southside Rising, will be this Saturday, July 20, at the pavilion behind the Arthur R. Edington Center, 133 Livingston Street. The event will begin with a parade at 5:15 pm, followed by a cultural showcase featuring the Delta House Jazz Band and RAICES at 6 pm, and a music and art showcase hosted by Slay the Mic at 7:30 pm.
In addition to the performances listed above, the event will include food, vendors, a “Southside Stories” space to capture input from residents interested in preserving and advancing Southside community culture, and an “Our Youth” space with bounce houses, garden activities, and intergenerational movement building with the Center for Participatory Change’s Seeds of Hope.
Southside Rising is a collaboration between organizations and individuals desiring to cultivate healing, restore and reclaim community culture, support emerging leaders, grow food, and incubate economic development in the historically African American Southside neighborhood.
Organizers are still seeking donors and sponsors to offset costs of this event. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to make a contribution.
The adé PROJECT
Last Friday, the adé PROJECT sent out an eNewsletter full of exciting updates. One of the announcements in the most recent missive was about an Art + Wellness weekend of events to be held July 25-28, click here for details and to register. If you want to find out more about this initiative to “actualize equity, spark creative inquiry + reclaim the narrative” for people of color, visit theadeproject.org.
Related, if you are a regular reader, you may have referenced the events calendar on this site. I’m happy to report that the calendar is now a collaboration with the adé PROJECT, which means Cortina Jenelle Caldwell and her team are adding to it in addition to Keaton Hill and myself. Check it out here.
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