Mutual aid and organizing

Readings
Funding America’s Nonprofits: The Nonprofit Industrial Complex: https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:156455
Today’s topic is mutual aid. Some important points:
  • Mutual aid is not charity. Charity is paternalistic and carries a stigma. Mutual aid involves people working together.
  • Mutual aid provides desperately needed relief. If we care about people’s suffering, why not be involved with mutual aid?
  • Mutual aid as an organizing tool:
    • Organizing cannot succeed without trust? What better way to create trust than to help out with existing community service projects? Can this be a lilly pad to organizing in neighborhoods we are currently unable to reach?
    • We need to meet people where they are at. We do not believe that better funding food pantries can ever solve the enormous issue of food insecurity. But most people honestly believe that if people are hungry, the best solution is to solicit donations to give people food. After establishing trust and commitment to common goals of ending hunger, we can introduce more radical solutions to food insecurity.

Though brief, this was an extremely productive discussion and a mutual aid subcommittee was created.