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Solidarity Not Charity

As lockdowns and layoffs sweep the U.S., mutual aid groups are forming to protect and provide for the vulnerable, including the elderly, incarcerated, undocumented and unhoused. We look at the incredible community networks across the country that are coming together to protect their neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic — and how you can get involved. From Washington state to the Bay Area, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and New York City, thousands of mutual aid efforts are aimed at building solidarity, not charity. We speak with two longtime mutual aid organizers and activists in two hot spots of the pandemic. In New York City, Mariame Kaba is a longtime organizer, abolitionist, education and the founder of the grassroots organization Project NIA, which works to end the incarceration of children and young adults. She has raised tens of thousands of dollars and redistributed it to groups across the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and she just did a public conference call with Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on mutual aid. In Seattle, Washington, Dean Spade is an associate professor at Seattle University School of Law and founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. He is the creator of mutual aid resource website Big Door Brigade.

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