Friends, I’m reading Mutual Aid by Dean Spade, and it’s shifting everything for me. I’m not exaggerating. I work with a number of non-profits, and I almost feel like I need to read this book once for each organization so I can focus on how it should be applied in each setting.
If you’ve been here very long at all, you know I’m paying attention to how we talk about our work as non-profits, and using a justice approach so we are doing social change, not just social service.
But Spade is pushing me further in the how we organize for social change, and SOLIDARITY is my word for 2022. Because all the bits that make me uncomfortable about how we are working currently, like professionalizing taking care of each other, and the saviourism that creeps in, and not doing a good job of including people with lived experience, that all gets blown apart with Spade’s guidance in mutual aid projects and moving toward “solidarity over charity.”
The author provides lots of practical advice on setting up mutual aid organizations, but for me, the biggest takeaways are around foundational values and messaging.
Let’s back up.
I'm Jennifer. I am an advocacy and communications strategist working with multiple charities and nonprofits. And I want to disrupt our sector for good.