Introduction to Mutual Aid and hierarchies

LANDBACK Friends

As I’ve been talking and writing about Mutual Aid, I’m not surprised that most of the questions relate to hierarchies. Mutual Aid is founded on a flat or horizontal hierarchy, where everyone has a voice in decisions.

I would highly recommend Dean Spade’s book , “Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next)”. Two of the videos he has produced are very helpful. [See below]

My practical experience related to hierarchies comes from the past two years with Des Moines Mutual Aid. My friend Ronnie James is an Indigenous organizer with twenty years of experience and has been my Mutual Aid mentor.

It is widely acknowledged that it takes time to learn how to be in a mutual aid community. We are so entrenched in vertical hierarchies in our society.

By participating in groups in new ways and practicing new ways of being together, we are both building…

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