What is Mutual Aid?
Mutual aid is ordinary people meeting each other’s needs, with a shared understanding that our current systems are not meeting our needs. It is an exchange of goods and services that is voluntary and reciprocal, a system where people take care of one another and help change social and political systems.
Mutual Aid in Environmental Justice
Mutual aid is central to all movements of justice. It embodies people power and strengthens community relationships. It often helps to rebuild communities after natural disasters. With climate change increasing the likelihood and scale of extreme weather events, this is more important than ever.
Local communities organize to provide food, shelter, clothing, and other assistance in the aftermath of a disaster. BIPOC communities are impacted the most by climate change and disasters, and are also more likely to be left behind when it comes to aid. These communities rely on one another for support in times of hardship. Mutual aid groups are led and organized by ordinary people and open to all.
Mutual aid meets needs like shelter, food, medical care, employment, and more. It does so while organizing to change the very systems that allow human needs to go unmet.
Consider incorporating mutual aid into daily life today, and every day. Mutual aid challenges the systems that have created much injustice and disparity. Mutual aid is central to all movements, including climate justice. When we uplift one another, we create a stronger community.