As everyday givers in the COVID era, we are bearing witness to events (daily) that beg us to explore different ways of living and giving. Imagine philanthropy through a lens of more collectivism and less rugged individualism. Mutual aid groups past and present rise to the challenge of meeting the needs of the greater community. Born from the tradition, giving circles have the power to catalyze a pivot and lead a broader movement for collective good. Can you feel it?
Established in 1787, the Free African Society was a force during the 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic of Philadelphia. The group’s charitable mobilization of collective resources and voluntarism helped lift the city out of crisis. See: A narrative of the proceedings of the black people, during the late awful calamity in Philadelphia, in the year 1793: and a refutation of some censures, thrown upon them in some late publications. [word to primary source documentation]
mutual aid: the act of reciprocal and collective care
The Love Fridge is a collective that practices mutual aid grounded in food.
Image credit: The Love Fridge in the alley behind 57th Street Books in Chicago is a refrigerator from which people can take free food or donate food for others to take. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)
“The fight is not over and I’m not going to be alone.” Owner of Playground Coffee Shop, , talks to us about how much her community means to her, and how she’s giving back to her neighborhood.
Be Open and Learn from the Community.
Learning requires person-to-person/group interaction, listening, and study of the historical and sociopolitical context of a community… fundraising nonprofits, should create more frequent opportunities to engage with and learn from communities of color. - Time, Treasure,Talent, & Testimony: Giving by Women of Color in Chicago
Something to think about:
Regardless of who is President/VP, what are *you* doing to change the material conditions of your community? Where will you be after Nov. 3 when folks are still houseless, people are still hungry, Black youth are still murdered by the police, & Black trans people are still dying?
“lifting as we climb”
Image credit: Afro American Newspapers/Gado, via Getty Images via New York Times
“celebrate the power of community and the power of the collective”