Mutual Aid Disaster Relief‘s “Building the Movement for Mutual Aid” Training Tour was such an inspiration in Spring 2018! Even though our small team encountered many logistical and organizational challenges, we stuck to it and we succeeded in bringing our innovative curriculum to hundreds of people in many diverse communities – 28 cities in total, in 12 states!
By now, we have received over 150 requests for workshops, all over the USA and beyond – wowza! It is more than we can possibly keep up with. That is why I am trying to bring in several up-and-coming young trainers, representing different regions and different skill-sets, and to share everything I know about popular education, facilitation, and curriculum design, so that in 2019 we can conduct multiple smaller regional tours, making the work more accessible to trainers and participants alike. And I will be just elated to share the Curriculum Booklet that any of you can use to facilitate a workshop in your home community – others on the team are compiling info, exercises, facilitator tips, and illustrations and diagrams right now. I will share it as far and wide as possible just as soon as a first draft is ready, so keep your eyes open!
Others on the training team are working on follow-up, checking in with hosts and participants, discussing how we can continue to grow and support our networks, our movements, and our relationships of solidarity. That follow-up is the REAL WORK of “community organizing as disaster preparedness,” and I am excited about the long-term fruits of this arduous labor – already we have met so many amazing people with valuable skills and inspiring ideas, and we are just getting started!
Because the requests just keep rolling in – clearly this topic is on the minds of many all around the world. Some of us in MADRelief feel like this chaotic moment is scary but also holds opportunities to escalate our power and our connections very rapidly; to reach out, to share, to ask and listen, to build relationships based on trust, camaraderie, and care for one another. Because that is what we will need in order to survive through an uncertain future. More and more folks are waking up to this reality, and everywhere we look we are finding more who want to build that movement of mutual aid together.
Everything is happening so fast! All of 2018 is one big tour season! Because grassroots direct action humanitarian aid is such a complex topic, it is something of a “big tent” under which countless diverse interests can converge. So throughout the spring, we got invited to tons of conferences, with topics as varied as prison abolition, cooperative economics, accessibility, community technology, and collaborative art! 3 of us split up in order to attend a total of 8 conferences and gatherings in June-August. We met so many rad future allies, and we are so grateful to everyone who shared their brilliant ideas and insightful critiques!
We hope to return to many of these events next summer, and we hope to see some of you out there too! All of the fantastic events listed below are linked to their respective websites – put them on your calendar!
In the next week, I will share stories about the most recent events, as well as a bunch of other news about recent visits to Texas and Louisiana – keep your eyes open!
Please check out my Patreon, and help to support the connection-making and horizon-expanding work that I am doing – I rarely get paid for this stuff, because I choose to work with youth and communities that do not have lots of resources. Even the tiniest contribution can make a big impact as I continue to cross-pollinate movements and mentor young radical organizers, educators, and artists. Thanks!!