Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is a grassroots network whose mission is to provide disaster relief based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action. By working with, listening to, and supporting impacted communities, especially their most vulnerable members, to lead their own recovery, we strive to build long-term, sustainable and resilient communities. Mutual Aid Disaster Relief responds to disasters, educates about community organizing as disaster preparedness and collaborative neighborhood crisis response, collects and disseminates lessons learned in the field, and supports and provides a connective tissue between other grassroots groups doing response work.
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief includes activists who have been involved in a variety of disaster responses, have experience doing educational work and network building, and have and continue to support their own communities’ mutual aid based projects and justice work. We are witnessing and adding to a movement of responders who provide an alternative to the government’s and nonprofit industrial complex’s hierarchical, charity-based model of response, which preserves the status quo and profits off the disasters it creates. Instead, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is solidarity-based, relationship-based, participatory, and rooted in the understanding of disaster relief work as justice work whose larger aim is survival, self-determination, and collective liberation.
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is a decentralized network, defined by the character and creativity of a multitude of communities and drawn together by our collective commitment to stand in solidarity with those impacted by disasters and turn the tide in favor of climate justice. It is a moving, growing, contracting, organic, dynamic milieux of like-minded yet diverse people. Our network is not so much a standing army of volunteers as an interlocking web of individuals, affinities, and relationships, some already acting, many more holding the potential energy to act when a disaster strikes. The fluidity and amorphous nature of our network allows us to adapt to shocks and changing circumstances, and support different contexts in unique ways.
We understand that connecting with diverse communities and learning from each other every day is one of our greatest strengths, and countless informal networks already exist, with more forming every day. Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is just one tiny little branch of this swiftly growing super-organism, and is comprised of people committed to supporting the growth of the greater autonomous, mutual aid based disaster response movement by seeking to encourage more connections, inspire newcomers, and facilitate learning of important skills and tactics, all while contributing to disaster survivor’s well-being and self-determination.