Colloquium: Jan 18th 2019

Speaker: Dean Spade, Associate Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law

Title: Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid for Mobilization and Survival

Friday, January 18th at 2:30pm Fraser Building (Law) Room 152


In the current political moment defined by worsening climate crisis, increased targeting of migrants, attacks on public benefits, expansive carceral control, rising housing costs, and growing white right wing populism, the left faces two particular challenges that, though not new, are urgent. The first is how to address the actual changing conditions that are shortening the lives of the most vulnerable people. The second is how to mobilize people who are affected and concerned. This essay argues that in the face of these conditions, expanding use of mutual aid strategies will be the most effective way to support vulnerable populations to survive, mobilize significant resistance, and build the infrastructure we need for the coming disasters. I argue that mutual aid is a powerful counter to the demobilizing frameworks for understanding social change and expressing dissent that dominate the popular imagination, and I examine the benefits of mutual aid, its challenges, and how those are being addressed by contemporary organizations mobilizing through mutual aid.