About Mutual Aid Coalition Northwest
This website and the associated podcast are intended to help disseminate relevant information to help in coordinating mutual aid efforts within the Portland Metro Area in Oregon. It is a direct response to the community needs that have dramatically risen with the onset of the coronavirus, COVID-19, which has become a global pandemic. We say needs that have dramatically risen because we know that many of these needs already existed long before the outbreak of the virus. We have a housing crisis in our city, food insecurity, and a lack of access to healthcare, all of which have been amplified by this pandemic and the slow, inadequate response to it by those in power. We’ve seen some amazing mutual aid efforts taking place in Portland and, with this podcast and website, we wanted to create additional ways for communities in the area to receive important and timely information on resources and support.
Our intention is to provide updates once or twice a week with relevant information to support our Portland communities in staying as healthy and safe as possible during these difficult times. We’ll summarize credible news updates on things that impact our area and provide referrals to area resources and tips on how we can take care of ourselves and one another. We hope that this podcast will be valuable to folks as we build a solidarity movement in this time of this global crisis and beyond. Mutual aid is not only beneficial in times of disaster and crisis but is something we should be building together for our collective future—because capitalism is trash, it is destroying the planet and we cannot rely on the government and corporate billionaires. As the medics say “We take care of us.”
What do we mean by mutual aid?
For those who may not be familiar with the term mutual aid or have only recently become acquainted with it, this refers to the voluntary exchange of resources and services based on reciprocity, for mutual benefit. Evidence for mutual aid predates the earliest human societies and is something anthropologists believe our earliest ancestors engaged in as a necessary means of survival. A great deal has been written about mutual aid and we encourage you to look into this further since it is far more than we can cover here or on the podcast. We’re focused on mutual aid, as practiced right now in Portland, Oregon.
Mutual aid in the news
- Opinion: Feeling Powerless About Coronavirus? Join a Mutual-Aid Network (New York Times)
- People are helping each other fight coronavirus, one Google spreadsheet at a time (Vox)
- Keeping Each Other Safe When Virtually Organizing Mutual Aid (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
- ‘They feel hope’: 2,300 volunteers sign up to deliver vital resources to community (KGW)
- People Are Fighting the Coronavirus With Mutual Aid Efforts to Help Each Other (Teen Vogue)