About // Acerca de

Artwork on this page provided by // Arte en esta página proporcionado por
Molly Costello – MollyCostello.com


“Crisis expands our imaginations around what is possible”

“Crisis expande nuestra imaginación en torno a lo que es posible”

Mutual aid is a natural way that we respond to crisis and part of our natural state as humans, but a long history of colonization and capitalization has intentionally calloused us and clouded our ability to take care of each other on a daily basis. We have a lot of hard work to do to decolonize ourselves and weed out the racism, classism, patriarchy, homophobia, and transphobia that have divided us from our natural desire to care for one another.”

La ayuda mutua es una forma natural en la que respondemos a las crisis y forma parte de nuestro estado natural como seres humanos, pero una larga historia de colonización y capitalización nos ha encallecido intencionalmente y ha nublado nuestra capacidad de cuidarnos unos a otros a diario. Tenemos mucho trabajo por hacer para descolonizarnos y eliminar el racismo, el clasismo, el patriarcado, la homofobia y la transfobia que nos han separado de nuestro deseo natural de cuidarnos unos a otros”.


“Mutual aid is when people get together to meet each other’s basic survival needs with a shared understanding that the systems we live under are not going to meet our needs and we can do it together RIGHT NOW! 
Mutual aid projects are a form of political participation in which people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions, not just through symbolic acts or putting pressure on their representatives in government, but by actually building new social relations that are more survivable.

“La ayuda mutua es cuando las personas se reúnen para satisfacer las necesidades básicas de supervivencia de los demás con un entendimiento compartido de que los sistemas en los que vivimos no van a satisfacer nuestras necesidades y podemos hacerlo juntos ¡AHORA MISMO!
Los proyectos de ayuda mutua son una forma de participación política en la que las personas asumen la responsabilidad de cuidarse unos a otros y cambiar las condiciones políticas, no solo a través de actos simbólicos o presionando a sus representantes en el gobierno, sino construyendo nuevas relaciones sociales que sean más sobrevivibles.


“We are learning new ways of relating with each other…
….learning to hold conflict with grace”

“Estamos aprendiendo nuevas formas de relacionarnos entre nosotros …
…. aprendiendo a sostener el conflicto con la gracia”

“And naming that all of us are worthy of participating in repair”

“Y nombrar que todos somos dignos de participar en la reparación”

“This is the long hard work of turning over our foundations and reimagining our social landscapes”

“Este es el largo y arduo trabajo de cambiar nuestros cimientos y reinventar nuestros paisajes sociales”

“We are having to unlearn generations of teachings that taught us how to dehumanize and encouraged us to prioritize punishment”

“Tenemos que desaprender generaciones de enseñanzas que nos enseñaron a deshumanizar y nos animaron a priorizar el castigo”

History of Mutual Aid // Historia de la ayuda mutua

“Mutual aid is arguably as ancient as human culture. People in every society in every time period have worked together to ensure their communities can survive. Mutual aid has been practiced extensively in marginalized communities, notably in Black communities, working-class neighborhoods, migrant groups, LGBT communities, and others.
The term “mutual aid” was popularised by the anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin in his essay collection Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

“La ayuda mutua es sin duda tan antigua como la cultura humana. La gente en todas las sociedades en cada período de tiempo han trabajado juntos para asegurar que sus comunidades puedan sobrevivir. La ayuda mutua se ha practicado ampliamente en las comunidades marginadas, sobre todo en las comunidades negras, de la clase trabajadora barrios, migrante grupos, comunidades LGBT y otros.
El término “ayuda mutua” fue popularizado por el filósofo anarquista Peter Kropotkin en su colección de ensayos Ayuda Mutua: Un Factor de Evolución



African Union Society
Founded in 1870 – Newport RI, USA

Former slaves, including Newport Gardner and Pompe (Zingo) Stevens, were two of the leaders in creating the African Union Society.  By providing the basic record-keeping services previously mentioned, the society hoped to encourage a strong family structure for all blacks in Newport.  Additionally, the AUS took on young black apprentices in hopes of creating a pathway to freedom for them.” ”The African Union Society provided the typical benefits of a mutual aid society, a buffer from the effects of illness and death in the family. ”

Free African Society
Founded in 1787 – Philadelphia PA, USA

“Nondenominational religious mutual aid organization that provided financial and emotional support to newly free African slaves in the United States. The FAS was formed in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by American preachers Richard Allen and Absalom Jones and other free African Americans. The mission of the group was to provide fellowship, a place of worship, and monetary support for members and their families in case of sickness or death.”


New York African Mutual Relief Society
Founded in 1808 – New York, NY, USA

“In 1808 black leaders of New York City, inclu- ding several clergymen, formed the New York African Mutual Relief Society to provide a form of health and life insurance for its members. Mem- bers’ dues were pooled to pay burial costs for members and to provide for their widows and children, among other forms of mutual aid.”

Independent Order of Saint Luke
Founded in 1867 – Baltimore VA, USA

“The Order of St. Luke was initially founded in Baltimore in 1867 by Mary Prout, a formerly enslaved woman, to comfort its members and provide them with proper burials.”
“In 1899, Maggie L. Walker ascended to the top leadership position of the national African American fraternal organization, the Independent Order of St. Luke (IOSL). Walker reinvigorated the IOSL, expanding its membership and developing the organization into an engine of economic uplift and civil rights advancement. She used her leadership to launch a bank, a newspaper, and a department store bringing employment and pride to people ravished by inequality.”

NOTE: This is an ongoing project and incomplete history // NOTA: Este es un proyecto en curso y un historial incompleto

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