Throughout 2020, more of us have heard about mutual aid than ever before. After COVID-19 started affecting people’s livelihoods, mutual aid networks popped up like never before—with new networks likely in the thousands (Sustainable Economies Law Center). The uprisings after George Floyd’s death also accelerated mutual aid; groups quickly came together to feed protesters (Eater), post bail (Chicago Community Bond Fund), and provide support in many other ways.
But the concept of mutual aid is much more deeply rooted than the simple act of Venmo-ing $15 to a stranger on Twitter.
Just because we’re all affected by the pandemic doesn’t mean that we’ve all been affected equally. Women accounted for all 140,000 jobs cut last December. Black and Latina women in particular lost jobs, since employment for white women actually rose that month (CNN). The data is clear: Black and Latina women were the worst-impacted by layoffs, white men the least (Bloomberg).