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Understanding mutual aid

By June 23, 2020September 16th, 2023No Comments
Annie Hoffman

Annie Hoffman

Annie Hoffman here, Student Journalist for the Libraries. This week I continued to deepen my understanding of how race operates in our country through reading, podcasts, and conversations with loved ones. Here’s what else I’ve been up to.

I have heard the term ‘mutual aid’ a lot over the past few weeks and months, but I didn’t really know what it meant. So I looked into it. Mutual aid, simply put, refers to people working to meet each other’s needs.

Unlike charity work, mutual aid is non-hierarchical. It eschews the mutually exclusive roles of ‘helper’ and ‘helpee’ to acknowledge that all humans rely on one another.

This three minute video offers a concise explanation that I found extremely helpful. I have been proud to witness the tremendous recent mutual aid work that community members have done in the Twin Cities, and I am committed to becoming more involved.

Living an authentic, beautiful life

I finished reading Untamed, the most recent book by author Glennon Doyle, weeks ago. But I keep picking it back up, flipping between the numerous passages that I underlined. Untamed dances the line between memoir and self-help book. Doyle tells the story of her marriage to Olympic soccer player Abby Wambach, and offers her readers tools for living an authentic and beautiful life.

This book will not resonate with everyone — and I question its value outside of a Western, individualist paradigm. But as a rising fourth-year college student, trying to figure out what kind of adult I want to turn into, Untamed has settled in my heart.

Free anti-racism e-books

Lastly, the University of Minnesota Press is offering a collection of 31 anti-racist books to be read online for free this summer. The Reading for Racial Justice collection addresses topics from the politics of disability to food justice to the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul. These books are available for free online through August 31.

This coming week, I will continue working to amplify Black voices and to dismantle white supremacy in my neighborhood and beyond.

—Annie Hoffman


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