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The Response

Nov 24, 2020

A groundswell of grassroots action emerged in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, hidden beneath the surface, the community-led response grew rapidly in scope and scale; often forming spontaneously by individuals and groups who recognized the immediate needs of those around them.

It’s become such a widespread trend that the term “mutual aid” has increasingly become mainstream as local newspapers, CNN, and even Teen Vogue have published stories about it.

The glaring lack of leadership by some authorities put the burden of crisis response on ordinary people — and they’re continuing to rise to the challenge.

Community organizers have formed thousands of mutual aid groups, makers are developing open-source medical equipment, restaurants are serving free meals to front-line medical workers, and much, much more.

As the daily case count is rising once again, now is the time to take stock of everything we’ve learned from dealing with the pandemic over the past year.

To aid in that task, we’ve pulled together the best of our recent reporting into a new book.

Today we're pleased to release “Lessons from the First Wave: Resilience in the Age of COVID-19.”

The free book features 25 case studies, interviews, and how-to guides that showcase some of the most effective community-led responses to this global crisis.

Topics include: 

  • Ways to share during the pandemicNavigating multiple disasters during the pandemic
  • Community wealth building
  • The many ways libraries have stepped up to serve their communities (and how yours can too)
  • Fostering community connection to reduce loneliness
  • How to start a local mutual aid network (and a mutual aid fund too)
  • And much more!