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Mutual Aid on Lockdown

Mutual Aid on Lockdown

By Ciro Carrillo
This entire podcast exists simply to address one question:
How do we do mutual aid during a pandemic?

You know? Like, how do we organize during a time when we can’t even see one another in person? How are people building social power and social movements in these unprecedented circumstances?
The purpose of this podcast is to hear from many different people about how they’re answering that question and what lessons they’re learning along the way.
This podcast is meant to be a resource that doesn't require you to sit in front of a screen- listen to it while taking a walk!
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Currently playing episode

#7: Jeff Smith from GRIID (Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy) on Disaster Capitalism, Anti-Lockdown Protests, and Doing Mutual Aid During A Pandemic.

Mutual Aid on Lockdown

#13: Wendolyn Omaña from Four Corners Mutual Aid on Intergenerational Trauma, Healing, and Doing Mutual Aid During A Pandemic.
In this episode, I talk with Wendolyn Omaña from Four Corners Mutual Aid.   Wendolyn is a racial and social justice activist and former board member of the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition who is currently leading programs for the healing of intergenerational trauma within immigrant communities.  We have a great discussion about these topics and how they relate to mutual aid! To find out more about Four Corners Mutual Aid, and help them raise needed funds, visit these links! Also, check out the Native Lens project via Rocky Mountain PBS, which invites Native and Indigenous storytellers to share their stories!   Check out stories, or submit your own at this link:
September 08, 2020
#12: LEGAL EPISODE - Michael Haber discusses the new Legal Guide for Groups doing Mutual Aid During COVID, potential legal problems and precautions, and how to do Mutual Aid during a pandemic.
In this special Legal Episode, we are joined by Michael Haber.  Michael is a professor at Hofstra Law School, Lawyer and Activist in New York.  He has recently published a Legal Guide for Groups Doing Mutual Aid During the Covid-19 Pandemic.   We discuss potential legal problems that may arise for groups doing Mutual Aid during these times, as well as possible solutions.   A lot is covered in this episode, and Michael does a great job of bringing these issues down to earth and making them understandable! You can find his Mutual Aid Legal Guide here: Or in the "resources" section at
September 03, 2020
#11: Dean Spade on Motivation, Pacing, Building Capacity for Sustained Movements, and Doing Mutual Aid During A Pandemic.
In this episode, I talk with writer and organizer Dean Spade about some of the more personal aspects of Mutual Aid work.   How does one go about finding motivation during a time like this?  And how do you know the best way to plug in to groups or projects?  And how do we pace ourselves while doing this kind of work?  Dean offers a lot of great insight into these personal aspects, and then we talk about the bigger political picture too: How can our Mutual Aid groups be working to build capacity for sustained movements?  How do we make sure our Mutual Aid work isn't just a flash in the pan?  Download worksheets for your group and other useful materials at Dean's website!
May 26, 2020
#9: Grand Rapids Mutual Aid Network (GRAMAN) on Handling Cash Distribution, Representation, and Doing Mutual Aid During a Pandemic (Re-uploaded)
In this episode, I talk with LaDonna and Amy from Grand Rapids Mutual Aid Network about the work they're doing in G.R.!   Since the beginning of the pandemic, they have worked with 150 volunteers, have given direct cash payments to over 173 families, have given away over $48,000 in those direct payments, and assisted over 245 families with groceries.   We have a great discussion about giving away money actually isn't as easy as it may sound, and we also talk about the issue of representation when doing work like this. (Ok, so this is a RE-upload, because first time I uploaded this episode, I accidentally uploaded it at double speed... oops!   Thanks Durham folks for catching that!)
May 20, 2020
#10: Ryan from Cooperation Long Island about Coalition Building, Working Across Differences, And Doing Mutual Aid During a Pandemic.
In this episode I talk with Ryan from Cooperation Long Island.  Cooperation Long Island is a network of different Mutual Aid groups in the Long Island area, and it's so inspiring to hear what has emerged and what they've been able to accomplish by coordinating their efforts.  A great example of building social power through effective organizing!   Check out more at
May 18, 2020
#8: Maggie From Cleveland Pandemic Response on Political Education, Working With Other Organizations, and Doing Mutual Aid During a Pandemic
On this episode, I talk with Maggie from Cleveland Pandemic Response.  Maggie has been involved in Mutual Aid projects in many different forms, working with Food Not Bombs, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH), and more.  We talk about the amazing work that Cleveland Pandemic Response is doing, and she teaches me about a very useful platform called  We also talk about the importance of Political Education work during times like these, and we discuss what Maggie has learned about how to work with Non-Profit Organizations in order to help them to support Mutual Aid organizing in an effective way. For more info, go to
May 10, 2020
#7: Jeff Smith from GRIID (Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy) on Disaster Capitalism, Anti-Lockdown Protests, and Doing Mutual Aid During A Pandemic.
In this episode, I talk with Jeff Smith from Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID).   We talk about the ways in which the Capitalist Class (aka the wealthy elite, the billionaires, the top fraction of the 1%, etc.) is organizing to take advantage of this crisis to consolidate their wealth and power.   We also talk about the anti-lockdown protests that have been occurring here in Michigan, and their ties to right-wing political ideologies.   Jeff is doing an incredibly prolific amount of writing about these subjects and more at, and    More info on the podcast at
May 05, 2020
#6: The MANY (Mutual Aid Network of Ypsilanti) on Navigating the Non-Profit Industrial Complex and Doing Mutual Aid During a Pandemic
In this episode, we're joined by The MANY: The Mutual Aid Network of Ypsilanti, which is located in SE Michigan.  They are a Mutual Aid group that was formed before the Covid-19 Pandemic, and they share the lessons they've learned.    They have non-profit status, though they are very critical of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.   We have a great discussion about the ways that this status can be used as a valuable tool, and how they work to avoid the problematic dynamics that often arise when operating a Non-Profit.  Many other exciting topics covered, too!  Check them out here!  on on Instagram:
May 04, 2020
#5: Madeleine from Mutual Aid Katarokwi on Creating Networks Of Neighbors to do Mutual Aid During A Pandemic.
In this episode we talk with Madeleine from Mutual Aid Katarokwi, in Kingston, Ontario.   Learn all about the ways that they are connecting neighbors and creating the infrastructure that allows ordinary people to act out their natural tendencies towards Mutual Aid.  Learn more at or   And this podcast's website is!  Email if you know a project that should be featured!
April 29, 2020
#3 - Jena from Corona Aid 757 on Corona Response, Big-Picture Perspective, and doing Mutual Aid During A Pandemic
On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Jena who was been involved with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief for years, and is currently involved in CoronaAid 757.  We talk about the details of this amazing project, how it got off the ground, and how all of that ties into a big-picture perspective.  More info at or!
April 28, 2020
#3 - Se from Tucson Food Share on Doing Food-Based Mutual Aid During a Pandemic.
For this episode, we are joined by Se who tells us about the amazing things being done in Tucson by a group called Tucson Food Share.  For more info, check out or follow them @foodnotbombs_tucson! 
April 27, 2020
#2: Tyler from Mutual Aid Disaster Relief on Community, Disaster Response, and How To Do Mutual Aid During a Pandemic
In this episode, we talk with Tyler from Mutual Aid Disaster Relief.   Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is an amazing network of people who have been doing trainings and on the ground responses to natural disasters for years.  Hear Tyler's inspiring insights and apt analysis in this episode!  
April 19, 2020
#1: Cindy Milstein on Collective Care, Grief, and How To Do Mutual Aid During A Pandemic.
This is the first episode of the Mutual Aid on Lockdown Podcast- a series that exists simply to address one question:  How do we do Mutual Aid during a pandemic?  In this episode, we're joined by writer and organizer Cindy Milstein, and she shares inspiring and insightful stories about mutual aid during these difficult times.   The energy and perspective that Cindy brings to this conversation are the perfect way to kick off a podcast about mutual aid!  
April 11, 2020