As government officials at every level continue to fumble their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the corporations look to profit off of this public health crisis, our communities are stepping up to keep each other safe and provide food, transportation, housing, money, childcare, mental health care and other types of mutual aid. Across Washington, DC and around the country dozens of mutual aid projects have taken root to create space for us to take care of each other.
Like the climate crisis, while the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everyone, we know that it is not impacting everyone equally. We are faced with the outrageous reality that our neighbors without access to quality healthcare, secure housing, healthy food, or paid sick days are facing some of the most severe risks from the spread of this virus.
The communities east of the Anacostia River in Wards 7 and 8 have long experienced systematic disparities in investment in education, gentrification, a lack of affordable housing, and a deadly maternal health crisis, all while lacking a full-service hospital. For years, Black Lives Matter DC -- a core partner in the #ShutDownDC organizing space -- has been on the front lines of fighting for justice for people in Wards 7 and 8, East of the Anacostia River. And now in the face of this pandemic BLM is coordinating a powerful mutual aid response for people in those communities who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are inviting all of us to support their important work.
If you can donate money, click here to make a contribution to the East Of the River Mutual Aid Fund. And just as important, if you can volunteer your time delivering meals, bundling packages, answering phone calls or plugging into the dozens of other tasks that need to be done, please fill out this form to let us know how you can help!
With the COVID-19 pandemic worsening by the day, we don’t know how the next few weeks are going to play out. But we do know that solidarity and collective action are our strongest weapons against any of the challenges we are facing!