Mutuality Month Recap and Resources

We chose the sunflower and the bee to represent Mutuality Month to demonstrate how our needs bind us, and how that connection can create a life sustaining ecosystem. Without the flower, the bee would have no way to collect nectar and pollen, a food source for the insect that includes vital proteins and nutrients. Without the bee, the flower would be without a means to reproduce, since bees spread flower pollen.

Our needs bind us together. Remembering together what we collectively need helps to reinforce relationships. The connections that we share with each other won't just keep themselves going. Mutuality Month taught us we must prioritize connection, finding new ways to come together and ritualize habits as a way to stay connected. 

We're grateful to the over 200 community members who attended our panel discussion, in-person happy hour, and trainings throughout Mutuality Month! Below we share reflections that we hope will inspire others to strive towards a mutuality mindset. 

Reflection #1: We need each other

The cascade of crises the last few years coupled with rapid social and cultural change has left many people feeling isolated, anxious, or fearful. At every single Mutuality Month event, people shared how it was the relationships with friends, neighbors, kin, and colleagues that helped them through difficult times. 

We witnessed community building happen in real time! At the end of Janelle Orsi's Nurturance Lawyering series, the attorneys in the virtual Zoom room expressed how uplifting it was to meet like-minded professionals trying to improve the law from a more heart centered place. So people began to share their email addresses in the chat so that an informal Nurturance Lawyering group could continue to stay in touch and keep each other motivated. 

Reflection #2: Nothing beats in-person connection

What a breath of fresh air to see new and old friends, colleagues, and collaborators in the flesh after over two years without in-person events! We gathered at Temescal Brewing Company, digging into conversations about the history of capitalism; what projects we had started during the pandemic; how lawyers might start shifting the culture of the legal profession to be more critical of capitalism and white supremacy culture; and how our summer travel plans were shaping up.

Reflection #3: Sharing your needs, although scary, can open up new possibilities

During our Mutuality Month panel discussion “From Mutual Aid to Mutuality: Surviving Capitalism with Radical Care,” panelists shared how the simple act of sharing your needs and your ideas with those close to you can bring people together to build relationships and practices of mutuality,.

The more people you meet and are excited about what you’re doing, the bigger your community. It doesn’t have to be an organization either. It can just be when you have extra food or you baked too many cookies. Take some to your neighbor. Go say hi. Or see if anyone in the neighborhood wants to get together and have a block party. It doesn’t have to be through entities. It can just be people to people. Human to human. Through that trust and connection, you can find out what other people are struggling with. Maybe they’re struggling with the same thing and that’s where you can begin to organize. - Jebena Kilgore, Agroecology Commons

One thing that I did was I saw that in my community women and parents were unable to afford diapers for their children. There were local Facebook groups and people always putting out calls like, "I need diapers. I don't have diapers I don't know what to do. I can't afford diapers for my child", so I started a workshop at the local library about how to make cloth diapers. And I taught and we we learned how to properly use them, and plainly, and by doing this we we're able to to make sure that these children had diapers, and also combat the the waste that conventional diapers, 'cause our landfalls are filled with diapers. And this brought people into helping us with food. It just expanded my network much, much further, just by offering a something like a teaching or food. Food is always a great organizing strategy. - Ericka Williams-Rodriguez, Serenity Community for Justice and Peace

You gotta let your wins be known and speak up on them, so folks can hear about it and know what you're doing, because folks may just may not know what's going on. Share your wins, and your losses. Continue to tell the story of your work, and I feel like that could inspire people to get involved. - AjGod, Repaired Nations

MCLE Recordings and Slide Decks

These trainings have been approved for MCLE credit by the California Bar and cost $25 each.  But if you sign up to be a Community Member here, or if you pledge to volunteer at our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, you can access these videos for free! 

How to Advise Mutual Aid Groups (2022)

Nurturance Lawyering Part 1: How to bring connection and healing to our work in challenging times (2022)

Nurturance Lawyering Part 2: Legal ethics in an interdependent world (2022)

Nurturance Lawyering Part 3: The legal profession is a white supremacist institution (2022)

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  • Mwende Hinojosa
    published this page in Blog 2022-06-22 10:58:02 -0700

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