What does it mean to be there for one another? What does being there look like when we can’t share a physical space? What will communities of care look like as we enter post-pandemic life?
These are among the questions being explored as the Women’s Center at Northwestern University continues its 2020-2021 programming on the theme of mutual aid and community engagement.
A highlight of the year is the annual symposium, which will be held as a webinar Tuesday, March 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Reservations and more information are available on the Women’s Center website.
The symposium will feature a conversation on mutual aid between trans activist, educator and author Dean Spade and Native American journalist and community organizer Kelly Hayes. Spade has described mutual aid as “survival work when done alongside social movement demands for transformative change.” Hayes is the 2018 recipient of the Chicago Freedom School’s Champion of Justice Award and the founder of the direct action collective Lifted Voices.
Women’s Center Director Sekile Nzinga will open the symposium with remarks on the history of mutual aid.
“We are looking forward to bringing our year-long programming theme into deeper focus with the symposium,” Nzinga said. “Spade and Hayes will discuss the critical significance of mutual aid efforts before, during and after crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, that have helped to sustain so many in our communities.”