“Mutual aid is work that directly addresses the conditions the movement seeks to address, such as by providing housing, food, health care, or transportation in a way that draws attention to the politics creating need and vulnerability. Famous examples of mutual aid projects include the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program, the Young Lords Party’s hijacking of New York City’s tuberculosis testing mobile unit to bring TB testing to high-risk, medically neglected neighborhoods, and feminist organizing to provide underground abortions in the 1970’s.” - Dean Spade, Big Door Brigade
Background: COVID-19 is revealing the failures of the economic and political systems of the United States. Amid this unprecedented public health crisis, mutual aid networks are sprouting up across Long Island in an effort to help those who continue to be left behind by our institutions.
Purpose: Cooperation Long Island serves to bring together community-based organizations, base-building groups, service non-profits, jail advocates, immigrant rights groups, reproductive healthcare providers, faith organizations, and other community leaders to identify and support the diverse needs of the Long Island community, while centering the needs of traditionally marginalized communities, in the face of COVID-19 through outreach, information sharing, direct service, and policy change that both meets immediate needs and secures structural wins beyond this crisis.
Long Island is an enormous geographic territory and we aim to be a coordinating body for numerous mutual aid efforts, serving as a value add for generating resources and supporting initiatives already in operation. There's a lot of area to cover and many communities to support, so we encourage the participation of as many formations as possible.
We must use this crisis as an opportunity to continue building the world we've always known we've needed through solidarity, cooperation, and mutuality.
What we do: