Ward 3 Mutual Aid

Washington, DC

Ward 3 Mutual Aid is one of seven ward teams associated with the DC Mutual Aid Network (DCMA), a citywide grassroots mobilization in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mutual aid can be loosely defined as neighbors helping neighbors. We operate a hotline through which anyone can request support. While free or subsidized groceries are the most common request we get, we are much more than just a grocery service! Through our hotline, we give & receive many kinds of support while building the long term relationships that sustain our community of care.

Background: The DC Mutual Aid Network emerged from the pre-existing mutual aid work already being undertaken across the city by Black-led organizations including Dreaming Out Loud, Black Lives Matter DC, the Black Swan Academy, the Peace House DC, Peace Fellowship DC, Deanwood Tenants Association, Black Youth Project 100, Current Movements, and the campaign to elect Anthony Lorenzo Green. The “East of the River” team was the first to set up a community hotline & free grocery deliveries in mid-March, and they called on organizers in every ward to do the same. Ward 3 organizers launched our hotline on March 23, 2020.

Ward 3 is the whitest and wealthiest ward in the city. We approach our organizing through a lens of wealth redistribution and reparations to Black and brown residents who experience structural racism and displacement in our rapidly gentrifying city. With the wealth in Ward 3, we should be able to support Ward 3 neighbors and contribute regularly to mutual aid organizing throughout DC. Right now (2021), we contribute $2,600 a month to East of the River Mutual Aid and and the Hot Din program (which delivers meals to queer and trans BIPOC organizers throughout the city). We also act as a resource hub for residents in Ward 3 by providing free groceries, supporting a regular food pantry, and serving as a resource advocate. But we know we can do more!

Although our mutual aid network began in immediate response to the pandemic, mutual aid was needed prior to the pandemic. Even beyond Covid-19, mutual aid will continue to be a necessary means for us to meet one another's needs. We need consistent funding to continue and expand our organizing and meet the ongoing needs of our neighbors.

As a grassroots cooperative organization, our goal is for every one of our members & supporters to make a monthly contribution -- and join our organizing! We may each have little to give, but all together we are powerful!

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