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Dean Spade, Law, Seattle University School of Law

  • When: October 12, 2022, 12 pm
  • Where: Zoom: To register, contact Sophie Kofman at

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Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid for Survival and Mobilization

Around the globe, people are facing crisis, from the COVID pandemic and climate change-induced fires, floods, and storms to the ongoing impacts of mass incarceration, racist policing, brutal immigration enforcement, endemic gender violence, war, and severe wealth inequality. As governments fail to respond to—or actively engineer—each crisis, ordinary people are finding bold and innovative ways to share resources and keep each other alive.

In this talk, Dean Spade will be sharing ideas from his latest book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next). Dean argues that mutual aid plays a core role in building transformative social movements, and distinguishes mutual aid from charity and social services. He builds on his prior work on the limits of legal reform, exploring how people's movements aimed at building collective self-determination grow by building decentralized projects focused on survival and resistance.

Photo and bio courtesy of Seattle University

Dean Spade is a professor at the Seattle University School of Law. Dean has been working in movements for queer and trans liberation and racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He’s the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law and the director of the documentary “Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!” His latest book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next), was published by 2020 and is soon to be published in Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Korean, Spanish, Thai, Czech and German.

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