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CHMA Weekly Updates: December 22, 2020


Welcome to the CHMA Newsletter! This is a space for updates about what’s been going on, what’s coming up, and how you can get involved with Crown Heights Mutual Aid.

If you’re receiving this newsletter because you made a donation to CHMA, thank you! You are helping make it possible for CHMA to keep doing what we do. 

If you have recently joined CHMA, welcome! We hope you can get involved in a way you enjoy. That’s one of the things that puts the “mutual” in “mutual aid!” Browse through our Slack channels to find what interests you, and you can get plugged in through this Working Groups document. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to get it started!

From all of us at CHMA—we wish you happy and safe holidays, and look forward to finding ways to collectively empower our communities in 2021. 



A Message From Our Friends at Brooklyn Community Cleaners. Need some help cleaning up? Hire your neighbors at Brooklyn Community Cleaners (BKCC) to make your home sparkle—and create fair-wage and dignified work for local immigrant women impacted by the pandemic. BKCC is a worker-led collective that has come together, through South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, to create fair-wage and dignified work for local immigrant women impacted by the pandemic. BKCC is run as a noncompetitive workshare model, with clients paying cleaning professionals directly, so that every dollar goes straight to the person who does the work. “Hiring BKCC not only ensures a clean home, it also helps build community in our borough. We connect neighbors who, despite living alongside one another, too often inhabit separate worlds.”

Our Fundraiser is Still Going! We’ve extended our fundraiser on ioby! While we raised a good amount of money to help get groceries to our neighbors, we haven’t reached our $125,000 goal just yet, so we’ve extended our fundraiser through January. You can donate through this page using a credit or debit card, and the donation is tax-deductible. Feel free to share on Instagram and Twitter as well!


Updates from Our Working Groups


Housing. The housing working group has been collaborating with Brooklyn Eviction Defense - as legal evictions have started in New York - to boost BED's fundraising and volunteer outreach efforts. They are also working on another "Food Not Rent" event in partnership with Crown Heights Tenant Union, and are continuing education on gentrification and housing in Brooklyn. 


Education. The Education WG is finishing up the CHMA-wide study of Dean Spade's Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (And the Next). Discussion is ongoing about organizing an event with Dean in the coming months, and everyone is encouraged to add their perspective (check out the channel # study_group for updates). We are also completing our four-month exploration of prison abolition, a nation-wide project organized by Mississippi Freedom Winter (see # wg_education for meeting notes, resource links, and discussion). We continue to meet every Monday night at 8:30pm, and all are welcome to join the group or just pop-in for discussion - whether you've "done the reading" or not! Check the CHMA Calendar for a link to the pdfs we're reading for our next Freedom Winter discussion on Monday 12/21 at 8:30pm.


Intake. Intake is excited to announce that we are formally providing financial assistance to our neighbors! We are able to fulfill (20) $100 requests each week; please call our hotline at (917) 341-7675 to make a request.

Accountability and Reconciliation. The Accountability & Reconciliation Working Group recently held a CHMA Community Call to discuss group culture and generative conflict, which led to a healthy discussion about values, care, trust, and transparency. The working group is in the process of onboarding the very first CHMA Accountability & Reconciliation Collective (ARC), a rotating body who will consider grievances, organize trainings, and create spaces in the community for learning, growth, and change. A&R meets every Wednesday night at 8pm, and all are welcome to join the group or drop by the #wg_accountability_reconciliation channel with accountability and care-related thoughts or resources.

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