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Mutual Aid Networks in Response to COVID-19

September 1, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am


Please join the Philanthropy Club for our September 2020 virtual event.

What can nonprofits and foundations learn from mutual aid networks to inform how we respond to crises in our communities?

Chicago, like many cities across the country, has experienced an unprecedented crisis with access to basic necessities such as food, toiletries, and medical supplies. To support communities in crisis, movement organizers have formed mutual aid networks to unite otherwise disparate efforts to help elders, children, and families gain access to what they need to survive and thrive. Mutual aid networks challenge many assumptions made within the nonprofit and foundation world.

September’s Philanthropy Club meeting will offer a critical examination of what mutual aid work is, how it relates to the current work of nonprofits aiming to respond to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, and how mutual aid spaces may be the answer to both short and long term needs within communities.



Angelica Chavez, Justice Program Officer, Field Foundation of Illinois

As Justice Program Officer, Angelica works with organizations who address root causes of inequity and problems at a systemic and policy level. Angelica was born and raised in the East Side neighborhood of Chicago, where she attended Chicago Public Schools and later graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in journalism. She has spent her career organizing across community groups and within nonprofits with a focus on education and health initiatives. Prior to joining the Field Foundation, Angelica worked as a community engagement organizer for Advance Illinois.


Toni Anderson, Founder and Executive Director of the Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab

Toni Anderson is an urban ecologist, spiritualist, and founder of Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab and Mindful Rant: organizations designed as vehicles for providing youth with the tools they need to be agents of mindful social/environmental change and proactive personal power. Toni is also a certified Advanced Youth Development™ and Circle Keeper™ practitioner, and is currently pursuing a license as a Technology of Participation™ (ToP) facilitator from the Institute of Cultural Affairs.


Panel Moderator:

Deidra Somerville, PhD, MSW

Deidra Somerville is a mother, scholar, and healer whose work is intentional in co-op development, healing from trauma, and advancing decolonized principles and practices in organizational spaces. She is a member and co-founder of both Esusu Chicago and Core Team Member of Cooperation for Liberation, and has taught seminars at Forefront, the Breakin’ it Down Conference, and the Axelson Center. Deidra received her PhD in Community Psychology from National Louis University.



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