Our current world is defined by war, militarized borders, prisons, and brutal extractive systems, that harm people and the planet to concentrate wealth. We have to fight cops, militaries, and demobilizing ideologies to build new social relations based in solidarity and a commitment to collective self-determination. Studying historical and contemporary resistance practices and sharing transformative ideas about how we organize new structures and ways of being together is an urgent part of the work to sustain human life in the face of contemporary crises.
Dean Spade is the Wismer Professor for Gender & Diversity 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.
Spade is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law (2015) 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 in 2020 and is available or forthcoming in Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Korean, Spanish, Thai, Czech and German.
This book is about mutual aid: why it is so important, what it looks like, and how to do it. It provides a grassroots theory of mutual aid, describes how mutual aid is a crucial part of powerful movements for social justice, and offers concrete tools for organizing, such as how to work in groups, how to foster a collective decision-making process, how to prevent and address conflict, and how to deal with burnout.
In Normal Life Dean Spade presents revelatory critiques of the legal equality framework for social change, and points to examples of transformative grassroots trans activism that is raising demands that go beyond traditional civil rights reforms.
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