The Response documentary

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, a quiet revolution has been percolating on the island of Puerto Rico. What began as an impromptu community kitchen meant to help feed survivors  in the town of Caguas quickly grew into an island-wide network of mutual aid centers (Centros de Apoyo Mutuo) with the ultimate goal to restore power — both electric and civic — to the people.

For the past 18 months, Shareable has been working with a team of filmmakers, writers, audio engineers, partners, and funders to share this story with the world. In 2018, we released the first version of this story as a podcast that was broadcast to over 140 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia thanks to our friends at Making Contact.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Shareable’s first documentary film, “The Response: How Puerto Ricans are Restoring Power to the People,” will premiere in Oakland, CA on July 24th at Pro Arts Gallery & COMMONS. Get your tickets here!

In addition to the film screening, the evening will include an introductory talk from the producer (that’s me), the release of Shareable’s new how to guide for creating community “resilient hubs,” and a post-screening panel discussion moderated by Erin Axelrod of LIFT Economy with:

The 30-minute micro-budget documentary explores community-led disaster response and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico; letting the people involved in the mutual aid centers tell their own stories of the storm, recovery, and the tenuous relationship between the Puerto Rican people and the government.

Despite the grave nature of this storm, which many believe to be the worst disaster to hit the United States or its territories in the past 100 years, this story is also celebratory. For some, there’s is a deep joy that has accompanied the sadness; a feeling of solidarity and possibility that didn’t previously exist in the same way before the storm.

The film also acts as a reminder of how damaging climate-fueled disasters are and urges us  to consider how resilient our communities are, how best to adapt for the changes ahead, and how to respond and rebuild in a just and equitable way with extra consideration for the most vulnerable populations.

Buy your tickets today to join a celebration of disaster collectivism, those instances when communities make the bold decision to make transformational social change in the wake of disasters.

P.S. Want to help put on the show, share your community resilience initiative, support our outreach efforts, or need free tickets? Please contact Volunteers and those without funds get free tickets. No one turned away.

P.P.S. Can’t make it on the 24th for “The Response” premiere? Stay tuned as we’ll be releasing the film for groups to host community screenings starting in August. If you would like to show the film in your community, please fill out this form and stay tuned for more information in our newsletter.


This article is part of our series on disaster collectivism. Download our free series ebook here.

Tom Llewellyn


Tom Llewellyn | |

Tom Llewellyn is the interim executive director for Shareable, a nonprofit news + action hub promoting people-powered solutions for the common good. As part of his role at Shareable,

Things I share: Food, Stories, Time, Skills, Tools, Cars, Bikes, Smiles, Clothes, Music, Knowledge, Home, Land, Water, and Stone Soup!