This week’s episode of The Response features Genean from Common Humanity Collective — a mutual aid organization based out of California’s Bay Area.
When the pandemic began in 2020, it felt like there was a huge spike in mutual aid efforts — in fact we did an entire series of episodes on many of the community-led responses to COVID that year including an audio documentary about a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, in Chico, California.
But where are things now? What have mutual aid organizations learned from the last couple of years? How do we continue to ensure that the ‘mutual’ in mutual aid remains a central pillar of our efforts? And how can we politicize our work within the communities we’re engaging with?
We explore these pressing questions in this week’s interview — along with a lot of other stuff on mutual aid and ways to plug in.
- Host and editor: Robert Raymond
- Presenter and executive producer: Tom Llewellyn
- Theme Music: “Meet you on the other side” by Cultivate Beats
For a full list of episodes and resources to strengthen and organize your community, visit www.theresponsepodcast.org.
Below is a full transcript of “The Response: Common Humanity Collective with Genean”
Genean: [00:00:05] In COVID, and, you know, with climate change, I think we’re really realizing that no one is going to step in to help us, right? Mariame Kaba says, “we’re all we’ve got.” And it’s such a simple quote, but I think it’s so important, right? We have to help each other because no one has been there to help us.
Tom Llewellyn: [00:00:29] Welcome back to The Response, a bi-weekly interview and audio documentary series where we explore how communities respond to disaster, from hurricanes to wildfires to reactionary politics and more. I’m Tom Llewellyn.
[00:00:42] Today on the show, we’ve brought on Genean from Common Humanity Collective, a mutual aid organization based out of California’s Bay Area. When the pandemic began in 2020, it felt like there was a huge spike in mutual aid efforts. In fact, we did an entire series of episodes on many of the community-led responses to COVID that year, including an audio documentary that highlighted the work done by a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, in Chico, California.
[00:01:11] Where are things now? What have mutual aid organizations and the left more broadly learned from the last couple of years? How do we continue to make sure that the mutual in mutual aid remains a central pillar of our efforts? And how can we politicize our work within the communities we’re engaging with? We’ll explore these pressing questions in this week’s interview, along with a lot of other stuff on mutual aid and ways to plug in. Here’s Robert Raymond with Genean.
Robert Raymond: [00:01:51] Welcome to The Response. It’s great to have you on.
Genean: [00:01:53] Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here.
Robert Raymond: [00:01:55] So I’m wondering if we can start by just having you briefly introduce yourself and just, yeah, letting us know how you came to do the work that you’re doing.
Genean: [00:02:05] Yeah. I’m Genean, and I use she/her pronouns. I have been involved in community organizing for a really long time. I moved to the Bay at the start of the pandemic, not really knowing anyone and trying to find my way in a world that was changing drastically and, you know, kind of got involved with a couple of different organizing groups and ended up becoming really quickly involved with Common Humanity Collective. I think in the beginning it was a little bit unsure of what it would be like or even if mutual aid was like the end all be all of organizing, but became pretty fast friends with the folks doing the work.
[00:02:41] And I think in time it became really meaningful work to me as I was doing it more and researching more of the politics behind it — definitely became really excited. And I think — I’ve done a lot of sustainability organizing and other types of kind of community organizing over the years, and Common Humanity Collective has a really special place in my heart. I think it’s a really unique group in a lot of ways and has felt really meaningful to be a part of it.
Robert Raymond: [00:03:05] Awesome. So tell us about the organization, like what you do and when you got started. And yeah, just maybe just give us a little bit of an orienting picture of what you do so we can sort of launch into our conversation around mutual aid from there.
Genean: [00:03:20] Definitely. So, Common Humanity Collective started at the start of the pandemic with some grad students at UC Berkeley mixing hand sanitizer in their labs. They were able to get out enough hand sanitizer for 100,000 people at a time when hand sanitizer was not on the market. And they met up with another UC Berkeley grad student who had figured out a way to make N95 effectively — like N88 quality masks out of this material, called Filti, without sewing, just like folding and stapling. And so they partnered together and what became Common Humanity Collective. And in the beginning they were just having folks take masks, mask kits, assemble those at their houses alone and then recollect the masks. And there was a form on the website for people who needed masks to request them. A lot of like food banks and other types of organizations were requesting masks and we were able to distribute them to those people.
[00:04:20] I came on around December of 2020 working with DSA to try and make the project a little bit more political than it already was. I think mutual aid is really inherently political. I think oftentimes that’s really overlooked, but we were thinking of how we could try and politicize this project in a greater way. And so what we started doing was building these mass kits in the parks outside during like winter of COVID 2020, and then driving those kits to people’s houses. And then we would all get on a Zoom call. And for those Zoom calls, we had readings that we would be discussing. So we went over like Jane McAlevey and [00:04:56] Penicuik talking [00:04:57] about the benefits and disadvantages of different types of trade union organizing. We did a whole I think it was like a three-part series on Rosa Luxemburg’s Reform or Revolution.
[00:05:07] And you know, in these calls we had people that had done the readings, we had very theoretical leftists, and we had some not very theoretical liberals. We had high school students and folks that were retired. And so we were trying to find a way to make these conversations accessible and interesting to everybody. And so we’d get on these phone calls, we’d have a breakout room for new people to learn how to make the masks. And everybody else would be kind of discussing these theoretical things, making masks. And after these calls, a lot of people actually stayed on for two or 3 hours just to hang out. I think at least for myself and a lot of people I know December of 2020 and that winter was a really isolating and pretty dark time. And I think a lot of people found a really incredible community doing this work, feeling like they were able to contribute something. And a lot of folks talked about it being like the highlight of their week or the highlight of their month, which I think is really meaningful and really powerful and really political in itself.
[00:05:58] For the distribution, we also wanted to try and find a way to actualize this reciprocal relationship of mutual aid, right? How do we give things to people while believing that they can give something back to us and not just seeing them as helpless? And so we started working with TANC — Tenant and Neighborhood Councils in the Bay Area and going to food bank lines at a time when rent was really high, a lot of people had just lost their jobs. A lot of people were having a lot of problems with their rent and with their landlords. So we were asking folks about this and trying to get them involved with TANC so that we could really have that reciprocal relationship where people were also giving back and doing organizing — base building, right, to be able to push back against their own landlords…
Robert Raymond: [00:06:43] Just sorry, real quick, can you, for someone who’s not familiar with the idea of a tenant’s organized group, can you just maybe outline what that is before you move on?
Genean: [00:06:52] Yeah, definitely. Tenants unionizing, I think is very similar to workplace unionizing, where you have a group of people in a building or a group of people under the same landlord that are taking action to make sure that their needs are met, whether that’s mold in the building, issues with repair. They’re writing letters, they’re trying to work with their landlord. And most extreme is rent striking, withholding rent until those needs are met. And so TANC does a lot of that work and a lot of work just helping folks who are having any issues with their landlord or rent or anything involving their housing situation, figure out the best ways to handle those situations.
[00:07:31] And so we were distributing to folks in different languages. We had folks come out speaking Spanish or Cantonese, Mandarin, and largely, unfortunately, this project was not as successful as we had hoped. Not that many people ended up joining TANC, which I think speaks to the challenges working across class divides and oftentimes racial divides, and also getting folks who are working potentially one, two, maybe more jobs to take more time out of their life to try and organize became really difficult.
[00:08:03] And as the pandemic started winding down, in a sense, vaccines came out and folks were a little bit less concerned with masks and N95s were on the market. Again, we are making these for about a dollar when market-rate they were five dollars and or just not on the market at all.
Genean: [00:08:19] And so we started pivoting to building air purifiers. The same person who had come up with the masks came up with a design for air purifiers using a box fan and a HEPA filter and a couple of other things to make it more efficient. And we were able to use this design to make air purifiers for about $30 — when a market air purifier is about $150 to $200. And for those who aren’t familiar, California gets a wildfire season and the smoke is really bad and there’s really high asthma rates just due to pollution. And these air purifiers also help with COVID.
[00:08:58] And so we began to think about how can we assemble a large amount of purifiers and distribute those effectively? And so we started holding builds in parking lots where we were having about seventy folks come out from different organizations in the Bay Area to build these air purifiers. And during this time, right, folks are talking to each other from different organizations. I felt like we were bridging a lot of gaps from different kind of siloed groups in the Bay and was seeing folks become more radicalized through talking to each other. And then we were distributing these air purifiers. We tried doing community canvasses, standing on street corners, kind of researching the areas in Oakland that were lower income, had higher asthma rates to make sure that we were actually giving these purifiers to people that needed them.
Genean: [00:09:47] And we were asking folks to come out and help us build purifiers. When we’re distributing, right, there’s no qualifications. No one needs to give us any information to take an air purifier. But our goal was to give one air purifier per family so that folks would then come out and help us build them so that we could continue to try and practice true mutual aid in the sense that there is a reciprocal relationship. That was somewhat successful, but I think not quite as much as we wanted. We had some people come out from our distributions to build air purifiers, but we were able to build, I think, around 1,400 purifiers and work with a lot of different groups through that process.
[00:10:26] That ended about a year ago and we started to think of other ways to try and really again make mutual aid mutual. And so we started going to a lot of places and building air purifiers or masks with the folks that would inevitably take them home. And so we went to an Afghanistan refugee fair, the Ella Baker Center is an organization in the bay that is working around prison reform and abolition. And we went to a couple of their mutual aid events. We went to a school in Fruitvale to build air purifiers and kind of teach the students to build purifiers. And there was also a professor and a group of students at UC Berkeley that we taught how to build the purifiers. And then they taught a group of people in Stockton how to build purifiers, and they were able to take those home.
[00:11:16] And so that felt like a really exciting way to make sure that the folks that were inevitably going to receive what we were making and needed, what we were making, were also learning how to build them and kind of being able to take those home on site. I think that was really powerful. And also we weren’t able to build as many relationships, I think, through that. Oftentimes it’s really fast-paced and I think some of the radicalization is a little bit harder, right? You can get some of those in there when you’re talking to folks saying, right, why do we have to be building these things? Why do we have to be the ones that are creating these processes? But right now we just moved to a new location and so our plan is to continue to be able to go to sites and work with people to teach them how to build masks and air purifiers, but also to start hosting our own builds again.
Robert Raymond: [00:12:03] Got it. Yeah. Thank you so much for that really thorough history and brought up so many things for me. Just hearing you sort of outline the trajectory of the pandemic and like just thinking back to where I was in early 2020 and I was living in Chico at the time and the DSA chapter there was actually doing a lot of great work, although the reading groups that you all were doing here sound amazing, and that would have definitely been something that I would have loved to jump into, especially at such an isolating time for everybody.
[00:12:35] And yeah, thank you for talking about TANC and the tenants organizing stuff, which I think is a really interesting parallel to this work. And of course the wildfires and the intersection of the work that you’re doing with climate change-induced, Weather-related events — that summer of 2020 was really brutal here in the Bay Area with the wildfire smoke. And so, yeah, it’s cool to hear that you all were sort of focusing on these broader issues at the same time.
[00:13:07] And you mentioned something which, I really like the way that you put it, and it’s something that I wanted to get into with you a little later, but I think I’m just going to — you did such a thorough job of incorporating a lot of what I wanted to ask you about in your opening introduction, about Common Humanity Collective. So I’m just going to jump to asking you about this idea of making mutual aid more mutual.
[00:13:30] So, yeah, I mean, mutual aid as a concept, I think a lot of people have been more exposed to it, I think, since the pandemic, just because, you know, mutual aid often ends up popping up when there are huge gaps in sort of the official services that the state would provide. And that was definitely something that happened during COVID — is happening, continuing to happen during the pandemic. And, I don’t know, I see, like, a lot of examples of stuff that is labeled mutual aid. And I’m like, is that mutual aid? Like, I won’t get into the details, but like, I’m curious if you were to sort of describe mutual aid in your own like conception of it and what you believe it should be and what you’re trying to make your mutual aid and your work really sort of live up to this concept of — and we don’t really need to define it here because we’ve talked about mutual aid so much on the show. But, you know, mutuality and the two-way nature of mutual aid being so central to it.
Genean: [00:14:38] Yeah, definitely. I think there are a lot of definitions of mutual aid out there, and I think a lot of the groups that are practicing mutual aid are doing different kind of forms of mutual aid. I almost wish there was like a categorization for mutual aid within that word, because I think what CHC (Common Humanity Collective) is trying to do is really make sure that the people that we’re distributing to were finding some way that they are also giving back to the broader organizing, right? To their communities. And I think that that has definitely been a challenge.
[00:15:10] But I also think we’ve been able to build a lot of relationships throughout the time that CHC has been on the map. And I think part of, to me, what’s so important about that is now when a disaster strikes, right? We have relationships with people. We know where people are that are going to need resources and we know how to get in touch with either groups that are in touch with those people or get in touch with those people themselves. You know, we’ve done builds at — we did a big mask build at a church in East Oakland where, you know, I know that we still have connections with the pastor there and could reach out to them. And so I think those relationships are really foundational because like you’re saying in COVID and, you know, with climate change, I think we’re really realizing that no one is going to step in to help us, right? Mariame Kaba says, “We’re all we’ve got.” And it’s such a simple quote, but I think it’s so important, right? We have to help each other because no one has been there to help us.
[00:16:03] And so I think it’s really important to try and make sure that we’re not just giving things to people, that there is a lot more there. And I would say another thing that I think has been really wonderful about working with CHC is the ways that we’ve been able to kind of further other groups goals. And so we’ve worked with Critical Resistance, which is an amazing abolitionist organization. We’ve worked with Sunrise that advocates for a Green New Deal and other climate advocacy work. We’ve worked with Asians for Black Lives, Sogorea Te Land Trust, which is an amazing Indigenous-led land back, land trust in the Bay Area and countless other groups that we’ve been able to bring out to the air purifier builds and also give air purifiers to.
[00:16:47] And in that case, we’re kind of releasing control of the distribution. We’re not able to like make sure that that relationship is reciprocal. But the air purifiers have gone on to help them with their organizing. And we’ve worked with, you know, TANC — Tenant and Neighborhood Councils to be able to try and build tenant unions with an air purifier. Right? Oftentimes it builds a lot of trust when you’re talking to someone to be able to give them something and talk about what that means. And I’ve had folks that we distributed air purifiers to, we would call them afterwards and check in with them, see if they had questions, ask them to come out to a build, see how the air purifier was working. And I had one person stay on the phone with me for a really long time and talk about how, you know, no one has ever come to their neighborhood before, right? The state is not doing anything there. You know, you don’t see the billionaires on the street corners there trying to redistribute their wealth.
[00:17:36] And I think that that goes back to that central point as well of we have to take care of each other because no one else is going to. And I think a lot of folks might see mutual aid as something that the state should be just doing. And I think that within our group, there’s also some political tension around that. But I think personally in the world that I want to live in, there is mutual aid, right? I think we are continuing to work with each other and help each other. And I think people don’t oftentimes realize the ways that they’re already practicing mutual aid just in their own lives. Giving a ride to a friend, bringing someone food when they’re sick. All of these things are ways that we’re already practicing mutual aid.
Robert Raymond: [00:18:14] Yeah. No, absolutely. And yeah, I really like the way that you outline this, like, tension between, yeah, these are things that the state should be providing versus these are things that we happen to be providing in an atmosphere where the state is, is completely lacking. And what do we just sit back and not do anything because we, you know, feel like we shouldn’t have to do this kind of stuff.
[00:18:40] But what I really — another, I guess, like pillar of mutual aid that I think about when I think of mutual aid is, what you also mentioned earlier, is it being inherently political. So like there are these two sort of elements to it, right, where it’s inherently political because it’s building a sense of like collective solidarity and bringing neighborhoods together. And like one of the main things that those in power would like to see us not do is actually get together and like get to know our neighbors and build like a tenants union and sort of get to talking about stuff, like, that’s pretty subversive in a lot of ways. And in that sense, I think mutual aid definitely has this sort of inherent politicalness to it.
Robert Raymond: [00:19:25] But then there’s also the explicit political stuff that I think is something that I really appreciate with your perspective is like, how do we actually politicize what we’re doing so that we aren’t just — and that’s a big air quotes around the just because it’s incredibly important — but we’re not just talking to neighbors and building sort of this organic sense of community, but we’re also infusing that with like very explicit politics and getting people engaged. And that’s where I love like the reading group. When we spoke to Joshua Potash a couple of weeks ago, he also talked about his mutual aid organization, Washington Square Park — they do reading groups, too. And I just really love that idea. And yeah, I’m just wondering if you want to maybe talk a little bit more about that, like either the inherent political nature of mutual aid or this explicit element that you also brought up. Like, I guess I just threw a lot at you, so feel free to attack that however you want.
Genean: [00:20:25] Yeah, definitely. There’s lots of things I would say to that. And we’ve also continued to do reading groups. In moments we’ve gotten more overwhelmed and kind of pushed them to the side. But outside of the mass group, there’s a group of us that have been reading different books and continuing to discuss those. And I think that that is really important.
[00:20:42] And I will also say I’ve seen people be politicized through CHC in a way I haven’t actually with any other organizing that I’ve done, and that’s been really incredible. You know, the grad students across the UC system are on strike right now, as I’m sure many folks are aware. Probably not when this podcast airs, they will mostly likely be back. But there is a couple of folks from Common Humanity Collective that have been out on the picket lines because they’re grad students or postdocs, and they’ve been talking about how they don’t know if they would be on the picket line, they don’t know if they’d be actively organizing as much as they are without Common Humanity Collective.
[00:21:17] You know, I’ve watched people go from being kind of apolitical to becoming really radical through this work. I think it does politicize people to be in community with each other, doing this work, thinking about these things and, you know, confronting on a daily basis, right, why are we the ones that are having to do this work and why aren’t we getting more support in that? And, you know, the issues in Oakland that we’re seeing around asthma, around low-income people not being able to afford the things that they need to be able to stay healthy.
[00:21:48] One thing I would also say is I really think mutual aid is the bedrock to any organizing. You know, you can’t have prison abolition if people don’t know each other, if people aren’t caring for each other. I think a piece of abolishing the prison industrial complex, a really important piece, is obviously abolishing capitalism, because the idea behind that right, is that folks are forced into places where they have to commit crimes. And I think that that is happening less if you have people you can go to and resources that you can get to be able to meet your needs. And I think mutual aid is doing that on some level. And I think we’re also creating, you know, some dual power, right?
[00:22:24] It’s small and it’s not overarching, but we’ve been able to actually kind of seize our own means of production, right? We’re building these things on our own and obviously we’re within the capitalist market to be able to source the materials. But that’s also allowed our group to stay alive a lot longer because we’re not purchasing masks for $5 a piece or air purifiers for $150, but we’re sourcing those materials and then producing them on our own and then being able to give them to folks without any conditions and without any monetary exchange. And I think that that’s really important.
[00:22:57] I also think community building is so often overlooked as not being important. And it’s really frustrating to me. I think, you know, through doing some more reading and researching, it seems like oftentimes the women are the ones that are advocating for community building and really seeing the importance of building relationships and also interacting with groups of people that aren’t necessarily workers.
[00:23:19] And I think that being able to politicize all different kinds of people through mutual aid, being able to radicalize people through this work and kind of build a bedrock so that as more actions happen or people are being more radicalized, they’ve already kind of gotten this foundation. And a lot of people’s entry point, I think, into leftist politics can be mutual aid. And I’ve seen that happen for a lot of people where it’s like, Oh yeah, I’ll take some time to go out and build this thing with my hands for a little bit. And then they’re like, Oh, that was really cool. I’m going to come back and do this again. And then they start to talk to people that are also doing that and start to read a little bit about mutual aid and start to become really politicized through that work.
Robert Raymond: [00:24:02] And when you’re talking about like building a bedrock, I couldn’t help but think, so the week that we’re taping this, the rail strike was just broken by Congress. And if the rail workers were to go on a strike, it would be a wildcat strike. It would be illegal technically, and it would be separate from the union. And I’ve seen so many people calling for the rail workers to go in a wildcat strike or to just quit. And I mean, that sounds nice in theory, but there’s no strike fund to support that. There’s no unemployment benefits that would go to them because of the nature of the industry and the protections and the laws that they’re not guaranteed.
[00:24:50] And things like mutual aid just makes so much sense in contexts like that. If we had a robust infrastructure in this country that could step in and support, on a large scale, striking workers in contexts like this, they would have so much more leverage, right? And it would be so much more of a potential win for us on the left as advocates for labor. And that’s what mutual aid is really doing in a lot of ways, like the mutual aid work that you’re doing is building that infrastructure. It may not seem like it all the time, but it really is contributing in a really important way, I think.
Genean: [00:25:31] Yeah, definitely. I mean, I really appreciate that. And I think, you know, that’s the goal, right? Is if people are a little bit politicized, if they’ve been introduced to this type of work, to any type of organizing before they’re met with this really intense question of do you wildcat strike or do you not, they may be leaning a little bit more towards wildcat striking if they have had those experiences. And I think relationships are also really important to that, right? If they know their coworkers really well and are able to talk with their coworkers and come up with a solid plan and feel confident that, you know, they’ve done organizing before, they’ve been exposed to those types of challenging questions and feel confident moving forward.
Robert Raymond: [00:26:12] And if there’s a mutual aid network that can support them through that strike as well.
Genean: [00:26:16] Of course.
Robert Raymond: [00:26:17] So I’m wondering as we sort of start to wrap up here, a lot of the sort of tensions that you talked about and actually bringing mutuality into mutual aid and getting people to feel invested and to sort of stick around for the long term — I’m wondering if you have any ideas of how you’re hoping to navigate that moving forward or sort of just what your thoughts are in general moving forward and how you’re going to maybe navigate that tension in your new space or otherwise?
Genean: [00:26:49] Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think a lot of groups took a hit as COVID kind of wound down. A lot of leftist groups that I’m aware of have kind of gone into a type of hibernation or have just kind of lost a lot of people. And I think during COVID, there was a lot of energy for organizing because there wasn’t much else to do. And as folks have begun to socialize a lot more, there’s been, I think, less attention and activation around organizing.
[00:27:18] And I think with Biden’s presidency, unfortunately, some people have also felt like they can kind of step back. And I think our own group, after the work that we did around the air purifiers we were hosting builds every weekend and doing distributions every weekend for a couple of months last summer and we were burnt out. And so there’s definitely been collective, I think, regrouping and trying to kind of navigate these situations and understand better how do we not burn out, right? How do we sustain this work in the long run?
[00:27:48] I think moving forward, having a location is really nice, right? Capitalism makes it really hard to have money and do this work while you’re also working a job that is really taking a lot out of you, as many of us in CHC are. And so finally, being able — there was a long time where we did not have a space and that made it really hard to kind of coordinate doing builds. And so I think having a space is allowing us to work with groups a lot better and allowing us to hold builds again.
[00:28:18] But I think there is a constant tension of figuring out how to do this work well, how to keep people around, how to keep energy up. And I think one thing that I have appreciated about being a part of CHC is we mess up a lot. We make mistakes. We’re a pretty small and scrappy group, but we’ve continued to self-reflect and think this didn’t work. How do we do this better? Or this thing worked really well? How can we build upon that and make it even better than it was before? I think not giving up and celebrating the small wins, right? Mutual aid doesn’t have a clear win, like a strategy around electoralism or even trade union organizing, right? But mutual aid, I think you have to celebrate the little things, right? When you’re able to build 1,400 purifiers and get those out to people in Oakland, that felt like a big win for us, I think.
Robert Raymond: [00:29:08] And do you have any advice for people who maybe want to start or join a mutual aid organization, any like things that you’ve learned or challenges that have arisen aside from what you’ve mentioned already and you resources out there? And also if there are local folks who want to get involved with CHC and help with any of the efforts that you all are doing, like any upcoming events or anything they can jump into and plug in?
Genean: [00:29:37] Yeah, definitely. Our website, CommonHumanityCollective.org has our contact link and whether you’re local or not, if you’re interested in starting mutual aid group or you have a mutual aid group, please reach out. We’ve really enjoyed talking to folks from across the US and some folks in Canada and kind of, you know, doing mutual aid around how to do mutual aid, right? Sharing ideas and trying to figure out what works. And we’ve been able to send boxes of supplies to build masks to a lot of mutual aid groups around the country. And that’s been really exciting. So, you know, definitely reach out to us. I think we’re pretty responsive and really wanting to talk to people and understand how to do this work better. Right? There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel and to be so siloed.
[00:30:21] On our website there’s also information on how to build the air purifiers and masks and where to source those materials, if people are interested in that. And our Instagram and Twitter is @chumanityc — that’s where we’re posting upcoming events. And we’re also on Mastodon at kolektiva.social/@commonhumanitycollective. And that is definitely a place that you can find us as well.
[00:30:49] As far as tips, you know, don’t be too hard on yourself, right? Show up. Even just having another person in the room. I think to bounce ideas off of is really helpful. You know, make mistakes and build off of them. It’s never going to be perfect. I think sometimes organizing on the left can hold itself to a standard that I think is unreasonable, right? We all are living under capitalism where we have jobs and potentially families or friends, and we’re busy and just doing what you can in this world to make it a little bit better, I think is really important. Not — getting down if you’re not showing up to every meeting is not worth it. Showing up once is really important.
[00:31:28] We have an air purifier build coming up on December 17th and would definitely love to see as many folks there as possible. I know it’s not really fire season anymore, but again, these purifiers are really helpful for air pollution and for COVID, and we’re going into a big COVID surge. So definitely still really valuable and unimportant things to be able to make. And we have a mask build on January 22nd. And so follow us on social media. Get involved on our website for more information and details to come about both of those.
Robert Raymond: [00:32:03] And we will throw the links for all of that into either the YouTube description or the show notes, depending on where you’re listening or watching. Thank you so much, Genean. This has been awesome.
Genean: [00:32:16] Thanks so much for having me. It was great.
Tom Llewellyn: [00:32:28] You’ve been listening to an interview with Genean of Common Humanity Collective. Check out their work and learn more about upcoming events at commonhumanitycollective.org or @chumanityc on Twitter and Instagram.
[00:32:50] This episode of The Response was edited and hosted by Robert Raymond and was presented in executive produced by me, Tom Llewellyn. Additional communications and operations support was provided by Zanetta Jones and Alison Huff. The Response theme music was written by Cultivate Beats. Support for the show has been provided by the Shift Foundation, PlatformOS, and tax-deductible donations from listeners like you.
[00:33:12] This is a project of shareable.net, an award-winning non-profit media outlet, action network, and consultancy promoting people-powered solutions for the common good. Please rate and review The Response wherever you get your podcasts. It really goes a long way in helping us extend our reach. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @responsepodcast.
That’s it for today’s show. Until next time, take care of each other.