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Vol. 27, No. 3: The Abolitionist South

The Radical Yes

A Constellation of Mutual Aid Projects in Charlottesville

by Lyndsey Beutin, Cherry Henley, B. Esi Okesanya, Sally Williamson

“We knew the state would protect white supremacy. We wanted to protect each other.”

We want to tell you a story about a wildly successful community project whose time has come to an end: the Charlottesville Community Resilience Fund. The Resilience Fund was an integral point in a constellation of mutual aid efforts for community defense against white supremacy’s palpable past, urgent present, and foreseeable future in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Resilience Fund redistributed community-raised funds to individuals who needed cash to pay court fees, bail, and other reentry expenses. We also disbursed money to support Black community members navigating other effects of structural white supremacy, such as eviction. Part of what made our activism effective was our orientation toward the process of mutual aid, what Resilience Fund member Cherry Henley calls “relaxing into it” and Sally Williamson calls “the radical yes” and B. Esi Okesanya calls “a big work of love.” What makes the relaxed, love-filled “yes” possible?1

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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