Senior, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Majors: Sociology, Community Psychology
Thesis Director: Ann Russo, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies
Faculty Reader: Eulalie Laschever, Department of Sociology
Bio: Annie is a senior double majoring in sociology and community psychology. During her time at DePaul, she worked closely with the student organization, Students Against Incarceration where she helped to organize the #banthebox campaign on campus in an effort to remove barriers to higher education for formerly incarcerated individuals at DePaul. She currently coordinates a book club in partnership with individuals detained in Cook County Jail. Annie’s interest in abolition and counter-carceral forms of social engagement guided her thesis project on mutual aid.
Abstract: Throughout 2020 the concurrent crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and cases of highly publicized police violence were both met with inadequate governmental intervention. These coinciding crises and subsequent lack of significant institutional support spurred widespread engagement in grassroots mutual aid networks. Mutual aid is a “form of political participation in which people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions” (Spade, “Solidarity”). This project aims to explore the politics of mutual aid, identify how engagement in mutual aid functions as an abolitionist strategy, and highlight the ways in which communities around the country have resisted systematic numbing throughout 2020 and turned to build community networks, specifically mutual aid projects. With the proliferation of mutual aid networks during 2020, communities used abolitionist strategies to resist learned complacency in a white supremacist, capitalist system during a year of immense crisis and worked to rebuild social relations to make their conditions more survivable.