The Madison MAN (Mutual Aid Network) Cooperative, the hometown MAN of the HUMANs global network, focuses on a few key projects:
Everywhere Gardens matches un- or under-stewarded land with gardeners learning together, then we share the bounty. We’d love to see Everywhere Gardens everywhere!
Unify, Build and ReCreate is our partnership with people and organizations in Madison and Milwaukee who are working to create housing solutions with, by, and for people currently without safe or stable housing. Milwaukee’s Build Center, Madison’s Unify, Dandelion Roots ReCreate, Occupy Madison, the Social Justice Center, and individual members are coming together to build this vision.
The Mutual Aid Workspace at the Social Justice Center is our cooperative co-working and collaboration space, just turning 2 years old this month. As you might imagine, it’s been quite a year to build an enterprise built on physical togetherness. So we’re trying to figure it out, while helping the Social Justice Center shift to fill more of our community’s real needs during these multiple crises. We’re working together as a partnership, spearheaded by SJC, called the Willy Street Support Squad. The Squad is hosting an outdoor free pantry of food, toiletries, and other supplies. Annie, the SJC director, is doing a lot of on-the-fly crisis support and material support of residents of our neighborhood tent city. And Madison MAN members – especially Kacy of ReCreate and Tim Jones – have been helping tent city residents to connect with Occupy Madison’s tinier homes project, and have been helping organize, train, and build the tinier homes. We’re aiming to help find ways to continue, sustain, and support all the work necessary to have healthy tiny home communities and make more available to more people.
We’re using new drupal-based exchange software while experimenting with a next-generation open source project, and launching a member drive that will give us the opportunity to organize our work more thoroughly mutual aid style. We’re aiming to scale up our Common Fund and create some real capacity for just land and housing access, build up local business participation in all of our efforts, especially with the Common Good card, and contribute to community peace and justice work on the ground.