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1st April, 2021

Mutual aid and the community response to Covid-19: What happens next?


Event Details

1st April, 2021
17:30 - 19:00

Mutual aid groups developed and mobilised in communities across the UK and globally at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to support vulnerable community members with practical assistance, emotional support, and advice, with some understanding their work in political terms.

This online roundtable discussion will draw together academic researchers and people working in Covid-19 mutual aid to discuss the potential social and political impacts of these groups.

SPEAKERS: Amardeep Singh Dhillon, Maria Fernandes- Jesus, Rhiannon Firth, Emma O’Dwyer

MODERATOR: Evanthia Lyons

About the speakers

Amardeep Singh Dhillon is a bartender and trade union organiser with South London Bartenders Network. He is an editor at Red Pepper and journalist specialising in the hostile environment, trade unionism, climate justice and the New Economy.

Maria Fernandes-Jesus is a post-doctoral researcher and social and community psychologist at the University of Sussex. She specialises in the study of participation and collective action and is currently researching mutual aid groups as part of a broader project on group processes and Covid-19.

Rhiannon Firth is senior research officer in the department of sociology at the University of Essex, and co-author (with John Preston) of the recent ‘Coronavirus, Class, and Mutual Aid in the United Kingdom’. (Palgrave, 2020). This book focuses on a critique of government pandemic policy and possibilities for autonomous resistance through mutual aid, drawing on Marxist and anarchist theories and practices. Her previous research focuses on anarchist utopias and intentional communities as conditions of possibility for new forms of politics and citizenship.

Emma O’Dwyer is a senior lecturer in political psychology at Kingston University, London, with research interests relating to activism and citizenship, as well as understandings of foreign policy. She has been involved in and researching Covid-19 mutual aid over the past year (@covid19MAstudy).

Professor Evanthia Lyons is a social/political psychologist at Kingston University, London. She has published widely on topics in social/political psychology (e.g., political participation, citizenship, and national and European identity) and qualitative research methods and has supervised over 30 PhD theses. She has taken a lead role in five large international and multi-disciplinary projects examining different aspects of the development of European identities and citizens’ participation in political and civic processes.

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