What is a mutual aid research collective?

Superstorm Research Lab

The Superstorm Research Lab is a mutual aid research collective. Mutual aid is characterized by solidarity, or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, and reciprocity, or mutual exchange, with fellow researchers and research participants. We have a non-hierarchical, cooperative decision-making organization where members elect to help one another achieve their goals.

A mutual aid model does not only seek to “do no harm,” it also strives to reciprocate, to respond, and to cooperate. It takes the processes and practices of research, not only the results, as a place to do meaningful normative work.

SRL is comprised of twelve researchers from different universities working to change the way research is done by using a mutual aid model. Organizationally, we develop mutual aid through the following:

  • we hold weekly meetings with a rotating facilitator (rather than a leader)
  • we make decisions by consensus
  • responsibilities are distributed as evenly as possible, and we…

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About liz

from the u.s., working at tohoku university in sendai, japan, researching community-based housing recovery after disaster.


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