Kalama Mutual Aid was born out of emergency, in response to rising authoritarianism and the pandemic in South Asia. These events have uncovered widespread systemic failures around the globe, and their effects are particularly pronounced among Black, Brown, AAPI, and Indigenous communities, Adivasis, Dalits, sex workers, migrant workers, and LGBTQ+ communities. Yet, we know that the pandemic is not the only crisis we have to fight. Skyrocketing inequality, climate emergencies around the world, and rampant social oppression drive marginalized groups into social and economic disempowerment. Those struggles, while distinct, are interlinked across the globe.
The collective aims to cultivate community solidarity and fight economic inequality at the root by normalizing consistent redistribution and political education. Through fundraising pools, we aim to shift capital directly into the hands of individuals who are in urgent need, while raising awareness of various social and political issues at the same time. Our mission is humanitarian, but we reject the depoliticization characteristic of many charities. We urge you to join us by carving out a portion of your monthly budget to mutual aid.
Past projects have included emergency food relief for Kashmir’s trans community, housing for Black trans individuals via For the Gworls, direct collaboration with Dalit activist Grace Banu in India, fundraisers for caste equity and mutual aid for Dalit individuals with Equality Labs, reparations for Indigenous folks in the American Southwest, and much more. You can view the full list of our completed projects here.
We are entirely volunteer-run and are unable to provide legal or expert advice. We conduct our own vetting of individuals and organizations and are in direct contact with the recipients of funds whenever possible. In other cases, we rely on the internal vetting process of other platforms such as Milaap.
Your decision to give is at your own discretion, but we encourage you to challenge yourself with how much you are able to give. Especially for our monthly donors, any amount is appreciated and welcomed, but we want to push the limit and get a little uncomfortable with how much we can redistribute. Most of us are sitting at the nexus of being physically located in the Global North and perhaps coming from backgrounds of generational wealth and other structural privilege, and we urge you to take those factors into account, in addition to your income, when contributing.
We are 100% transparent with where every single dollar is going, and keep detailed records. We have built and are building relationships with some organizations to donate to on a recurring basis (currently focusing on Nogorabad in Bangladesh), and create rapid response pools to various mutual aid organizations and individuals based on need at any given time. In order to accommodate the logistical and administrative scale of our fundraising processes, we are currently registered as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. If you would like to get additional information, suggest a fundraising pool, or collaborate with us, please reach out to us via e-mail or DM.