The Madison MAN (Mutual Aid Network) Cooperative is building community resilience and self-sufficiency. We're activating a network of mutual aid that includes project development, skill-building, and sharing and exchange mechanisms. These include timebanking, sharing, and money pooling, plus cooperative governance. Active projects include:

EveryWhere Gardens where we work collectively on the garden space of members who need help, building skills and sharing the bounty. This includes using and increasing access to commonly held tools and supplies.

Community Peace and Justice includes the Homelessness Restorative Justice Project (HRJP) which we helped create in 2016 under the auspices of our parent organization the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB). The HRJP works in partnership with law enforcement, community organizations, and other partners to relieve people of fines in favor of participating in restorative circles. We then uphold a mutual agreement that builds skills, social connections, and opportunities for the respondent while also benefiting other circle participants. In addition, we build neighborhood-level peace-making capacity -- called Peace Practice -- so individuals, neighborhoods, organizations, and law enforcement can refer people and conflicts directly to neighborhood-level solutions. Current Peace Practice locations including Occupy Tiny House Village on Aberg Ave (2 years), the East Side Men's Shelter (4 months) and the Social Justice Center on Williamson St. (beginning). We're seeking to add more Peace Practice locations in places with need, such as permitted encampments and shelters, and interested organizations and workplaces.

Our budding Health + Care Network adopts models from other partner communities and is building our capacity to support people with disabilities, aging bodies, injuries, or illness, with the kinds of care they need. One of the EveryWhere Gardens locations came about through helping an older member with garden work that is no longer possible for her. Another member who uses a wheelchair is beginning to get weekend meals and working toward more cares.

Community education is woven through all of these activities, each of which is open to the public at large and each of which creates opportunities for all the participants to decide together on their learning journey. We maintain a living archive of community learning sessions via shared recordings.

All of these activities earn the participants hour credits (timebanking) and we regularly offer swaps where members can exchange what they have for what they need, so members begin to engage in more reciprocal acts, building the community network, building skills and leadership, and building economic resilience. Every participant is a member, with a say in the governance and a stake in the ownership.

Fill out this easy 2-minute survey to let us know how you'd like to be involved!

graphic showing how Everywhere Gardens can flow - audio or live orientation available, email