Social Emergency Response Centers

Open a SERC Near You

Here is a glimpse of the first Social Emergency Response Center that many of us created in Dorchester, Boston. We are now developing a full SERC Kit to help communities create their own SERCs. Our goal is for communities to be able to self-organize SERCs whenever they feel like they need them. We imagine a people-led public infrastructure sweeping the country!  We are currently working with interested activists, artists and community members in places like Atlanta, Mexico City, Hartford, Orange (NJ), Albuquerque, Utrecht (Holland), Houston, Chicago, London (Ontario) and more! Sites include youth programs, art galleries, health centers, colleges, community organizing programs, etc. Join us!  Download our SERC Manual here. If you'd like a complete SERC Kit, please email us at

Big thank you to Dan and Chris at WHY ON EARTH Media!

Visit the SERC Facebook Page for more information and updates


Check out our new Social Emergency Broadcast System. What you hear after the beep could save your life. Feel free to share widely. More coming...

The social emergency was already here.

It was just unevenly distributed.

(To paraphrase William Gibson.)

Throughout 2016, signs of the current social emergency continued to increase—state sanctioned violence against the Black community, gentrification, the Dakota Access Pipeline, privatization, Flint Water Crisis, etc. Then the horrifying Trump win underscored the reality that we are all living in a state of social emergency, even if it affects each of us differently.

In emergencies like hurricanes and tsunamis, emergency response centers exist to coordinate evacuations or provide services like temporary housing, food, and water.  We want you to join us in re-imagining response centers to take on the real and pressing social emergency that we are facing today. 

Social Emergency Response Centers (SERCs) are temporary, emergent, and creative pop-up spaces co-led by activists and artists around the US. They function as both an artistic gesture and a practical solution. As such, they aim to find the balance between the two, answering questions like: How will we feed people--and their hunger for justice? How will we create a shelter--where it's safe to bring your whole damn self? What will reconstruction--of civil society--look like? Here is a rough diagram that we’re excited to have people add to:

We're thrilled by how many of you want to join us! We want to have 5-15 SERCs running within the first 6 months of Trump's presidency. We imagine them running anywhere from 3 days to 3 months; they could run every day or every weekend. They might be in a gallery, youth center, storefront, or conference. Here's a fun sketch of a SERC to get your ideas flowing:

To get the SERCs off and running, we are designing a SERC Kit that each site will get. We'd love your help on this too:

How you can join us:

If you would like to contribute in any of the following ways, please email us

1) Run a SERC near you! 

We are looking for partnering groups or individuals who want to lead a SERC in their city, town, neighborhood or conference. 

2) Join a SERC near you!

Each SERC will need lots of help--artists, healers, builders, cooks, comics--whatever your skills are, if there's a SERC near you, please join in. Currently we have SERCs brewing with partners in Boston, Atlanta and Orange, NJ. And the list is growing...

3) Help us build the SERC Kit.

We need designers, visual artists, activists, creative writers and thinkers.

4) Send money!

Yup, it's that simple. The more we can raise, the more SERCs we can support. If you can help with a small or large donation, that would be fantastic. Individuals can send financial support through our fiscal sponsor here. (Make sure to designate Design Studio for Social Intervention.) If you want to support us through a grant (or recommend one), please contact us through

Contact us at if you want to help.
We hope you can join us!

Thank you to our collaborators

Big thanks to so many folks who have helped make the SERC a reality! We've had so many volunteers, donors and allies in this work. THANK YOU!