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A UC Berkeley effort brings air purifiers to Bay Area residents in need

At the start of a Common Humanity Collective event in Emeryville, box fans are unpacked by volunteers.

The Common Humanity Collective is a Bay Area mutual aid organization that was launched in March 2020 by UC Berkeley graduate student Abrar Abidi and campus research assistant Yvonne Hao to help make life safer for those most at risk in the pandemic. To date, the Collective has assembled 1,200 air purifiers and given them out to those most at risk from wildfire smoke.

“More than anything we’ve done in the past, the DIY purifier project has blown us away,” said Abidi, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in molecular and cell biology. “We’ve been doing this every other week since July. There’s just so much momentum. People show up, get to know each other, self-organize into different stations, and joyfully assemble between 120 and 200 purifiers in a few hours. It’s astonishing to see, and it unfolds so organically.”

Read the full story from the UC Newsroom

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