New Economy Roundup: The Economy Isn’t Neutral, Refugee Cooperative in Morocco, and more!

05/10/2018 - 3:39pm

This week, we’re talking about the history of cooperative organizing in America, May Day recap, board games that fight fascism and so much more. Scroll to the bottom for the job board and events!

P.S. Register for NEC’s biennial conference CommonBound in St. Louis, MO from June 22-24, 2018. Can’t make it to St. Louis? Pay what you can for the livestream here!


Stories From the Field

The Economy Isn’t Neutral: Communal Expressions podcast with Richard Rice interviewed solidarity economy leaders Jessica Gordon-Nembhard and Ed Whitfield about the history of cooperatives and community development in the US. Jessica is the author of “Collective Courage: A History of African-American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.” Ed is a social critic, writer, and co-managing Director of the Fund For Democratic Communities - and a member of NEC’s board. Listen here.

May Day Recap: Workers across the world marked International Workers' Day, or May Day, by taking to the streets to demand living wages, improved labor conditions, and for employers respect their right to unionize,. View photos from worker actions.

Civic Crowdfunding: Blockchain has become a catchall term for most digital ledger systems regardless of crucial variations in its design. With so many blockchain projects ranging from social impact initiatives to opportunistic marketing ploys, it can be difficult to discern which projects hold real potential. Learn how the Bay Area is considering the Blockchain for civic projects in this Q&A with Berkeley vice mayor Ben Bartlett.

Evergreen Co-op Triples in Size: The Cleveland-based, 100-percent worker-owned company established in 2009, Evergreen Cooperative will be expanding to 115 workers on the worker-owner track. This is the biggest validation yet for a model which is beginning to reveal its potential to leverage the buying power of major institutions like the Cleveland Clinic to create wealth for communities around them that have long been locked out of such opportunities. Read about it here.


Solidarity Economies Abroad

Fake Bags, Real Opportunities: Backed by the Barcelona City Council, Diomcoop Cooperative was formed to help street vendors who are mostly African migrants - called manteros - break free from the informal economy through training and support in applying for their papers. They, in return, switch from selling fake goods to legal merchandise, mainly African handicraft and fashion items. Read how they organized here.

Canadian Community Land: In Vancouver, 1,039 housing units will house over 2,000 people via a mix of affordable rental buildings and two new self-sustaining housing cooperatives financed by Canadian non-profit Community Land Trust, separating the cost of land from the cost of building or maintaining a home. It is the largest investment into non-market-rate housing of any city in Canada. Learn more here.

Cooperative Hope: North of Rabat in Morocco, Hope Kindergarten formed out of a need to provide jobs and schooling to the over 7,000 refugees from Yemen who currently call Morocco home. A total of 25 Moroccan and Yemeni children attend the kindergarten and it employs seven local staff as teachers, nursery assistants, administrative staff and a concierge. Learn about plans for expansion.


Space Cats Fight Fascism

NEC member organization, Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), creates games for social change. Space Cats Fight Fascism is a game about resisting the re-emergence and strength of the extreme right. The board game industry is rapidly growing, but is built on exploited labor. Funds from Space Cats Fight Fascism are made using sustainable materials and proceeds will support worker-owned and unionized presses.

Learn more and support the game on Kickstarter.


People and Planet Award Finalists

This spring, NEC member organization Green America's People and Planet Award is celebrating businesses that engage the public in inspiring artistic creativity. Five finalists have been selected, but the public gets to choose two winners who will each receive a $5,000 prize to support their business's green mission. In addition to helping Green Americans express themselves artistically, each finalist must also represent strong social and environmental leadership in order to win.

Learn about each finalist and cast your vote here.


Movement News


NEC on The Gram

Follow NEC on Instagram for daily transmissions in color: @NewEconomyCoalition. Great news via NEC member organization, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives!


Job Board

IT Intern, New Economy Coalition

Housing Program Specialist, Cooperative Development Institute

Youth Organizing and Leadership Development Support, Highlander Center

Economics and Governance Education and Community Support, Highlander Center

Member Services Manager, Cooperative Federal

Supervising Attorney, Urban Justice Center

Director of Marketing and Audience Development, YES! Magazine

Director of Policy & Legislation, People’s Action

National Campaigner, Enlace

Publishing Director, Race Forward

Coopportunity Coordinator, Center for Family Life’s Cooperative Development Program


Upcoming Events

Crashing the Party: From the Bernie Sanders Campaign to a Progressive Movement

Bernie Sanders shocked the political establishment by winning 13 million votes and a majority of young voters in the 2016 Democratic primary. Since that upset, repeated polls have judged this democratic socialist to be the most popular politician in the United States. What lessons can be drawn from his surprising insurgent campaign? (NYC, May 16)

Forming Cooperatives Webinar

The Asian American Solidarity Economies Project presents its 2018 Solidarity Economy Webinar Series. In “Forming Cooperatives,” their third of five free webinars, speakers will discuss the how to establish a cooperative, including deciding on the legal entity, cooperative finances, and governance. (Online, May 21)

Uncovering the Roots of Violence Webinar

In this moment of #MeToo, #EnoughisEnough, and #BlackLivesMatter, our essential task is to uncover the roots of violence including its roots in our religious traditions and faith communities. This free webinar by the Center for Partnership Studies brings together three anti-violence pioneers to share fresh perspectives on the stories we have lived by and explore what it really takes to end the pandemic of violence against women, children, and other vulnerable peoples. (Online, May 22)

A New Social Contract

Join the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) at their public launch of A New Social Contract! A New Social Contract advances comprehensive, transformative, community-led solutions that protect human rights, build equitable systems for everyone and deepen our democracy. We need a new social contract, one that values every human life, treats all people with respect and dignity, recognizes our interdependence with each other and our planet and enables everyone to reach their full potential. (New York City, May 24)

Black Conference

It's 1939 and a group of famous Black intellectuals and civil rights leaders are gathering to discuss the future of the Negro race...and you're invited! Come mingle with W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Gwendolyn Brooks and many others in this 360° interactive theater event. Inspired by the book "Collective Courage" by Jessica Gordon-Nembhard. (Brooklyn, May 24 - May 28)

Upstream Podcast Release Party

Upstream is excited to announce their first (official) podcast release party for their episode on Worker Cooperatives. Join them and Shareable for cooperative-themed games, discussions, talks by special guests. (Oakland, CA, May 31)

The Power of Sustainable Purchasing Webinar

Join NEC members, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC)l, to learn how organizations are moving beyond just “green” purchasing, about innovative programs that businesses and institutions are using to help promote a sustainable economy through their purchasing power, and what policies can advance sustainable purchasing nationwide. The discussion will cover the findings and recommendations of ASBC’s new report, and then dive deeper into a few of the innovative examples – with a specific focus on the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s Benchmark Platform which was launched in 2017.  (Online, June 5)

NEC's CommonBound

On June 22-24, 2018, over 700 people across the new economy movement will come together in St. Louis, MO for CommonBound 2018 to connect with one another, share our resources, and demonstrate our power in creating systems that truly meet the needs of our communities. In past years, CommonBound has answered the questions of what is a new economy, why do we need one, and who is it building it. Next June, CommonBound will connect these threads and focus on another question: How do we build a new economy? Registration opens in March. Scholarships available. (St. Louis, MO, June 22 - 24)

View all NEC member events on our website »

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