Visions Beyond Trump: Building Solidarity Networks and Economies

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm
UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College


Location: Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall (the room next to Roots Café)

This event will bring together folks at the forefront of the local, regional, and national movement to RESIST an economy run by banks and tanks and to BUILD an alternative, grassroots system that puts people over profit.

We will hear stories of how the solidarity economy movement has been and will continue to resist and deconstruct systems of oppression, especially in this political moment dominated by Trump's hateful and racist agenda.

This Teach-In is open to any UMass students or members of the broader community who are eager to learn about real and imaginative solutions to the social, political, and economic crises we find ourselves in today. As we continue to hold our university accountable to divest from fossil fuel corporations, like those funding the violent Dakota Access Pipeline, we have an opportunity to come together as a community to envision the role that UMass could play in moving towards a regenerative and just economy. 

WORKSHOP FROM 6:30-7:45PM. Everyone is encouraged to join us for a popular education workshop to collectively understand and discuss the ways the capitalist economy is failing us, our communities, and the world. We will explore opportunities for transformation, and imagine a new set of values and relationships that could define our system. 

PANEL FROM 7:45-9:00PM. We will hear stories from academics, movement leaders, and folks building cooperative enterprises and networks. 

*This is part of a two-day event hosted with the Social Thought and Political Economy Program! Please join us on 2/23 for an anti-racism workshop and training with Esteban Kelly titled "Tools for Collective Liberation":*

Speakers will include: 

ESTEBAN KELLY, the Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and a founder of AORTA, (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), a worker co-op whose consulting supports organizations fighting for social justice and a solidarity economy. He was the first Board President of the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, and recently worked at the New Economy Coalition. Esteban is a mayoral appointee to the Philly Food Policy Advisory Council following eight years as a worker-owner in Mariposa Food Co-op's Staff Collective. Esteban holds a B.S from UC Berkeley, and is a Doctoral / Phd Candidate at CUNY's Graduate Center where he received a Master's Degree in Anthropology.

AARON TANAKA, the director of the Center for Economic Democracy, a social movement organization resourcing long term community based strategies to transform American capitalism. Driving convergence in the fields of grassroots power building, community economic development and cultural organizing, CED offers support and incubation for a portfolio of initiatives that advance a vision for a new economy in the US. Aaron is the former executive director of the Boston Workers Alliance and the former managing director of the Boston Impact Initiative. He is on the board of the New Economy Coalition and is an Echoing Green Fellow and former BALLE Fellow. Through the Center for Economic Democracy, Aaron is the startup manager for the Boston Ujima Project, a democratically governed business and finance ecosystem. Ujima Project is a member of the national Reinvest in Our Power Network, which brings together student divestment campaigns with local reinvestment and regenerative finance opportunities.

EMILY KAWANO, a founder and the coordinator of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network and a Board member of RIPESS (the Intercontinental Network for the Social Solidarity Economy). She is the co-director of Wellspring Cooperatives, which is developing a network of worker cooperatives in inner city Springfield, MA. She received her Ph.D in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and served as the director of the Center for Popular Economics, a collective of progressive economists that help activists understand how the economy works (or doesn’t).. She taught economics at Smith College and worked as the National Economic Justice Representative for the American Friends Service Committee. While working in N. Ireland, she founded a popular economics program with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, served on the N.I. Social Economy Network Working Group and worked with two Belfast Community Development Agencies to develop and deliver a social economy training program for community groups seeking to start up social enterprises.

KIRAN ASHER, an Associate Professor in the UMass Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department. Grounded in two decades of field-based research in Latin America and South Asia, Kiran Asher’s diverse research interests focus on the gendered and raced dimensions of social and environmental change in the global south. Her publications include a monograph, Black and Green: Afro-Colombians, Development, and Nature in the Pacific Lowlands (Duke University Press, 2009). She is currently working on a theoretical and political critique of development theories and post-development proposals by drawing on feminist and marxist approaches in a postcolonial frame. From 2002-2013, she was Associate Professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark University, Massachusetts. From 2013-2015, she worked as a Senior Scientist in the Forests and Livelihoods Program, at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in Bogor, Indonesia.

MAYA GAUL, a native Bostonian and creative entrepreneur who enjoys engaging with sustainability and creation in the urban space. With a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Columbia University, she is a Sales Team co-Leader and former founder and Brand Partner of BRIDGES. Her interests range from marketing and communications, public relations, and business development to sustainable structures, holistic living, and permaculture. Maya is a worker-owner with CERO Cooperative, as well as a Fellow for the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute Chapter Network for the Greater Boston Chamber of Cooperatives. 

If you want to join us in making this event happen, join us at the next Divest/CEPA meeting in the CEPA Office, 423A in the Student Union, on February 15th!

"Transition is inevitable, Justice is not." - Quinton Sankofa

Event Location:
157 Commonwealth Ave, 301 Commonwealth Honors College
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall
Amherst, MA
United States