This week we’re talking about Black cooperative economics, the 2021 worker co-op State of the Sector report, wins for reproductive justice in Latin America, worker power in Haiti and Mexico, land-based healing in Lebanon, and more.
“The Freedom Quilting Bee, a Black-owned textile cooperative, was born in the civil rights movement as a way for poor black craftswomen in the Alabama Black Belt to earn money for their families. Credit: Birmingham, Ala. Public Library Archives”
Black History & Futures Month: This month and always, we honor the generations of radical Black cooperators who have always led and grown the solidarity economy — building economies of cooperation, mutual aid, and care to survive and build alternatives to the violence of racial capitalism. Learn more about the rich history and practice of Black cooperative economics by digging into these resources from NEC members:
- Three Things I Learned from Collaboratively Launching the 2021 Black Solidarity Economy Fund by Symone Jackson
- Reviving the Black Intentional Community Cooperative Movement via Parable of the Sower Cooperative & Foundation for Intentional Community
- Uplifting Afro-Indigenous Visionaries via Powershift Network
- 2021 Black Cooperative Solidarity Conference via Repaired Nations
- At Ella’s table: The Joys and Pains of Black Co-op Developers – via the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
- Black Liberation and Worker Cooperatives – via Cooperation Jackson
- Black Women & the Cooperative Economy – via Detroit Community Wealth Fund
State of the Worker Co-op Sector: From the media to the restaurant industry to lobstermen unions, 2021 was a big year for co-ops. Check out some of the major developments in the cooperative world in the 2021 Worker Co-op State of the Sector Report, co-produced by NEC members the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute.
Lessons for a Just Transition: From the Texas freeze to record breaking West Coast fires last year, the climate is changing faster than ever and putting frontline communities at the greatest risk. Read why building a Just Transition means reimagining and reconstructing our energy systems to be more democratic and adaptable to climate chaos, while “putting stewardship back into the hands of people who recognize how to live in right relationship with the Earth.”
Reproductive Justice Win in Colombia: This week, Colombia became the third country in Latin America to decriminalize abortion, following Mexico and Argentina. Read more about the decision and the powerful popular movements for reproductive justice and bodily autonomy growing across Latin America.
Land-based Healing in Lebanon: In 2020, the Tariq El Nahl herbal collective was formed to respond to the pain of the explosion in Beirut with collective healing. Learn more about how the herbal collective is using land-based practices – including herbal medicine toolkits and native botanical gardens – to reclaim ancestral knowledge and create spaces for healing.
Worker Protests in Haiti: Last week, thousands of garment workers hit the streets of Port-au-Prince to denounce the $4 a day wage, and to demand an end to the exploitation they suffer at the hands of US-based clothing retailers. Read more about the arduous fight for liberation in Haiti and how the National Union of Haitian Workers is negotiating decent wages.
Forming Unions in Mexico: In northern Mexico, many workers are represented by “employer-friendly” unions that tend to benefit the bosses and multinationals, while disregarding workers rights. Read how a group of maquiladora workers in Matamoros are organizing to form a new union that truly represents their interests.
Resist a return to normal, build a just transition now! Last week we launched RESIST & BUILD, a 5 part series aimed at sparking radical imagination by sharing stories of grassroots power and struggles for community self-determination.
This is part of a collective effort with Climate Justice Alliance and Movement Generation. Key topics include: Community-Controlled Health Care, Housing as a Human Right, Just Transition and Climate Justice, Regenerative Finance, Land Back & Indigenous Sovereignty. See the full series and share on social media.
- 2,700 Artists in New York State Will Benefit from New $125M Guaranteed Income Program
- Affordable Housing Community for Farm Workers Flourishes in Oahu
- Could Tech Startups Become Community-Owned Co-Ops?
- Co-op Cincy Supports Transition to Worker-Ownership
- Edgar Cahn’s Second Act: Time Banking and the Return of Mutual Aid
- Healthcare as a Public Service: Redesigning U.S. Healthcare with Health and Equity at the Center
- How Socialists and Trade Unionists Built a New Labor Organizing Model During the Pandemic
- In Bessemer and the South, Black Workers Hold the Key
- New Land Trust Model Will Support BIPOC-led Farming in Central VA
- Sharing Ownership Is Sharing Power: Why Media Cooperatives are the Future of News
- Unions and Worker Co-ops: Why Economic Justice Requires Collaboration
Road to Repair – Road to Repair is a podcast exploring our journey out of a “business as usual” economy, towards a post-capitalist one rooted in justice, solidarity, and our collective liberation. In season one, the co-hosts Jessica Norwood, Nikishka Iyengar, and Andrew X introduce themselves and interview practitioners and organizers working towards repair.
Yours, Mine, and Ours! – Produced by NEC member org Boston Ujima Project to highlight the businesses of Ujima’s Good Business Alliance, created for the community, by the community, with a special emphasis on Ujima’s good business standards.
COVID, the United States, and “Health Communism” – In this episode of Upstream, hear from Beatrice Alder-Bolton about the structural causes of skyrocketing COVID rates, the rotting foundations of the U.S. healthcare system, and paths forward.
WEBINARS & VIDEO
What the H*ck is Non-Extractive Financing? “Non-Extractive Financing is a type of lending that re-imagines the relationship between debt, individuals, and the collective.” – NEC member org Cooperation Buffalo.
Follow NEC on instragram — @neweconomycoalition — where we’re lifting up resources about the history of Black cooperative economics.
Communications Associate and State Organizing Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Communications Coordinator, Farmworkers Association of Florida
Communications Director, UPROSE
Communications Director, Little Manila
Communications Organizer, PODER
Communications Manager, Native Renewables
Digital Director, Nonprofit Quarterly
Frontlines Communications Manager, Ironbound Community Corporation
Guilded Outreach Coordinator and Guilded General Manager, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, (USFWC).
HR Manager, Membership Director, and Midwest Regional Organizer, Resource Generation
Legal and Policy Fellows, MSI Integrity
Managing Director of Movements & Media, Democracy Fund
National Campaign Coordinator, Energy Democrat Power
Public Offerings Coordinator, PeoplesHub
South Coast Organizer, Rogue Climate
Various Positions, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy (GCCLP)
Various Positions, ICA Group
Chief of Staff, Center for Economic Democracy
Communications Director, Black Feminist Future
Communications Director & Lead Developer, Foundation for Intentional Community
Communications Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Executive Director, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG)
Executive Director, Somerville Community Land Trust
Network Development & Design, Transition US
Operations Manager, Carolina Common Enterprise
Production Manager, Real Pickles Co-op
Senior Development Associate, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
Senior Software Engineer & Senior Product Manager, Open Collective
Staff Fundraiser/ Development Consultant, Local Clean Energy Alliance – Apply by March 15
State Organizing Director & Policy and Campaign Manager, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Various Positions, Action Center on Race and the Economy
Various Positions, Black Farmer Fund
Various Positions, Black Futures Lab
Various Positions, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP)
Various Positions, NDN Collective
Various Positions, PolicyLink
Various Positions, Project Equity
Various Positions, PUSH Buffalo
Various Positions, Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB)
Offers and Needs Market Facilitator Training.
Join The Offers and Needs Market, for an exciting 18-hour virtual training that will show you how to facilitate inclusive meetings, energize your life with new leadership skills and feel valued as a community facilitator (Starts March 1, 2022)
Participatory Policy-Making Learning Exchange
This event from Democracy Beyond Elections is designed for organizers, advocates, and others working on or interested in launching participatory democracy practices in their communities. First, you’ll hear from organizations advocating for and implementing participatory policy-making across the country. Then you’ll be invited to join speakers in group discussions to share ideas, questions, and opportunities for building real participatory policy-making in our communities. (Online – March 3)
Can We Imagine A World Where Personal Security Doesn’t Require Individual Savings?
Accumulation requires the construction of boundaries and border walls to protect what has accumulated, and those walls are reinforced by racism and white supremacy. Can we imagine a world in which people thrive without individually accumulated wealth? What would we need to start building now? Join the Next Egg for their ongoing discussion series about retirement funds and savings. (Online – March 7)
What a Time to Be Alive
Join visionary organizing lab for a participatory workshop about the decline of capitalism and how we can create new ways/projects to meet our needs that are also containers that can connect us to our inner voices. (Online – March 8-9)
Stacey Sutton presents: Punitive and Cooperative Cities
The City of Chicago’s automated traffic enforcement fines and fees are disproportionately borne by Black, Latinx, and low-income residents. Simultaneously, Chicago is on the precipice of implementing one of the largest community wealth building initiatives in the country. Join NEC board member Stacey Sutton to discuss these distinctive areas of research in Chicago and beyond. (Online – March 9)
The Gift of Chaos
Join Highlander for a 3-part donor education series and deepen your skills and storytelling for peer-2-peer fundraising. Topics include cultural organizing, solidarity economics, and social media. (Online – Mar 9, Mar 16, Mar 23)
Next Economy MBA
This Next Economy MBA program was born out of the LIFT team’s 10+ years of work with over 250+ social enterprises and organizations that are helping grow the next economy. This course examines the patterns and pitfalls we believe everyone should know in order to create transformational organizations that serve all life. (Next Cohort begins March 29)