News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: Fighting for Land Back, Food Sovereignty, and Cannabis Justice

Apr 28, 2023 | New Economy Roundup

This month we’re talking about how to get right with the land. Black farmers fighting eminent domain and starting a cannabis co-op, Indigenous nations are taking back their ancestors’ recipes in the name of food sovereignty, and women in Rojava, Syria are battling water wars through a cooperative. There’s more, so keep scrolling for other news, events, resources, and jobs too.


 Farmer and logger Marvin Sanderling and sons Matthew and Joseph are fighting the Tennessee Department of Transportation in an eminent domain fight.Photo by John Partipilo

Black Land Protection: On Earth day and beyond, we remember how Black people have been in the right relationship with the Earth and each other through land stewardship since before enslavement, and continue these practices to liberate themselves from global racial capitalism and heal intergenerational trauma. From Tennessee to Mississippi and beyond, Black farmers are working to keep their families’ traditions, while fighting against racist land theft tactics like eminent domain and corporate land grabs. In the Sea Islands, descendants of enslaved Black farmers are preserving their connections to the land through traditions like ancestral veneration. Check out how Black women in Canada are using ROSCAs to cooperatively finance land for Black families.

Food Sovereignty on Turtle Island: Food forests are nothing new for Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island and communities are turning to them to battle climate change and strive towards food sovereignty. For the Grand Ronde, transitioning their diets back to their ancestral gastronomy is a lunge toward food sovereignty. But, food systems will not be liberated until the land is restored to their stewards, we relearn our ancestral farming practices, and we break away from the institutions that disregard their importance. If you want to learn how to make food systems work for people of color, take these six action steps.

420 Justice Now: Weed has become a multibillion dollar industry in recent years — but 81% of cannabis business owners are white, while Black and Latinx folks continue to be disproportionately incarcerated for possession. See how the 40 Acre Co-op are confronting this systemic racism and Black land loss with a national co-op for cannabis. Then check out NEC member The Democracy at Work Institute’s policy brief on how worker ownership can help direct the benefits of the cannabis industry to support communities most impacted by criminalization.


Members of the Mexquititlán community in Querétaro, Mexico, seize and reclaim a water truck that had been draining a local water source on behalf of private interests in May, 2021. The large slogan painted on the side of the truck says, "It's not a drought, it's plundering."Photo by Tamara Pearson

International Day of Peasant Struggle: April 17th marked the International Day of Peasant Struggle, commemorating the 1996 Eldorado do Carajás massacre where 19 landless workers were killed by Brazilian military police. From Brazil to Mali to Mexico, we celebrate struggles for food and land sovereignty, and ongoing resistance against the criminalization and oppression of peasants, workers, and Indigenous communities. Hear reflections from leaders of La Via Campesina about their 30-year-long struggle for food sovereignty.

Women-led Water Co-ops in Rojava: The devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria earlier this year have exacerbated existing conflicts over water and state repression along the border. Within the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, women’s cooperatives have played a key role in overcoming water wars and climate drought. Read more about the history of these water conflicts and the role of women’s cooperatives in the Rojava revolution.







Bookkeeper, Obran Collective
Capital Campaign Manager, Build People Power
Co-Director, Foundation for Intentional Community
Coalition Coordinator for the Illinois Green New Deal, Grassroots Collaborative
Creative Producer, HowlRound Theatre Commons
Cooperative Marketing RFP, RiseBoro Community Partnership
Communications Contractor, PressOn
Digital Communications Manager, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Director of Capital Strategies, Justice Funders
Environmental Justice Organizer, The Clean Air Coalition
Finance and Operations Manager, Sins Invalid
Infrastructure & Admin Coordinator, BlacSpace
Marketing & Communications Manager, Boston Impact Initiative
Operations Consultant, Intelligent Mischief
Program Associate, Cooperative Economics Alliance
Resource Mobilization Director, United for a Fair Economy
Staff Attorney, Sustainable Economies Law Center
Senior Researcher – Climate Program, Public Accountability Project
Various Positions, People’s Tech Project
Various Positions,
Various Positions, Urban Housing Assistance Board
Various Positions, WEPOWER

Director of Resource Mobilization, National Council for Responsive Philanthropy
Executive Director, Gilded Co-op
Program Associate, Participation Lab – Participatory Budgeting Project
Lead Investment Analyst, Just Futures
Various Positions, Working Families Party


Chronically Ill/Disabled Co-opers Discussion & Disability-Justice Housing Co-op
This is a virtual discussion about chronic illness & disability in relation to housing cooperatives and the possibility of starting a disability and/or disability justice housing co-op in the Austin Texas area. There will be at least a couple of co-opers to share their experience but anyone is welcome to join the discussion (even if you are not in the Austin-area)! (April 27 – Online)

Occupation Organizer: The Challenges of Community Organizing Today
How can activists seize on this moment of unrest to build durable, effective organizations for change? Join Clément Petitjean and Alex Han in Chicago for a history and critique of the community organizing tradition and the fight to build collective power. (April 30 – In-person)

Unbreakable Solidarity
Unbreakable Solidarity is a course for anyone who is interested in or active in social justice and working class politics and wants to: deepen your understanding of the root causes of economic & political inequality, develop or enhance your organizing skills for more effective engagement, get spiritual nourishment to sustain yourself, and consider within a like-minded group how to have more impact and grounding in your work for social change. You will be joined by experienced organizers who are active in unions today, as well as an elder and veteran of the social movements of the 60’s and 70’s, who will each bring their unique wisdom and insight around labor, identity, economic & social justice and organizing basics to the group. (April 30 – Online)

Municipalism and Labor
Explore the topic of municipal socialism from below, by and for workers. Speakers include Shelton Stromquist, author of Claiming the City: A Global History of Workers’ Fight for Municipal Socialism; facilitated by labor journalist Michelle Chen and labor historian Peter Cole. (May 1 – Online)

Owning Together: Worker-Consumer Co-ops in Conversation
How can joint ownership best be structured up front and modified as the co-op develops? How are financial equity, decision making, and contributions of labor effectively handled? What about the status of different “classes” of members? What are the implications for cooperative power in local communities, and in the movement? This timely discussion delves into these and other issues—bringing terminology about structures and processes down to earth by probing real cases and their implications. Learn more about multistakeholder structures and dynamics that could be applied in your own work. The roundtable and open discussion will include experts in multi-stakeholder co-ops and members of worker-consumer co-ops in several parts of the US. (May 2 – Online)

Tenants Without Landlords Calendar
Check out the Tenants Without Landlords Calendar for all the events they’re hosting throughout the month of May. Starting on May 1st, Sustainable Economies Law Center is hosting a month of events for tenants, neighbors, housing organizers, social justice organizations, transactional lawyers, law students and apprentices, and everyday people interested in building tenant power and developing cooperative ways to house ourselves. We’ll be sharing stories, resources, and new ideas to support tenant-owned housing and other Black, Indigenous, and poor-led solutions to homelessness and housing insecurity. (May 2023)

How to Start a Cooperative
So you want to start a cooperative, but you’re not sure exactly how? Call the experts! Co-op Development Specialists Annelies Lottmann and Drew De Los Santos will walk you through how to start a co-op.In this interactive session, participants will learn how to bring their co-op idea through all the stages of start-up development. Class attendees will have the opportunity to schedule FREE coaching and consulting with the instructor and other co-op experts. (May 4 – Online)

MadWORC: Regional Rendezvous
Join MadWORD for their third annual Regional Rendezvous for worker cooperatives. (May 5-6 – In Person)

Co-op Clinic: Finance 101 & Building Capacity for Conflict
If you’re new to cooperativism, recently joined your cooperative, or looking to deepen your skills in finance, conflict mediation, or providing worker benefits to your cooperative, this summit is for you. Check out the offerings on the website to choose a workshop track. (May 11 – Online)

Discover the Benefits of Worker Co-ops
In this webinar, you’ll learn what it means to be a values focused business and practice the cooperative principles. City of Austin Economic Development will talk about the basics of starting a worker owned business and look at some examples of start up planning. They’ll also discuss the benefits and challenges worker co-ops face from launching to doing business. (May 17 – Online)

Cultural Organizing for Community Change
Join fellow organizers, artists, media makers, and policy makers to learn effective ways to deepen your work and engage your creativity in organizing for community change. The day will include a cultural organizing framework, hands on skill building workshops, case studies from across NYC and beyond, and networking and resources. The virtual sessions will include Arts & Democracy, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY), Lizzy Cooper Davis, Nick Slie, Participatory Budgeting Project, and more! (May 21 – Hybrid)

FLORIDA Anne Braden Program
Florida organizers are confronting racist attacks on education, Black political representation, trans and queer communities, immigrants, and more. The Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizer Training Program will support white organizers in Florida to sharpen skills and align with movements for racial and economic justice. (Application Deadline May 22)

2023 Union Co-op Symposium
Co-op Cincy presents its 6th biennial Union Co-op Symposium, which will take place in-person on Oct 20 and Oct 21 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Symposium will focus on combining the best of the co-op and union movements to forge a new economy rooted in connection. Activities will highlight equity, labor, community wealth-building, and care for the earth and ourselves. (October 20-21 – In-person)



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