In this week’s roundup: Freedom schools, the value of local currencies, ending food apartheid, and a #MoveYourMoney guide!
P.S. Like these newsletters? They are just one of the ways NEC is shifting narratives and culture, connecting activists with ways to build a new economy in their communities. We’ve launched a number of programs to that end (you can check them out here)! But to succeed, we need the help of individual supporters.
On that note, are you willing to give? Our goal is to raise $15,000 by June 30 to match a $15,000 grant from Cloud Mountain Foundation. So far more than 80 people have helped us raise over $8,000. We're more than halfway there! The challenge now is to keep the momentum going in these final 8 days of the campaign. Thank you for considering making a donation! We really appreciate your support of NEC and this movement.
Stories from the Field
Going the Resistance-Distance: Since the 2016 election there has been a rise in political engagement and activism. In response, activists have created "pop-up" salons modeled after the Civil Rights Era’s citizenship and freedom schools with the aim of teaching the skills required to resist Trump. Read about the schools here.
Ending Food Apartheid: A recent article in Alternet states "fast-food companies are 60 percent more likely to advertise to children in predominantly black neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods." This farm in New York is trying to change that by putting food production in the hands of its community and youth. Read about their work here.
Just Transition: As this Kentucky community steps away from coal, a network of local organizations are learning how to navigate a just transition by sharing connections and resources as part of an unusual form of grassroots economic development. Learn more about how they're doing it here.
Solidarity Economies Abroad
Local Currencies: One city in Spain has launched its own local currency– the grama– as a way of protecting the livelihood of the city’s residents from leaving the community and profiting distant corporations. It is a digital currency, geographically-bound, designed to keep wealth circulating within the city. Read more about how they did it here.
Japan's Power Co-op: Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, residents took control over local power production through renewables by creating their own provider, run as a cooperative, with buy-in from local municipalities. Read how they're doing it.
Involve Everyone in Production:As the city of Rojava (an autonomous region of Syria) builds an economy focused on cooperatives and self- sufficiency, they aim to include everyone in production. In the words of a minister of economics: “If a single loaf of bread is manufactured in Rojava, everyone will have contributed to it.” Read more about Rojava here.
As part of our summer fundraising campaign, we asked folks to send in photos with a message of how they’re building a new economy and sowing #SeedsofSolidarity in their own community. Thank you to all who took part! Here are some of your answers:
“Doing my part spreading #SeedsofSolidarity creating a new economy, using time as currency to build local communities where everyone counts.”
“Blowing dandelion seeds to represent how Co-op Development Institute is partnering with our Resident Owned Communities to facilitate inter-community collaboration. Our hope is that this will make technical assistance even more available and commonplace so as to keep building cooperative skills and practices for resident owned communities as allies.”<
“It became my mission to explore the role in which fearless art, media-making and technology could play in building not only a new economy, but a new culture. I’m at NEC because I want to be a bridge between these creators, innovators and the solutions we know are possible.”
“I believe we have to build the world we want to live in. As a mother, I commit to building a new economy that will support my son throughout his lifetime and beyond…This responsibility is what motivates me to do the work I do every day — as part of the New Economy Coalition team and as a Cooperative Developer with Cooperation Buffalo.”
Will you consider making a donation to NEC? Your contribution would help us provide trainings and resources for new economy leaders, give grants to youth and frontline groups, educate reporters on economic alternatives, and more. Here is the link to the campaign. Thank you for considering supporting it!
Can't give right now? Donate a tweet or Facebook status by signing up for our Thunderclap. Just hit the red "Support" button to join other NEC friends and allies in tweeting, Facebooking, and/or Tumblring the same message at the same time on June 27.
Resource: Move Your Money Guide
In recent years, social movements have taken the lead in running campaigns to divest money–individual and institutional– from the extractive economy of Wall Street banks, private prison corporations, the fossil fuel industry, and others. Meanwhile, many of our members have been hard at work developing community credit unions, CDFIs, non-extractive finance mechanisms, and other anchors for a regenerative economy.
NEC believes in divestment and reinvestment as powerful strategies for change. We pulled together this resource to lift up the work of so many of our members who are moving the money to the new economy. Check it out! Move Your Money to the New Economy Guide
- California Shows the Road to Universal Health Care Runs Through the States
- Judge’s Ruling on Standing Rock a Second Chance for Justice
- The Rise and Fall of the Word 'Monopoly' in American Life
- Naomi Klein: Why the Revolution Must Be Led By Ordinary People, Not Celebrities
- Trump to Clamp Down on Cuba Travel and Trade
- Communications Specialist Project Manager, Movement Generation
- Digital Director, We Own It
- Community Energy Specialist, PUSH Buffalo
- Chapter Organizing Director, Resource Generation
- Development Director, Fellowship for Intentional Community
- Community Land Trust and Housing Organizer, Picture the Homeless
- Senior Campaign Coordinator, Climate Justice Alliance
- Development Coordinator, The Icarus Project
- Ujima Fund Manager, Boston Ujima Project
- Associate, Mayor's Innovation Project (Madison, WI)
Rethinking Economics in a Post-Truth World
The students of Goldsmiths Rethinking Economics Society and PERC, bring together a series of trans-disciplinary lectures and workshops based around demystifying economics. The talks and interactive workshops aim to inspire a broader definition of economics, and through a pluralist and multi-disciplinary lens, confront the prevailing power of economics, and its role in contemporary political debates.(London, UK, July 1, 2017)
PLEA is a global network that has led a worldwide discourse on sustainable architecture and urban design through its conferences since 1982. Our theme of ‘Design to Thrive – Foundations for a Better Future’ recognizes the enormity of the local and global challenges we face in building and refurbishing our buildings, cities and societies to both to minimize climate emissions and to adapt effectively to climate change impacts in each of our own rapidly evolving economies, societies and physical infrastructures. (Edinburg, Scotland, July 3-5, 2017)
Center for Popular Economics Summer Institute 2017
We’re living in a global moment of reactionary backlash: fear mongering about immigration, refugee crises, climate change denial, rising nationalism and conservative protectionism. These processes occur against the backdrop of increasing inequality, division, and conflict across the globe. At Summer Institute 2017, we’ll explore the economic structures which have shaped this moment, and how we can build alternative forms of global economic integration and solidarity. (Amherst, MA, July 30, 2017)
If you want to strengthen democracy where it matters most … in our communities, our schools, our workplaces and local economies, our military, our government, our media, our constitution, join us at the third national Democracy Convention. (Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2-6)