News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: #HealthOverProfit, Organizing Workers, & Just Transition in the Age of COVID

May 7, 2020 | New Economy Roundup

This week we’re talking about putting #HealthOverProfit in the South, how community finance is bridging the racial lending gap, an upcoming teach-in about putting just transition principles into action in the age of COVID-19, and more.

Plus: There’s still time to #ShareYourCheck to support grassroots, solidarity organizing! Help us get to $25k to redistribute, before our rapid response grants close on May 15th.

Stories From the Field

#HealthOverProfit: As plans proceed to reopen states in the South, Black activists and officials see a major threat, saying that, “especially for cash-poor communities and communities of color, [reopening now] is irresponsible and a death sentence for many of us.” Sign and share the petition to put #HealthOverProfit and extend stay-at-home orders from NEC member organization the Highlander Research & Education Center, Black Voters MatterSouthern Rural Black Womens Initiative, and the Southern Movement Assembly.

Worker Control during COVID-19: Studies show worker-owned businesses fail half as often as conventional ones, and are more resilient during times of crisis. Check out NEC member organization The Working World in this Business Insider special about worker co-op conversion and the COVID-19 crisis, and learn about worker control as a solution to COVID-19 in this teach-in from NEC member organization the Sustainable Economies Law Center.

Keep CDFIs Strong: As mainstream banks fall woefully short in providing equitable access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are filling in crucial funding gaps for Black, Latinx, Native, and women-owned small businesses. Check out this roundup from the Opportunity Finance Network to learn more about how CDFIs are bridging the racial lending gap during the COVID-19 crisis, and explore our People’s Economy policy demands to see how CDFIs are part of transforming our finance system for good.

Solidarity Economies Abroad

Working-class power in Kerala COVID Response: In the South Indian state of Kerala, a combination of robust social-democratic public health initiatives and grassroots organizing have proven highly effective at reducing the spread and mortality rate of COVID-19. Read how the participatory, popular social movements has strengthened the pandemic response in Kerala, and what lessons it offers for capitalist countries which have been hard hit by the outbreak.

Indigenous COVID Response in the Philippines: Elders in the Cordillera region of the northern Philippines have invoked tengao in many communities — an indigenous “lockdown” practice, traditionally used to mark periods of rest. Since implementing tengao, indigenous groups have recorded minimal cases of infections. “As indigenous peoples, we listen to bearers of indigenous wisdom because this wisdom has kept our people safe and strong since time immemorial.”

Local Currency in Italy: Local or complementary currencies are one tool that can strengthen place-based solidarity economies by keeping wealth circulating within a local community. Recently, a small southern Italian town started using this strategy to provide relief to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, saying, "we decided to mint money to make sure the local economy could withstand the impact of the situation.

Course Correction: Just Transition in the Age of COVID-19

Join NEC member organization Movement Generation to learn together how we can advance a just transition at this time on the clock of the world. Beginning May 19th, MG will hold a 4-session online course series to explore the structural causes of this pandemic response and the strategies going forth. If you're hungry to discuss real solutions and strategies that address the structural inequities that got us into this mess, learn more and register for MG’s Course Correction series.

Movement News

Podcasts of the New Economy

This special May Day episode of the Red Nation Podcast features Kali Akuno of NEC member organization Cooperation Jackson, Vijay Prashad, and Zenei Cortez talking about worker organizing at the national and international levels. Listen in to hear about the mobilization for a #PeoplesStrike in the U.S, the worker-backed COVID-19 response in Vietnam, and why “politics is about a class struggle at an international level." Also check out Kali Akuno’s recent interview on Democracy Now about the May 1st People’s Strike.

Additional listens:

Upstream – Doug Henwood on the coronavirus and the rot of the American ruling class
Intersectionality Matters – COVID-19 Under the Black Light with Kimberlé Crenshaw

NEC on The Gram

Follow NEC on Instagram – @NewEconomyCoalition – where we’re sharing why folks are sharing their checks to support grassroots solidarity economy organizing during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Together, we’ve already raised $20k to redistribute — can you help us get to $25k before rapid response applications close on May 15th?


New Listings!
Co-op Developer Fellowship, Philadelphia Area Coop Alliance – Philadelphia, PA – June 1

Network Director, Powershift Network – Remote – Priority May 13
Program Manager: Capital Strategies Program, Transform Finance – New York, NY
Senior Director, Climate & Agriculture Network, Green America – Remote
Senior Forest Campaigner, Rainforest Action Network – San Francisco, CA/Remote – May 15

All Jobs
Communications Coordinator, Northern Plains Resource Council – Billings, MT
Communications Manager, Project Equity – Multiple Locations
Director/Program Manager, Capital Strategies Program, Transform Finance – New York City
Director of Development, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders – Boston, MA 
Director of Development, OPAL Environmental Justice – Portland, OR
Director of Investment, Boston Ujima Project – Boston, MA
Director of Policy and Research, Demos – New York, NY
Education Team Coordinator Highlander Center – New Market, TN
General Coordinator, Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC – New York, NY 
Grants Manager, Highlander Center – New Market, TN
Green Business Network Renewal Caller, Green America – Washington D.C./Remote
Innovation Network Manager, Climate Safe Lending, Green America – Washington D.C./Remote
Legal Apprentice, Sustainable Economies Law Center – Bay Area, CA 
Media Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network – Remote
Partnership Engagement Director, Green America – Washington D.C./Remote
Political Director, Center for Economic Democracy – Boston, MA – Priority May 5
Political Director, OPAL Environmental Justice – Portland, OR
Various Positions (Organizing/Admin), Mothers Out Front
Web Developer, Foundation for Intentional Communities

Upcoming Events

From Crisis to Recovery: NY's Fight for Public Banking 
Join a timely and participatory virtual town hall on public banking. The town hall will feature community and movement leaders, including special guest Kali Akuno of NEC member organization Cooperation Jackson, who are fighting for public banking as a strategy to advance racial and economic justice, ecological resilience, and neighborhood equity — in this moment of crisis and beyond. (Online – Today! May 7, 6:30PM ET)

Disrupting Borders & Binaries: Global/Gendered Impacts of COVID on Womxn of Color
Womxn of color are shouldering the brunt of the current crises. Join the Rising Majority for a teach-in on the gendered impacts of COVID, featuring Gail Lewis of the Organisation for Women of African and Asian Descent, M. Adams of Freedom Inc, Thenmozhi Soundarararajan of Equality Labs, and Rose Berry of Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, and writer and activist Raquel Willis. (Online – Today! May 7, 7PM ET)

#Race and Pandemics: Covid-19 and Global Diseases Through a Structural Lens
This webinar with Race Forward will use a systemic racial analysis to dig into the structural roots of the racialization of global diseases. We hope that folks will bring this lens back to their institutions, organizations, and communities as a tool to shift the conversation on racism from individual to systemic, as we grapple with finding long-lasting solutions in the time of Covid-19 and beyond (Online – May 8)

Philadelphia Area Coop Alliance Sessions on Mutual Aid and Cooperative Economics
How can we further understand the relationship between mutual aid efforts and cooperatives? Join PACA’s Dominique Tan for a conversational exploration of some case studies and hxstories, and how we can bring the lessons learned into the loving networks and liberatory co-ops our world so deeply needs today. (Online – May 8, 15)

Friday Night Forums: COVID-19 in Indian Country
The Red Nation in partnership with the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) and the Center for Political Education is hosting a series of critical conversations on settler colonialism, US imperialism, and decolonization. The COVID-19 pandemic is global, and so our response to it must also be global. Friday Night Forums feature anti-imperialist perspectives and lessons on organizing from around the world, with an eye toward decolonizing Turtle Island. (Online – May 8 – May 29)

Connecting Land and Community: Learning Cooperative Stewardship
Thinking about starting an intentional community? Have land or considering buying land? This session with NEC member organization Foundation for Intentional Communities is ideal for anyone who is looking to create community rooted on a piece of land. We will review the legal, social, cultural considerations you will face as you land your intentional community. (Online – May 13)

COVID-19 and Beyond: A Briefing on Online Training and Technology
How might online spaces be transformative, accessible, and be a tool for movement building and community change? Join PeoplesHub, Media Justice, Training for Change and May First Movement Technology for a briefing for funders, our movements and communities around how online training and building equitable technological infrastructure will support us in this COVID-19 time and beyond. (Online – May 14)

Becoming a Middle Class Traitor with the Highlander Center
The middle class has an important role to play in this moment to help us move from an economy for the 1% to a society for the 99%! Join Highlander staff for a conversation about class, capitalism, and the role of the middle class in either maintaining or challenging the status quo. We will grapple with how to become class traitors, from immediate actions like #sharemycheck and strategies to #useyourprivilege, to deeper personal transformation and long-haul organizing. We will explore what we can do to support radical work that challenges capitalism, creates alternatives, and moves us toward the kind of society we all deserve. (Online – May 18)



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