News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: Justice for Breonna, Public Pharma, Just Recovery & Solidarity Economy 101

Sep 24, 2020 | New Economy Roundup

We were heartbroken and furious to hear the news yesterday that the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor and the institutions they belong to will not be held accountable. The decision is a clear indictment of a system that does not and never was designed to protect Black women, and underscores the urgency of radical, systems-level change.

Please donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund to support frontline protestors, and sign on to the BREATHE Act — a transformative piece of legislation from the Movement 4 Black Lives that lays the groundwork for widespread defunding of the police and reinvestment in our communities. Much love to Breonna’s family and friends, Breonna’s Louisville, and to all those taking to the streets.

In this week’s New Economy Roundup, we’re talking about why big pharma exacerbates racial health inequities and how democratic public ownership offers a remedy, cooperative approaches to education and childcare, an intro to the solidarity economy, and lessons about just recovery and community-led disaster relief on the third anniversary of Hurricane Maria.

With heavy hearts, we are also grieving and celebrating the life of Elandria Williams — a beloved friend, visionary, and giant in the solidarity economy movement.

Stories From the Field

Public Pharma for Public Health: The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a stark light on the ways in which race and class impact public health in this country. A new report from the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE) describes how “racism makes simply being Black or Brown in the U.S. a preexisting condition” and points to price gouging by for-profit pharmaceutical companies as a root cause of health inequities. Read how removing the profit motive from our health systems by bringing the pharmaceutical industry under democratic public ownership is a key step in addressing these inequities and reclaiming public medicine for public health.

Back to School: Schools across the country are back in session and working families are struggling to meet childcare needs and adjust to virtual learning. Meanwhile, childcare providers — overwhelmingly women of color and immigrants — have had to fight for basic labor protections and a decent wage. Watch this panel from the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives to learn how different co-op models can improve our education and childcare systems, and read about a new union of childcare providers and educators in California who are fighting for a care economy.

Solidarity Economy, Dual Power & Systems Change: Looking for an introduction to the solidarity economy movement? Check out this panel with Mike Strode of NEC member organization the Kola Nut Collaborative, which lays out the values and practices of a solidarity economy, and shows how they fit in with frameworks like dual power and just transition. For more, tune into this conversation with Emily Kawano and Julie Matthaei of the US Solidarity Economy Network how solidarity economies form a cornerstone of a post-capitalist future.

Solidarity Economies Abroad

Cooperativism vs Authoritarianism in Spain: During the Franco dictatorship (1936-75), people in two of the most brutally repressed regions in Spain built the world’s largest worker-owned cooperatives and a culture of mutual aid that endures to this day. Watch NEC member organization the Laura Flanders Show’s debut episode on PBS to learn more about what lessons the history of cooperativism in Spain might hold for the U.S.

Haitian Cacao Co-op: Located on the northern shore of Haiti, the Federation of Cacao Cooperatives of the North (FECCANO) is a social enterprise owned by 4,000 smallholder farmers from eight small agricultural cooperatives. Through their federation, these farmers are able to bypass speculators and middlemen to directly access equitable cacao markets and earn a living wage from their work. Despite forming the backbone of the rural economy, these smallholder farmers have been hard-hit by the pandemic — help keep FECCANO afloat and support local, cooperative development in North Haiti.

A People’s Economy in Toronto: The Parkdale People’s Economy is a network of over 30 community-based organizations focused on building just local economies and community wealth in the Parkdale neighborhood of Toronto. During the pandemic, members of Parkdale’s People’s Economy have been active in the fight against evictions in their neighborhood as they continue their long-term work to build a local solidarity economy ecosystem with participatory planning, community land trusts, community food distribution, local currencies, and more. Get policy tools to advance a People’s Economy in your own community.

Just Recovery & Community-Led Disaster Response

September 16th marked the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria making landfall in Puerto Rico. In 2017, the absence of government response to the devastating storm, a network of mutual aid centers sprang up across the island with the aim of restoring electric and civic power to the people. These people-powered Just Recovery efforts in Puerto Rico serve as an important model, especially as we continue to face new public health and climate emergencies. Learn more about Just Recovery principles and practice in this explainer from NEC member organization Movement Generation, and in this e-book on “Building Collective Resilience in the Wake of Disasters” from NEC member organization Shareable.

Movement News

Podcasts of the New Economy

To See Each Other is a new documentary podcast series from NEC member organization People’s Action that complicates the narrative about rural Americans in our most misunderstood, and often abandoned, communities. Host George Goehl travels to Michigan, Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina and Indiana to reveal how small town folks are working together in fights for everything from clean water and racial justice to immigrant rights and climate change. Listen to the whole 6-episode series now.

Additional Listens 
Belabored: Is it Safe to Go Back to School?

Rest in Love & Power Elandria Williams

Our hearts are heavy and full of grief about the passing of Elandria Williams — a beloved friend and mentor, visionary leader, and cherished member of our solidarity economy fam. Words fall short to describe this loss and the profound influence Elandria’s life and light have had on us. All our love to Elandria’s beloveds who are hurting, celebrating their life, carrying forward their legacy. We wish you all comfort and connection at this time. Rest in love & power, Elandria <3


New Job Listings!
Affordable Housing Research Consultant, Partners for Dignity & Rights – Remote – Sept 25
Communications Coordinator, Beautiful Trouble – Remote
Fair Development Research Intern, Partners for Dignity & Rights – Remote – Sept 25
Executive Director, Resolutions Northwest – Portland, OR – Oct 7
Senior Policy Advocate, Institute for Local Self-Reliance – Remote/Washington D.C. – Sept 28
Narrative Strategist, Real Food Real Stories – S.F./Bay Area – Sept 30th

All Jobs
Associate Director: Media Strategy, Demos – New York, NY
Athena Online to Field Organizer, Institute for Local Self Reliance – Remote
Development and Outreach Coordinator, MSI Integrity – Remote – Oct 7
Digital Content Creatives, Mijente – Remote
Director of Investment, Boston Ujima Project – Boston, MA
Digital Manager, Groundwork Collaborative – Remote/Washington D.C.
Event Producers and Digital Strategist, Crux – Remote
Executive Director, Class Action – Boston/Remote
Grants and Contracts Manager, Democracy at Work Institute – Oakland, CA/Remote
Investment & Fundraising Director, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative – Bay Area 
Marketing & Communications Coordinator, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Coop – Bay Area Project Officer, Cooperation Richmond – Richmond, CA
Research Director, MSI Integrity – Remote – Oct 12
Senior Organizer, Action Center on Race and the Economy
Senior Manager: Individual Giving, Demos – New York, NY
Various (Organizing, Community Development), PUSH Buffalo – Buffalo, NY
Various Positions, Urban Homesteading Assistance Board – New York, NY
Web Developer, Foundation for Intentional Communities

Upcoming Events

Center for Cultural Innovation In-Common: To Exchange, To Survive, and To Sustain
CCI’s In-Common: To Exchange, To Survive, and To Sustain convening will shine a spotlight on important efforts and projects that are exciting, promising alternatives to conventional systems and institutions that have done more to divide than unify people in the arts. It will center real solutions for building ownership, strengthening local economies, reducing debt, and advocating for better systems that work for all. (Sept 26 – Online)

Should Global Democracy Become More Direct? 
What is the relationship between the seemingly opposing trends of authoritarian nationalism and stronger local democracy? How are people using participatory tools to change their communities, and the world? And what are the future possibilities and perils of direct citizen decision-making?Join Shari Davis of NEC Member Participatory Budget Project as she joins an expert panel to consider how direct and participatory democracy might counter autocracy. (Sept 29 – Online)

For Ujima By Ujima: Troubling Voting, Citizenship, Democracy & Participation in 2020
Join Boston Ujima Project in partnership with the Black Economic Council of MA (BECMA) and Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity, for a lively panel and Q&A discussion on the past and current mechanisms of democracy, citizenship and voting in the United States. (Sept 30 – Online)

Co-op Energy Annual Climate Justice Summit
Spend the weekend taking in the good news about the substantive progress toward racial justice, climate justice, and sweeping social change. Join this multi-class, multi-race, intergenerational, inclusive gender, Northeast regional cooperative moving the clock ahead. Extended plenary sessions with inspiring speakers, lots of interaction and time for real integration of new learning. Dozens of participatory workshops on critically important themes. Opportunities for network building and mutual aid. (Oct 3-4 – Online)

Just Transition–Transformative Strategies on the Frontlines of Struggle
This panel from Labor Network For Sustainability represents some of the most visionary leaders from Black, Brown and Indigenous communities across North America (Turtle Island)—organizing at the intersection of environmental justice in communities that have historically been the first and most impacted by both the storms, floods, fires and droughts associated with climate change, as well as people who have borne the most disproportionate burdens of pollution, poverty, police violence and pandemic perpetuated by the extractive economy driving climate change. (October 7 – Online)

The People’s Pitch, A Celebration of the Class of 2020. 
If you love cooperatives, you may enjoy seeing pitches from the next generation of cooperative entrepreneurs. Join on October 9th for The People’s Pitch, their 2020 graduation event with pitches from their next cohort of entrepreneurs and voting by YOU, the people, to determine which start-ups from this year’s class are awarded funds from the $10,000 graduation prize pool. (October 9 – Online)

Building a Resilient and Equitable Economy Post-Covid: What Worker Co-operatives Do
The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation explores how worker cooperatives have done in the midst of a global pandemic, an economic and climate crisis? Join to learn the good news for renewing the commitment to the growth of worker co-operatives in Canada and various other countries. (Oct 23 – Online)



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