Join us in DC for a talk on the history of African-American cooperatives

April 17th, 2014 -- john
Special book launch event featuring scholar/activist Jessica Gordon Nembhard
Join us for a special book launch event on Tuesday, June 3rd to learn about the history of African American cooperative economics from a leading co-op scholar/activist, and hear local updates on ONE DC's Black Worker's Center and Impact Hub DC's worker cooperative incubator.

April 2014

This month's new developments include:

  • Last month in Jacksonville, Florida, The Democracy Collaborative, the Office of Mayor Alvin Brown, and the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment organized a day-long Community Wealth Building Roundtable.
  • The City of Chicago and six area anchor institutions have joined the University of Chicago to launch the Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) initiative and Ted Howard presented opportunities to incorporate anchor strategies into New Orlean's Prosperity NOLA plan at the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Bootcamp, hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. 
  • The Democracy Collaborative participated in an American Hospital Association sponsored webinar as well as the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s annual conference to discuss strategies for hospitals to promote health through economic development and community investment.
  • Shared ownership models received widespread attention, including Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives and Real Pickles, an organic food business. And we released our new community land trust infographic.
  • Truthout featured a conversation between our co-founder, Gar Alperovitz, and political theorist Michael Albert, in which they compared Albert’s Participatory Economics to Gar’s Pluralist Commonwealth political-economic system model.
  • Chapter on Economic Democracy Profiles Community Wealth Building Strategies
  •  Website Outlines Community Sustaining Political-Economic System
  • Democratic Governance Revitalizes Cities
  • Healthcare Practitioners Promote Placed-Based Approaches to Healthcare
  • Banks Respond Sluggishly to California's Growing Minority Population
  • Guide Offers Tools to Shift Spending Toward Local Businesses
  • Shared Value Initiative
*NEW* Debra Rowe, Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices, Macmillan Reference USA, January 2014.

A two-volume encyclopedia containing more than 130 signed entries, Achieving Sustainability covers economic and environmental ideas, as well as governance, demographic, and socio-cultural aspects of the concept. Democracy Collaborative Research Director Steve Dubb along with Executive Director Ted Howard and Research Associate Sarah McKinley have contributed the chapter “Economic Democracy”, which outlines the history of the economic democracy movement, highlighting community wealth building strategies such as community development finance institutions and cooperatives. 

*NEW* Shaila Dewan, "Who Needs a Boss?," New York Times, March 25, 2014.

This New York Times article highlights the successes of worker-owned businesses, including Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives.

*NEW* Jonathon Ward, Margaret Christie, Addie Rose Holland, Dan Rosenberg, Jeff Rosen and Sam Stegman, Community Investment in the Local Food System, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, 2014.

CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) published a new case study on Real Pickles, an organic food business that raised half a million dollars through a community investment campaign to transition to worker ownership.

*NEW* Jessica Conrad, Sharing Revolution , On the Commons, 2014.

The recent rise of the commons and the sharing economy seems to suggest a growing recognition of the fact that our health, happiness, and security depend greatly on the planet and people around us.Sharing Revolution: The essential economics of the commons  highlights the many ways, new and old, that people connect and collaborate to advance the common good and develop greater economic autonomy.  The Cleveland model is also featured.

*NEW* Gar Alperovitz and Michael Albert, "Gar Alperovitz and Michael Albert: A Conversation on Economic Visions," Truthout, March 21, 2014.

Truthout featured a conversation between our co-founder, Gar Alperovitz, and political theorist Michael Albert, in which they compared Albert’s Participatory Economics to Gar’s Pluralist Commonwealth political-economic system model.

Featured publication

Featured media

What is Community Wealth?

How do you build community wealth? Here's some of the basic principles of a successful approach:

Community Wealth Cities

Richmond, Virginia

The 32nd in our continuing series of Community Wealth Cities is Richmond, Virginia. Richmond has a complex history; once the capital of the Confederacy, it was also the first city to host a bank chartered by African- Americans. Its unique legacy as a site of both racial tension and progress creates interesting challenges and opportunities for community wealth building. Last fall, Richmond gained national attention for Mayor Dwight Jones’ anti-poverty plan, which calls for broad expansion of community wealth building and social enterprise activity.

Community Wealth Interviews

C-W Interview: Rey España

This month we interview Rey España, Director of Community Development at the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), one of the largest and most successful urban Native American centers in the nation. In the past decade at NAYA, España has helped launch a number of projects, including an individual development account program, an affordable housing portfolio, a private high school serving Portland’s Native American community, and two social enterprises. NAYA is now looking to develop a Community Development Financial Institution to provide loan assistance for NAYA’s microenterprises.


Featured from the toolbox

  • The Farm Incubator Toolkit: Growing the Next Generation of Farmers

    Eva Agudelo Winther and Meaghan Overton

    This new guide developed by the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) and published by the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project offers a framework to develop local farm incubators. Bringing together practioners and training expertize, this toolkit provides a variety of resources to support small-scale sustainable farmers, from project planning and management to planning for long-term growth. This toolkit is part of national effort to build a network of incubators that empower disadvantaged new producers to build economic opportunity and grow the vitality of small-scale, localized agriculture across the nation.

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