Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice featuring Jessica Gordon Nembhard, economist, author, Prof. of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Dept. of Africana Studies at John Jay College
Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s research and policy analyses connect community- based economic development with community-based approaches to justice. Her multidimensional research now fills a particularly glaring gap in our understanding of the significance of the African American cooperative movement in the U.S., one of the largest in the world. She explores the practice of community economics; cooperative economics and worker ownership and liberates our imagination for better ways to organize our economic lives.
Immigrant Cleaning Women Themselves Start Worker-Owned Green Cleaning Coop Pa’lante featuring Members of Pa’lante Forward Green Cleaning
Make the Road a community organization that seeks to empower Latino and working class communities just celebrated the opening of Pa’lante Green Cleaning. Pa’lante’s fifteen cleaning women, now worker-owners with the assistance of Make the Road, joined together to solve the common issues they faced as workers in the cleaning industry, such as the starvation wages, job insecurity, and poor health and safety conditions. Now they have become the city’s 25th worker cooperative business and are part of a growing coop movement that is proving how workplace democracy can address issues of income disparity, create quality jobs and support local economic development.
Rising Tide of Low Wage Workers’ Discontent is Becoming a Mighty Wave for Change featuring Jonathan Westin, Ex. Dir. NYC Communities for Change
NY Communities for Change has been in the forefront of organizing for low wage workers and their Fast Food Forward campaign. With its rolling demonstrations and one day strikes, the movement has spread to fast food outlets like McDonald’s, Burger Kings and Taco Bells across the country, with workers demanding $15/hr. and a union. These worker based and community supported actions have become a rallying cry across the nation for a raise in the minimum wage, and they’ve also stimulated successful lawsuits against wage theft and hour violations. In NY they’ve even become a catalyst for cities and counties to wrest control from the recalcitrant state government to be able to hike their minimum wage. We’ll look at how these campaigns are being stoked and what’s on the drawing board for organizing around the rising tide of discontent of low wage workers.
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