Racial Justice

Food sovereignty and not merely security, land ownership not tenancy, and thriving not just surviving are the goals of an Earthcare Coalition mobilizing around the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent.

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The following is the sixth installment in Food First's Dismantling Racism in the Food System series, and is from 2017’s forthcoming book Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons.

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[Editor's note: below are two videos that, while separated by over 50 years in time, share a common theme.  First, Ed Whitfield of the Fund for Democratic Communities and Renaissance Community Co-op, dicusses cooperative economics in the context of reparations for historical and on-going racial injustice.  Then, in priceless archival footage, Father Albert McKnight from Lafayette, LA discusses the founding and operation of the Southern Consumers' Co-op, their impre

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The public, the people, will find a way to create forms we cannot even imagine, forms that could solve problems that seem insuperable to us. So what is needed is this constant creative activity from the public, and that means mainly everybody’s passion for public affairs. ~Cornelius Castoriadis [1]

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“This is a female moment in time,” observes Rev Dele, founder of the Virginia-based, Soil Souls. “The Earth and society are about to give birth to a new culture. It’s women who give birth to that which is yet unseen.”

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The cooperative business and community model is both older than you think, and probably not what you think. Cooperatives have a history, especially in Buffalo, NY, and in minority communities everywhere. Clinton Parker explains how co-ops really work, how they can help some modern problems, and how you can get involved.

 

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[Editor's note: Below are four videos from the CommonBound 2016 closing panel "Moving Forward with a Plan to Win."  Makani Themba of Higher Ground Change Strategies sets the stage by asking us to consider what exactly we mean by a "new" economy, and how our New Economy will relate to the old, i.e.

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[Editor's note: The following is the latest backgrounder from Food First's Dismantling Racism in the Food System series. It is excerpted from a section on Black Agrarianism included in 2017’s forthcoming book Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons. GEO thanks the authors and Food First for allowing us to share their work.]

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The cast of characters assembled on vacant lots in Larimer, an East Pittsburgh neighborhood.

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[Editor's note: Below are three interviews from CommonBound 2016, held in Buffalo, NY earlier this year.  Interviewers Laura Flanders and Esteban Kelly talk with three women who are working to build financial and economic structures that empower people and communities.  Click here for more videos from the conference.  CommonBound is a project of the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of 150-plus organizations including PeoplesAction, 350.org, and the U.S.

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Many participants enjoy Transition [environmental movement] activities and like the idea of concrete, local actions as a positive means of building more resilient and sustainable communities. But insofar as Transition wants to address seriously the threat of climate change, its diffuse structure compromises its ability to synthesize activist efforts, follow up on projects, form alliances, and devise viable strategies. --Staggenborg and Ogrodnik (2015).

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Michael Johnson and Pamela Boyce Simms discuss the need for self-accountability in our movements and some of the ways to get there.

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[Editor's Note: Talking and thinking through issues of institutional racism and systemic privilege -- and how these

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Gloria Lowe and Vanessa Marr of the Detroit non-profit We Want Green, Too talk about the work they are doing with veterans and returning citizens to both rebuild and reimagine the city of Detroit.

 

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[Editor's note: The GEO Collective would like to extend a hearty congratulations to our long-time member Jessica Gordon Nembhard, who was recently recognized by the Cooperative Development Foundation for her years of work in support of the causes of social and economic justice and cooperation by being inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame.  Below is the video presentation from the induction ceremony, followed by an interview Jessica did with Laura Flanders, discussing her book Collective Courage: A History

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In Detroit, many once thriving neighborhoods lay in ruins.  Most of the houses in many  city blocks can be in a state of severe disrepair, including some that have been completely gutted or burned, with perhaps one or two inhabitable homes that appear to still have people living in them.

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"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."

~ Anaïs Nin

by Josh Davis

cross-posted from YES! Magazine

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