Strategies & Dialogue On Collectives, Cooperatives, and Community Ownership
For communities of color, being dependent on the current economic system is dangerous and hazardous to our health and to our lives. Through decades of neoliberal policy making, capitalism has prioritized the individual over the collective and corporations over communities — oftentimes negatively impacting communities of color. This brings us to our current living conditions: a volatile job market, low-paying wages, shortages of affordable housing, and an expensive healthcare system… to name a few.
Through the need to survive, some of us have started to navigate our own way choosing instead to collaborate with one another. We seek to uplift our own lives and to build up collective security, wealth, and power—right here and right now. So, how do we protect our efforts from being co-opted, exploited, and destroyed? How do we begin to amplify them so that many more can take part? What are the strategies we will use to sustainably thrive together in today’s world — instead of only surviving in it?
On February 22, for our first Community Technology Workshop of 2018, Color Coded organized and facilitated a dialogue on collectives, cooperatives, and community ownership with folks within our network. The conversation was moderated by Color Coded member Cesia Dominguez. Our guests included Blanca Diaz from Flor y Tierra and LB Birth Workers of Color (Long Beach); Miguel Ramos from Casita del Barrio (East LA); Kateri Gutierrezfrom Collective Avenue Coffee (Lynwood); artist Irina Contreras (Los Angeles); and Marco Lopez from Condina Records (Boyle Heights). Each of our guests shared their stories and strategies on collectives, cooperatives, and community ownership.
Into the future
In a breakout session following the dialogue, we asked: How can we amplify, sustain, and protect each other and our work? This is our starting point for #PoderColectivo into the future.
Color Coded intends to develop relationships with all collectives of color in Los Angeles. We envision a federation of collectives working autonomously yet collaboratively to meet each of our communities needs. If you and your collective are interested in joining this effort, please fill out the #PoderColectivo Interest Form to get connected.
Want to learn more? Check out the links below.
- Download Color Coded’s #PoderColectivo Companion Zine
- Read Collective Courage by Jessica Gordon
- Check out The Movement for Black Lives Economic Justice Platform
- Look into Co-op Law E-resource Library by Sustainable Economies Law Center & Green-Collar Communities Clinic
- Listen to this episode of The Co-Op Power Hour Podcast: Black Lives Matter and the Co-operative Movement
- Reference New Economy Coalition’s resource page
- Check out Solidarity Research Center Publications