Mutual-Aid & Self-Help Groups

Groups or organizations that are dedicated to building and maintaining relationships of mutual aid and support between and among their members.

Unlike many alternative economic projects that have come before, solidarity economics does not seek to build a singular model of how the economy should be structured, but rather pursues a dynamic process of economic organizing in which organizations, communities, and social movements work to identify, strengthen, connect, and create democratic and liberatory means of meeting their needs. ~Ethan Miller, from Other Economies are Possible

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cross-posted from Generocity

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[Editor's note: this report by Pat Conaty and David Bollier presents an in-depth look at the how our often disparate movements might begin to work together more closely in order to create a more just, open and equitable economy.  David Bollier describes the scope of the report on Shareable:

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Kwanzaa is an African-inspired holiday practiced by millions of African Americans from December 26 - January 1.  African values, which are geared toward care of the whole or the collectiv

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In this inspiring talk from TEDxDouglas (Isle of Man), Valerie Miller discusses the founding of Mother T—a community center whose objective is to rebuild community, facilitate connection and tackle problems such as loneliness and isolation.  She also highlights how time banks, unlike traditional social service providers, enrolls the help of the people it supports, and focuses on the assets and abilities of community members, rather than their deficits.  Miller argues that this empowering approach has the potential to revitalize community spirit and improve people's lives and relationships.

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cross-posted from Seeds Beneath

When I first got involved in the co-op movement I didn’t do it because I thought the co-operative model was an end in itself.

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(Editor's note: This article emerged out of conversations Michael had with Terry Mollner and his thinking about creating institutions grounded in the idea the common good. We were quite surprised to find out that it turned out to be one of this most read articles on GEO: 10,500 a week or ago; almost 11,000 now. We were more than delighted when a recent article passed the 3,000 mark in page views. 1,500 is a seen as a big plus. But 11,000! We can’t explain it. However, since there has been so much interest in it, we decided to post it anew.

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This is an interview I conducted with my mother, Clauda Davis, over Thanksgiving weekend, 2014.  In it, she describes how a group of families living in student housing on the campus of Montana State University (Bozeman, MT) formed a babysitting cooperative with nothing more than some poker chips and a monthly meeting.  Not only did the babysitting co-op provide childcare, it also had beneficial side-effects for relationships between neighbors and within couples.  This simple cooperative framework is one that could be just as useful for families today as it was for my parents in the early 19

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Tall luxury condominiums, new restaurants, coffee shops, and health food stores now punctuate most of the neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, bringing (what some consider) prosperity the likes of which the one-time "Chocolate City" has never before witnessed.

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[Editor's note: In this presentation from The Sustainable Economies Law Center's 5th Annual Fall Celebration, SELC's staff presents a comprehensive vision of a Cooperative Economic future and, more importantly, lays out concrete steps that can be taken in order to arrive there.  As an additional bonus, the presentation is creative and entertaining.  Enjoy!  (The show starts at 1:50 and runs until 35:52)]

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Marina Sitrin and Dario Azellini, authors of the book They Can't Represent Us, discuss the roots of revolt in Latin America, Greece, and the US, and the change from a politics of representation to a politics of cooperation.  GRITtv's Laura Flanders conducts the interview.

 

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[Editor's note:This is part three of Jim Johnson's interview with Ben Sandel of the CDS Consulting Co-op.  In this section, Ben discusses the recent explosive growth of food co-ops, cooperative responses to increased competition in the organic food market, and possible ways to expand food co-operatives beyond middle-class neighborhoods.  Parts one and two can be found here and

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“The word ‘pathbreaking’ should not be used casually, but this is, in fact, a pathbreaking book. There is nothing like it. Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s study of Black cooperatives opens a door on a critical aspect of Black history in general and cooperative history in particular" ~ Gar Alperovtz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland

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Before the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperative’s 10th anniversary conference in Chicago, GEO asked some co-op veterans to talk about what they thought the USFWC had achieved in its first 10 years.

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