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[Editor's note: this interview with journalist and civil rights activist Esther Cooper Jackson was broadcast by GRITtv for Martin Luther King Day, 2014.  Along with Shirley Graham Du Bois, W. E. B.

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[Editor's note: this video from FairShares Association provides brief introductions to two new on-line collaborative decision making tools from New Zealand's Enspiral network.  Loomio is a tool that allows group discussion and consensus building, while Cobudget is for use specifically with group budgeting decisions.  Loomio was successfully crowdfunded in 2014 and released version 1.0

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[Editor's note: In this episode of The Laura Flanders show, historian and author Peter Linebaugh discusses the how medieval "globalization" and marketization led to the enclosure of the commons, and replaced local production for local use with commodity production for profit.  800 years ago, the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest returned a degree of common property to the people.  Linebaugh draws connections between the events of eight centuries ago and the struggle against privatization and globalization today.  Following the interview, GRITtv takes its camera

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cross-posted from Medium

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[Editor's note: this short documentary looks at the multi-faceted company Alaffia, based in Togo, West Africa.  Alaffia's three cooperatives (producing shea butter, baskets, and coconuts) provide economic independence for the women involved and fund empowerment and development projects for local communities.  In the US, Alaffia's fair trade products are sold at many food co-ops and natural food stores.  While the company may not be entirely cooperative (the US part of the company does not appear to be run cooperati

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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 collecti

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On November 15, 2014, Brooklyn for Peace (BFP) celebrated its 30th anniversary by honoring Noam Chomsky with the Pathmaker to Peace Award. Noam Chomsky is the “father of modern linguistics,” a relentless critic of US foreign policy, and a world renowned champion of the struggle for social justice.

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Last year, in December 2013, my daughter decided to visit Twin Oaks, a long established, egalitarian income sharing community in Louisa, Virginia.  Her hope was to find a community that would support her commitment to living sustainably, connecting with the earth on a spiritual level, and supporting her egalitarian cooperative values.  Her initial reports were t

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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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The first Small Business Administration (SBA) loan representative that I approached for a loan stopped answering my calls and emails when he learned that I belonged to a worker cooperative.  The federal agency designed to help small businesses succeed has a policy of lending to

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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: In the opening speech from this year's CommonBound conference, Ed Whitfield, co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC), discusses the necessary conditions for creating an economy that provides not only the knowledge, but also the means, for economic security to everyone on an equal basis.  He discusses the intersection of economic and environmental justice, the inherent biases of  our

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There are alternatives: economic, political, and cultural. The trick of any ruling elite is to convince just enough people that there are no such alternatives. There is no magic bullet alternative; no singular alternative institution that by itself can transform or transcend a system. Yet, in combination, as a set, and in a network, such alternative institutions carry the possibility of both building and fomenting system-change.
           

[Author's note: A revised version of this paper will appear in Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC, edited by Sabiyha Prince and Derek Hyra.]

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