News & Media
In Jackson, Mississippi, Kali Akuno expected to help develop worker cooperatives alongside that city’s new mayor, Chokwe Lumumba, who won office in 2013. But Lumumba died of a heart attack Feb. 25, a few months into his term.
Now supporters are wondering what will happen to their plan to construct a network of co-ops that would create jobs and overcome the city’s entrenched poverty, particularly among its black majority. Akuno, Lumumba’s former coordinator of special projects and external funding, was tasked in 2013 with creating a cooperative-development fund that would rely on city grants and private sources, with the goal of creating several new organizations and hundreds of jobs.Read More
2014 was a critical year for the Climate Justice Movement, which is arguably the most important social justice movement of our time. In the minds of many 2014 will be duly noted as the year when the movement transformed from being a resistance movement focused on altering the policies and practices of the national states and trans-national corporations, to one that is beginning to focus on system change and a just transition from the extractive economy.Read More
by Jessica Desvarieux - The Real News Network December 8th 2014
Activist Kali Akuno and historian Paul Le Blanc discuss the abandoned Freedom Budget of the Civil Civil Rights Movement and how it could be revived to address race and class disparities.
Jackson, Miss.: Not exactly the eco-capital of the world. The city’s wastewater disposal has the attention of the EPA, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is a big fracking supporter, there’s no glass recycling within city limits … and so on. But longtime organizer Kali Akuno has a vision: He and 100-plus volunteers want to turn the hardscrabble city of roughly 170,000 into a marvel of sustainability and social justice.Read More
The "People's Summit on Climate Change" is hosted by grassroots organizations and networks—including the Workers General Confederation of Peru, Andean Coordinator of Indigenous organizations, and Workers Autonomous Central of Peru.
It constitutes an alternative to the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also in Lima, where government representatives and corporate leaders are holding the latest in a series of UN talks.
"We, the social movements and the progressive forces of civil society are beginning to seriously prepare ourselves for the protracted struggle to defend the people and the planet and create a just transition from the extractive and exploitative economy to a democratic economy that aligns us with the natural processes of the earth," Kali Akuno, from the Mississippi-based organization Cooperation Jackson, told Common Dreams from Lima.Read More
In the aftermath of a string of extrajudicial killings, including Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York, advocates in Jackson want to charter a commission to protect and facilitate more equitable social relations.
A partnership between the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Cooperation Jackson, which emphasizes cooperatives, the campaign's organizers want to continue the vision of late Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. When Lumumba was a city councilman, he introduced a human rights proclamation and successfully pushed for an anti-racial profiling ordinance. As mayor, Lumumba wanted to implement a human-rights commission, but he died eight months into his term.Read More
Nine months after Chokwe Lumumba's death while serving as Jackson mayor, a community center has opened and been named in his honor. Cooperation Jackson, an organization formed after Lumumba's death to promote the late mayor's vision of a grassroots solidarity economy, purchased the building at 939 West Capitol St. that formerly housed a daycare center.
Last night, the Chokwe Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development opened to the public with its first public event: a town hall meeting about protests in Ferguson, Mo., sparked by the police killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown in August.Read More
CHECK OUT GOPAL DAYANENI AND CINDY WIESNER DISCUSSING THE FUTURE FOR THE CLIMATE JUSTICE MOVEMENT AFTER THE PEOPLE'S CLIMATE JUSTICE MARCH WITH LAURA FLANDERS.
COOPERATION JACKSON IS A PROUD MEMBER OF THE CLIMATE JUSTICE ALLIANCE AND THE OUR POWER CAMPAIGN.
COOPERATION JACKSON AT THE PEOPLES CLIMATE MARCH SEPTEMBER 21ST 2014
Some 2,000 demonstrations were staged in 150 countries on Sunday, including in major cities such as London, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, and Bogotá.
At the outset of the march in New York City, organizers said the crowd stretched along Central Park West from 60th Street all the way to 93rd Street. People gathered in groups, including those designated for young people, physicians, Native Americans, scientists, domestic workers, immigrants and religious groups.
“It’s stupendous. I’m 60 and I haven’t seen anything like this since the March on Washington,” said Iya’Falola Omobola, a community activist from Jackson, Mississippi. She attended the historic civil rights march as a child in 1963.Read More
Zein Nakhoda of the Maypop Collective for Climate and Economic Justice interviews members of Cooperation Jackson, Brandon King, Mr. D-Meezy, Vernon Young and Addie Green of the NAACP, about how their work intersects with climate justice and the role of building alternative institutions. Listen to the interview here:Read More
We learn a lot about progressive social change—issues, obstacles, and pathways—by reflecting on the experiences of notable, public figures. A portrait worth studying is Chokwe Lumumba, the Progressive icon who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. A lifelong champion of human dignity and rights, the final station in Lumumba’s multifaceted life was municipal leadership as mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.Read More
Given the rich working-class history of the food movement, it’s bizarre how heavily associated it’s become with upper and middle class white liberals. Since Reconstruction and even before, poor and working people — many in communities of color — have organized self-help programs, credit unions, food cooperatives and land banks as matters of both survival and resistance.
Civil rights leaders like Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer cut their teeth in the cooperative movement, while cooperative and mutual aid programs provided the necessary economic backing for everything from the Knights of Labor to the Montgomery bus boycott. The Black Panthers also carried out expansive economic self-sufficiency programs that provided not only free breakfasts and groceries, but also ambulances and dental care.Read More
With a median household income of just over $37,000, Mississippi is the poorest state in the United States. A powerhouse organization promoting economic justice, Cooperation Jackson was born of a need to transform the state, in particular its capital and largest city, Jackson. Cooperation Jackson is a network of interconnected yet independent institutions including an incubator and training center, a cooperative bank, and a federation of established cooperatives. Together, they're exploring the potential of cooperatives to transform local communities.Read More
The worker cooperative model, in which a business is owned and controlled by its members, is rarely taught in U.S. business schools, but it is gaining a reputation as a way for social service agencies and city councils to provide jobs for workers marooned by the current economy.
“There just aren’t enough jobs for all the people who need and want them,” says Jessica Gordon Nembhard, associate professor of community justice and social economic development at New York’s John Jay College, and author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. “Worker cooperatives address that niche.”Read More
"Power without Pollution. Communities United for a Just Transition."
That is the theme of an international gathering that kicked off Wednesday in Richmond, California, bringing together of hundreds of people on the front-lines in the fight against environmental destruction and social inequality to tackle the ambitious question: how do we build an economy that works for people and the planet?Read More
An interview with Cooperation Jackson organizer Tongo Eisen-Martin, July 10, 2014
In the face of growing economic inequity, people around the country are coming together to reimagine and rebuild their economies and communities based on the values of equity, democracy, cooperation, self-determination and sustainability. From worker cooperatives to community land trusts, participatory budgeting to community gardens, people are finding creative solutions to the economic challenges they face, while strengthening their communities, building political power, and sustaining the environment.Read More