CWOP 2023 Year in Review

As we end 2023, we turn to the light of a new year. As hard as the suffering and injustice is this year, and as we know with great sadness that it will not go away next, we remain steadfast in shepherding in the kind of change we seek to make in the world. We bring it on with love and joy as best we can. We are grateful for the present moments for that love and joy as we build strong and democratic spaces, empowering people, with some level of faith that as the struggle continues, we continue to bring forth warm and compassionate care in the work we do, the communities we do it in and the people we touch. May we move with grace in the new year!
Continue reading CWOP 2023 Year in Review

Co-op Any Town – Building a Solidarity Economy in place with guests to the class “Cooperative Management for a Changing World”

Author: Rob Persons, SLU MA student

The economy doesn’t work for the vast majority of people. Wages are low, costs are high, and employers treat workers like replaceable cogs. The system needs to be changed, but mainstream politics doesn’t seem up to the task. Where will the change come from? Continue reading Co-op Any Town – Building a Solidarity Economy in place with guests to the class “Cooperative Management for a Changing World”

SLU Urban Studies student Natalie Cassar explores social problems in New York City’s housing market

In SLU’s Urban Studies undergraduate program, students deepen and explore their interests in social, economic, and political issues affecting city residents.  Students in URB 340: Contemporary Urban Social Problems with Professor Sofya Aptekar helped select which social problems they would study together as a class, then chose one issue for a deep-dive final project. Continue reading SLU Urban Studies student Natalie Cassar explores social problems in New York City’s housing market

Dolphin school and BCC partnership

Dolphin Schools
Brooklyn Communities Collaborative and Community Worker Ownership Project Fellowship

As a culminating event for our graduate certificate in Workplace Democracy and Community Ownership five Fellows pitched their ideas to a convening of colleagues, comrades and “Dolphins”, (note this was not your standard Shark Tank). With stakeholders, community partners and some financial investors, we discussed four proposals, each grounded with a deep goal of improving social determinants of health in Central Brooklyn. Continue reading Dolphin school and BCC partnership

Zara Cadoux Takes on Amazon

Zara Cadoux has been a rabble-rouser from the start.

“I began thinking about power and justice as a kid,” Zara said. “I was one of three siblings growing up in a suburban household in Westchester, and although we were quite different from each other, we all had a similar critical lens on the world. We got that from our mom.  She is from Sweden and has more of a socialist outlook. She was always questioning things, saying ‘Why is this happening? This seems very unfair.’ I remember her saying, ‘Your health care is tied to your job? How is that not exploitation?’ She taught us to ask questions and not accept the first answer we got.”

Growing up in the affluent village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Zara began to realize that her public school was better-resourced than schools in nearby Yonkers and the Bronx. So like her mother taught her, she started asking questions. “I asked a number of adults about what I saw as inequities and inequalities between the education I was getting compared to kids who lived in the Bronx. And they would say, ‘Don’t think about that. You’re a hard worker, you deserve to be in this school.’ And I would reply, ‘I know that I’m a good student. What I’m asking is why does my school have this but that school doesn’t have it? Why do I go to a school that is predominantly white, and other schools are mostly Black and Brown and don’t have the same resources? Can someone please explain that to me?’ And overall, adults could not explain it to me in a way that satisfied me.”

“When I went to college at Vassar I kept trying to understand the world through a racial lens, looking at race and white supremacy,” Zara continued. “I got a degree in geography and anthropology—I never realized the connection before, but I think I went into geography because I was trying to understand the world spatially. I was doing human geography.”

“I graduated in 2009 and like a lot of my peers, I had to scramble for a job due to the recession. I was offered a job with Americorps in Baltimore so I moved there, but they lost their grant funding before I could start work. I decided to stay, however, and started building relationships and community. I love Baltimore—it’s where a lot of things crystallized for me with regard to social justice issues.”

During her ten years in Baltimore, Zara continued to explore issues of power and justice. “I started a business with several other anti-oppression facilitators, doing trainings and workshops. A lot of my focus was on organizing white women in the nonprofit sector to make racial justice demands, taking collective action to make changes in those programs. That was based on my experience in the nonprofit sector, where I saw myself reflected as a white woman in a majority Black city. I knew we needed to take collective action.”

Continue reading Zara Cadoux Takes on Amazon

Partnerships Expand Education for Worker Cooperatives!

 The semester has taken off with some strong partnership with the Community and Worker Ownership Project.

In early September we presented at the US Federation of Worker Coops at an in-person conference in Philadelphia where we partnered with many to explore the ways and reasons to pursue unionized cooperatives. Speakers included Richard Wolff from Democracy @ Work along with SEIU 1199, Cooperative Home Care Associates, United Food and Commercial Workers, Coop Cincy and  SEIU United Healthcare West! We were joined by Kafui Attoh, another faculty member from SLU.  Continue reading Partnerships Expand Education for Worker Cooperatives!

A conversation about workers, communities and social justice

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