Stir to Action has launched its BeyondHere webinar programme programme, including sessions on co-op development in BAME and immigrant communities.
The weekly sessions, which run on Mondays from 22 June to 27 July, last two and a half hours are aimed at connecting UK communities with ‘inspiring international projects’.
The webinars, run in partnership with Selgars Mill centre for the democratic economy, climate emergency and social change, are:
- 22 June: Commoning and post-capitalist institutional change
- 29 June: Social ecology: Creating and ecological society
- 6 July: Worker co-op development in immigrant communities
- 13 July: Co-operative economics and the black economy
- 20 July: How to thrive in a self-managed team
- 27 July: Municipalism in the age of pandemia
Themes include how develop platform co-ops, community wealth building and other new forms of ‘commons’ to deliver social change in a hostile policy climate; and the challenges posed by social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic to modern municipalist movements which depend on popular assemblies.
The session on immigrant worker co-ops we will explore how the Center for Family Life, a social services organisation, pivoted its service delivery framework to partner with community residents in the entrepreneurial act of developing worker co-op.
“Through co-operative development,” says Stir To Action, “immigrant communities are able to create better work for themselves, and in the process, gain a broad range of skills, from business and industry expertise, co-operative governance structures, individual and collective financial literacy, to group development skills such as conflict resolution and leadership development.”
The session on co-ops and the black economy will look at the history of people of African descent in the US co-op movement.
Stire To Action says this group has “a long and strong but largely hidden experience of co-operative ownership since at least the 1700s, and have had a quiet presence at times in the US mainstream co-operative movement.
“We find that African Americans have used mutual aid and co-operatives for both survival and to gain economic wellbeing and independence; and that co-operative economics has been a hidden but integral aspect of the long civil rights movement in the USA.”
The webinar will look at how subaltern populations use co-operative economics to address marginalisation, discrimination, and poverty; the importance of solidarity and trust in the sustainability of co-ops; the importance of organisational supports and connections between co-ops, religious and fraternal organisations, organised labour, populism and civil rights activism; and the role of black women’s leadership in the co-operative movement.