Submitted by lbrown on January 11, 2017
The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute, affiliated organizations working together to grow a powerful grassroots movement for worker ownership in the United States, join forces in our support for the Movement for Black Lives.
We sign on to the Vision for Black Lives, and we pledge our combined energy and resources to work toward community control and economic justice based on “ownership, not merely access” for Black communities. At this critical historical moment, we come together to fight for our cooperative principles in service of the “fierce, free, beautiful future” envisioned by the Movement for Black Lives.
The staff and Board of the Democracy at Work Institute enthusiastically endorse the Vision for Black Lives, and we stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. The platform articulates a vision for a new society where past wrongs are made right and where freedom and self-determination are fact, not fiction. We find common cause with the courageous and visionary organizers working for “economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure Black communities have collective ownership, not merely access.”
We are an organization dedicated to the growth of worker-owned cooperative businesses as a model, a movement, and a mode of working toward a more equitable and just economy. We help communities build their capacity to develop, convert and sustain worker-owned businesses; racial equity is a cornerstone of our work. In the words of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, our sister organization, “Cooperatives, in intersectional partnership with other freedom movements, are powerful agents of change.”
We are a movement that is increasingly led by people of color; we believe our cooperative institutions must take an explicit stand on the value of Black lives, including our own lives and those of our colleagues, clients and cooperatives.
We are proponents of democratic ownership and control; we value every person’s humanity as fundamental to the exercise of real democracy. We cannot stay silent and therefore complicit in a system that diminishes Black humanity and opportunity. All programs at DAWI incorporate a racial equity approach and we collaborate with Black-led organizations to share cooperative tools, models and resources.
In a country whose founding proposition was the ownership of human beings by other human beings, and whose political and economic systems have sought, often violently, to concentrate wealth and reinforce racial exclusion, we recognize that the change we seek will not come without struggle. We honor the struggle of our brothers and sisters in the Movement for Black Lives, and we commit ourselves to struggle alongside you to support cooperative ownership in service of economic and racial justice for Black communities.
- The staff and Board of Directors of the Democracy at Work Institute