Building Community Economies in Massachusetts: an Emerging Model of Economic Development?

Julie Graham and Janelle Cornwell
Affiliated Organization: 
Community Economies Collective
The Alliance to Develop Power (ADP) and Nuestras Raíces (Our Roots) are two longstanding community organizations growing in the fertile social soil of the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. In a semi-rural part of the state, these two organizations have an urban focus, the ADP on institution and wealth building, affordable housing, fair employment, and financial services for low-income and disenfranchised people throughout the Valley, Nuestras Raíces on urban agriculture, environment, food security, and small business development for the sizeable Puerto Rican community in the small, historically industrial city of Holyoke. This summary snapshot of the ADP and NR belies the broad compass of their daily engagements in community building and organizing as well as the dynamism of their non-traditional approaches to economic development. Indeed, the liveliness and richness of these organizations make it difficult to treat them simply as case studies of the social economy.
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