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Across North America, movements of people have come together to build economic, social and political systems that are oriented toward healthy communities. Often, that means systems that function outside of the parameters of capitalism.
The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership is one such organization, inspiring thoughtful change and supporting cooperative businesses and education in Detroit, Michigan. Its mission is “to nurture the transformational leadership capacities of individuals and organizations committed to creating productive, sustainable, ecologically responsible, and just communities” and this mission manifests in the center’s workshops, events, classes and community network.
Another organization is the Jackson, Mississippi-based Cooperation Jackson, whose mission is “to build worker organized and owned cooperatives [that] will be a catalyst for the democratization of our economy and society overall.” The organization has been successful to the point of municipal-wide grassroots organizing that has given them political power in the form of the mayor’s office. Many consider the Jackson community’s nonviolent action and strategic organizing to be revolutionary.
Naturally, groups and individuals involved in strategic organizing for economic and political change often reach out to one another for support and to learn from each other. As local movements grow and develop, that support becomes even more important.
In North America, the newly launched Symbiosis network includes 15 groups — including the Boggs Center and Cooperation Jackson — and 300 individuals from across the continent united as a confederation of concerned citizens and activists with goals rooted in solidarity, sharing and direct democracy. The work is culminating in a congress of municipal movements this September in Detroit.
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