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A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq
Global Corporate Social Responsibility Proposed for 21st Century
Intergenerational workshop on the economy and social justice
Making Accountability Accountable
The USA Charter: Youth Charter of Responsibilities
Who’s Responsible for the Economy?
The Solidarity Economy and Responsibility
Twenty-four activists and educators from five states met for two days at the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee to learn about the Solidarity Economy and build relationships for future work together. The group included people working on immigrant rights, sustainability education, living wages, police brutality, the cradle to prison pipeline, using art for social change, alternatives to militarism, community building, sustainable economic development, youth leadership and more.
The workshop was co-sponsored by the Highlander Center, the Appalachian Community Fund, the Charter of Human Responsibilities and the Center for Popular Economics.
After introductions and a session on how each participant’s work related to the economy, Emily Kawano and Amit Basole from the Center for Popular Economics led the group in discussion of ‘What’s the Economy for?’ and reflection on how well the economy is doing in meeting human needs.
Highlander’s commitment to popular education and cultural work was evident in this workshop, as the group sang together and created graphic images of the economy we’d like to see.
A session describing the solidarity economy and the global solidarity economy movement encouraged workshop participants to consider how to build a fair, democratic and sustainable economy.
We noted that some of the elements of a solidarity economy are already present in cooperative enterprises, credit unions, and worker-owned businesses. Linking these organizations through the new US Solidarity Economy Network can strengthen existing efforts through sharing skills and knowledge and also help build the solidarity economy movement as an alternative to mainstream economic commitments to markets and profits.
The group learned about Austin Polytechnical Academy, an urban high school in Chicago that is a unique partnership between the city, the school, and area businesses that was achieved through the work of the Center for Labor and Community Research, a local NGO. The school aims to educate and train young people for employment and leadership in high-road manufacturing and in so doing maintain and strengthen the manufacturing sector in Chicago and good employment opportunities.
Workshop participants are committed to sharing what they learned and staying in contact. One group has already scheduled a follow-up meeting to include new people.
The US Solidarity Economy Network will hold an inaugural conference December 4-6, 2008 in New Orleans. USSEN chose to hold the conference in New Orleans “because it symbolizes the failure of the current economic model - growing inequality and poverty, lack of public investment, and public agencies built on cronyism rather than competence. We chose New Orleans as an act of solidarity with the people who are still struggling everyday to return, reclaim, rebuild, and renew their lives and communities.” CHR is continuing to work with SEN in the coming months.
About the workshop sponsors
Highlander Research and Education Center
Appalachian Community Fund
Center for Popular Economics
Charter of Human Responsibilities