- This event has passed.
Brownbag with Josu Ugarte, Dorcas Gilmore, Bill Generett, and Ed Whitfield
May 7, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
The Institute for Policy Studies is hosting a conversation with Josu Ugarte, president of Mondragon International, Dorcas Gilmore, founding board member of Baltimore Activating Solidarity Economies (BASE), Bill Generett, inaugural president and CEO of Pittsburgh’s Urban Innovation 21 and a co-founder of 1worker1vote.org, and Ed Whitfield, co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities, to discuss strategies for transitioning Baltimore — and greater Maryland — towards a New Economy.
For those we can not attend in person, but would like to tune in online, please RSVP for the webinar.
The recent uprising in Baltimore is showing us that nothing is changing properly, rapidly, or effectively for inner-city black Americans.
Public leaders talk about failed statistics resulting from America’s mostly privatized Prison Industrial Complex. Media reports careen between understanding the “whys” of violence born of frustration and hopelessness, while traditional faith and community leaders call for protesters to stand down.
Some solutions have been offered up, like more sensor technology, less automatic prison time for non-violent offenders, and more investment in local communities. However, the sad reality is that images of burning cars and buildings could drive private investors away from Baltimore for years – unless something different happens.
Inner-city America isn’t the first place where racially based inequality, poverty, unemployment, and disenfranchisement have exploded into anger and rebellion. “Rising Up” is a global phenomenon.
Fortunately, some communities are increasingly embracing the alternative model of a local living economy. Visionary African-American leaders in Jackson, Mississippi, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Greensboro, North Carolina and yes, Baltimore, are turning to successful worker ownership experiences to put inner-city equity on the table.
Inner-city equity is key to sustaining job creation, improving citywide procurement systems, and starting up cooperative housing, which turns renters into owners. It is also already paving the way for place-based cooperative such as in agriculture, grocery stores, solar energy installations, taxi companies, and community health centers — just to name a very few in-motion examples.
To reestablish “ownership as the original American system condition” — especially for a people first brought to the Americas as property — organizations such as 1worker1vote.org, Pittsburgh’s Urban Innovation 21, the Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative, and Baltimore’s Activating Solidarity Economies (BASE) are advancing a new ethos focused on local civic and workplace equity as a transformational catalyst for the New Economy.
Starting with mayors in cities as diverse as New York, San Francisco, and Madison, America’s politicians are beginning to recognize this transformation as the real-deal catalyst. This is a left-right solution, where governments can combine financial incentives and local procurement equality with private-sector bootstrapping — such as “do it yourself” (DIY) entrepreneurial business practices — in a way that fosters racial justice.