Thursday, August 7, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kali Akuno
Cooperation Jackson hosts The Democracy Collaborative to launch a Community Wealth Building Initiative in Jackson. Cooperation Jackson, a newly formed community-based organization in Jackson, has asked The Democracy Collaborative — a nonprofit research and advisory group with offices in Washington, DC and Cleveland, Ohio — to explore the feasibility of a Community Wealth Building strategy in Jackson. The aim of this approach is to transform neighborhoods through job creation by identifying areas where local business is under-developed and creating employee-owned businesses that can fill those gaps while employing residents, paying living wages and meeting procurement needs of existing large employers.
Over the past decade, The Democracy Collaborative has worked on such strategies in a number of cities, including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Amarillo, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and metropolitan Washington DC. The most advanced work of The Democracy Collaborative is in Cleveland, where it has assisted with the development of the Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of businesses that meet the specialized business needs of area institutions, such as universities and hospitals.
Two research experts from The Democracy Collaborative, Steve Dubb and David Zuckerman, along with members of Cooperation Jackson, will be meeting with various community stakeholders and institutional leaders to discuss the Community Wealth Building strategy and explore potential opportunities to effectively employ it in Jackson.
The Democracy Collaborative and Cooperation Jackson will be conducting interviews from Tuesday, August 12 through Friday, August 15. The interviews and research work of The Democracy Collaborative will result in the production of a strategic report that will be used by Cooperation Jackson to establish a Community Wealth Building Initiative based on the Anchor Institution model. An excellent example of the work done by The Democracy Collaborative is “Building Community Wealth: An Action Plan for Northwest Jacksonville”, which can be found at community-wealth.org/Jacksonville.
Cooperation Jackson is an emerging cooperative network based in Jackson, Mississippi. The network consists of four interconnected and interdependent institutions: a federation of emerging local worker cooperatives, a cooperative incubator, a cooperative education and training center, and a cooperative bank.