Andrew Zitcer for Next City: What We Learn From Black- and Women-Led Cooperative Practice

The following is an excerpt from the book “Practicing Cooperation: Mutual Aid Beyond Capitalism,” by Andrew Zitcer, published by the University of Minnesota Press. In it, the author offers an ethical and practical guide to “inspiring cooperative practice,” as both response and alternative to extractive models of neoliberal capitalism that exacerbate income inequality and stagnate wages.

A powerful new understanding of cooperation as an antidote to alienation and inequalityCommunities of color are not waiting for a national sea change; they are building the cooperative economy themselves in real time. In Oakland, California, the worker-owned Mandela Grocery Cooperative recently celebrated ten years in business and announced plans to expand to a second location. The Black-led cooperative is thinking carefully about how to navigate expansion amid the gentrification of the Bay Area while remaining true to its politics. In Jackson, Mississippi, activists from the New Afrikan People’s Organization and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement work alongside Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to remake the city along cooperative lines in a project called Cooperation Jackson. Their goal is the creation of a federation of cooperatives, a cooperative incubator, school and training center, and a cooperative bank.

Read the full excerpt from Practicing Cooperation: Mutual Aid Beyond Capitalism, by Andrew Zitcer, at Next City.