We're always cooking up pay-it-forward legal advice, action-oriented workshops, and happy hours with engaging conversations on how to build just and resilient local economies. And we don't only provide in-person events for you to connect with us, we provide online trainings and travel across the country to support grassroots economic empowerment. Don't miss out!
Please, help us get the word out about our upcoming events. Share with your friends or networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn! If you're interested in an event, someone you know will probably be interested too. Share the love!
Find Sustainable Economies Law Center's events below!
The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is a donation-based legal advice clinic, providing a collaborative space for community building and connecting.
Note: Keep an eye out for an automated response e-mail when you RSVP. The e-mail will have instructions on how to attend our Legal Cafe remotely and an intake form that we need you to fill out.
Got any questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
Bay Area Edition
Join the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives, the Sustainable Economies Law Center, and worker cooperators from across California for a day of skill-building and networking for worker co-ops and members of democratic workplaces. The Western Worker Co-op Convening will be focused on nuts and bolts workshops to build leadership and the tools needed to grow the worker co-op movement. Please RSVP on the conference page here!
Our summer intern Nicole Giles has been spending the last few weeks working with both the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative and the East Oakland Neighborhood Initiative Program to do research on inclusionary zoning, community benefit districts, and nationwide community planning efforts. Now, she's ready to present an introductory teach-in on Opportunity Zones! Join us to learn about how Opportunity Zones work, the harm of outside investors investing in Bay Area Opportunity Zones, and the importance of considering cooperative models while investing!
This Resilient Communities Legal Cafe Teach-In will happen simultaneously with our one-on-one legal consultations. If you're here to get legal advice about your cooperative, small business, nonprofit, or social enterprise, please RSVP here.
The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is a first-come, first-serve, donation-based legal advice clinic, providing a collaborative space for community building and connecting.
This legal cafe is hosted by Acta Non Verba, a youth urban farm project that challenges oppressive dynamics and environments through urban farming.
Everyone is welcome to attend this cafe. Please RSVP below.
Join us for a gathering of coop & movement leaders for an important discussion on solidarity in action!
Worker cooperatives are a fundamental piece of building equity and inclusion in an extractive and unequal economy. Social justice movements are increasingly looking to worker cooperatives as a model for racial and economic justice, but don't know where to start or how they've been used in the past. RSVP here!
Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, Executive Director at SOMOS Mayfair
If you are a volunteer, staff, or board member of a social justice organization interested in learning more about worker cooperatives as a tool for grassroots, economic development, building workers' voice, and creating deeper impact for the communities you are working with, please join for this interactive discussion. We will be giving a very short intro into the worker coop model in the context of a larger just transition, provide concrete examples of how movements have incorporated worker coops into their strategies, and brainstorm how movements could incorporate coops into their strategy.
*** This webinar will be presented in English and Spanish.
Cooperativas de Trabajadorxs: Organización y Auto-Determinación para los Movimientos Sociales
¡Acompáñanos a esta importante discusión en la cual reunimos a cooperativistas y líderes de movimientos para hablar de la solidaridad en la práctica entre nuestros movimientos! RSVP aquí.
Las cooperativas de trabajadorxs son una pieza fundamental para construir equidad e inclusión en esta economía extractiva y desigual. Los movimientos para la justicia social están acercándose más y más a las cooperativas de trabajadores como un modelo, pero no saben muy bien dónde empezar o cómo se ha utilizado el modelo en el pasado.
Daremos una breve introducción sobre el modelo de cooperativas de trabajadorxs en el contexto de una transición hacia la justicia laboral, proveeremos ejemplos concretos de cómo los movimientos han incorporado las cooperativas de trabajadorxs en sus estrategias, y hablaremos de cómo los movimientos pueden incorporar este modelo en su estrategia.
Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, Directora Ejecutiva de SOMOS Mayfair
Si eres un voluntarix, personal o miembrx de la mesa directiva de una organización de la justicia social interesadx en conocer más sobre como las cooperativas de trabajadorxs pueden ser una herramienta para el desarrollo económico para el desarrollo de base, para elevar la voz de las voces de lxs trabajadores, para crear un un impacto más profundo en las comunidades donde trabajan, acompañanos en esta discusión interactiva.
*** Este webinar será presentado en inglés y español.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is a first-come, first-serve, donation-based legal advice clinic, providing a collaborative space for community building and connecting offered by the Sustainable Economies Law Center. Registration closes 40 minutes before the end time listed.
We provide direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies.
Everyone is welcome to attend this cafe. To reserve a 30 minute one-on-one consultation slots with one of our attorneys, please RSVP below.
Think Outside the Boss
Think Outside the Boss provides community members an introduction into the nuts and bolts of starting and running a cooperatively owned business. We go over legal issues in an accessible way to help you understand the relationships between cooperatives, employment, and community wealth-building. If you are an entrepreneur starting a business, an existing business owner thinking about succession plans, or an existing worker coop looking for a refresher, this training is for you!
Food and drinks provided!
Attorneys, law students, and experienced cooperative professionals will give short presentations on legal issues, governance structures, financing, cooperative conversion, and more -- including resources and information on:
- What is a worker-owned business?
- What are advantages of forming a cooperative business?
- How do you spread ownership and control across a group of people?
- What are the steps and tax benefits for selling your business to your employees?
- How do you raise money for a cooperative?
- What are the tax and accounting issues in a cooperative?
- How does employment laws effect worker coops?
At the event, we will have bound copies of the Think Outside the Boss manual for paying attendees! You can also download it for free prior to the event here.
The event will include breakout groups where you can dive deeper into cooperative conversions, speak with worker members, speak with cooperative attorneys, and more!
We would like to thank Village-Connect for sponsoring this workshop! We are excited to partner with Village connect to build the capacity of people to become more self-aware and self-directed, resulting in sustainable, positive transformation. Village connect has been in existence for over 20 years, instilling core values of communication, respect, love, and trust.
REPAIRED NATIONS creates redress for historic trends of colonization and oppression through cooperative training and development for collective ownership. Initially, REPAIRED NATIONS focuses on building wealth in Black communities by giving youth the tools needed to remain rooted: access to land and access to capital. Bookclubs, Workshops, and Trainings will educate and inspire communities to engage in cooperative effort, while giving grounded, practical skills for collective ownership.
Please help us spread the word! Share this page to your social networks and download the flyer for this workshop here! Co-presented with the Repaired Nations and Village-Connect!
We are looking for volunteers to support this workshop. If you are interested in attending and would like to volunteer, please email email@example.com!
No one turned away for lack of funds!
As nonprofits and movement workers committed to social transformation, how can we embody the change we want to see and create more effective, accountable, and equitable organizations as we do it?
This training will explore how to infuse the governance, management, and operational practices of our organizations with our values of social, racial, gender, and ecological justice through the practice of deep democracy. Grounded in experience, research, discussion, and practice, the workshop will support participants to reimage and redesign teams, departments, or even their whole organization.
We will focus on ways to shift formal and informal power structures within organizations, with a particular focus on new approaches to organizational design for distributed leadership. This workshop will invite you to speak openly about the impact of practices we have inherited from oppressive systems and often reproduced in our own workplaces. Then we’ll discuss practical steps that organizations can take now to align your practices and policies with your commitment to justice and equity.
Participants will leave the workshop with:
- A general understanding of the operations and management of deeply democratic organizations and a vision for how they might embed more democracy in their organization moving forward;
- Specific tools and practices to spread power throughout their organization and give impacted people more voice to shape strategic and programmatic decisions.
- Resources to engage their board of directors, co-workers, and other key stakeholders in conversation about new organizational structures and practices; and;
- An understanding of legal issues arising from worker-self direction.
This experience is ideal for individuals working in or with social justice organizations of all sizes and at all stages of organizational development. All you need is a desire to either develop or refine self-governance practices in your team, program, group or organization. Participants should be people in a position to enact change within their organization. This means operations coordinators, human resource directors, executive directors, leaders of teams, or people with the capacity and energy to start making changes. We strongly recommend that organizations send 2-4 people to the training so you can partner in both sharing the learnings and taking actions when you return to your organization. Get 20% off if you register 2-4 staff/board by using this coupon code: SELC20
About the Presenter
Sustainable Economic Law Center cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. We provide essential legal tools - education, research, advice, and advocacy - so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community.
Part of Sustainable Economies Law Center's approach to catalyzing a more just and resilient society is to be the change we want to see. We have adopted policies that distribute "ownership" throughout the organization, allow for more dignified livelihoods, expand access to our legal services, and empower a new generation of grassroots legal experts.
(1) Forging Cooperative Connections between Ghana and the US.
We are organizing a cultural exchange trip that is primarily focused on creating pathways for African Americans to reinvest in Ghana regeneratively, without perpetuating the problems of capitalism. Our cultural exchange invites East African, West African, and U.S. cooperatives to begin dialogue for a co-created equitable development policy for Ghanaian economic development, and beyond. Dialogue is the key to our trip, for only through dialogue can two distanced peoples begin to find synergies between themselves, and only through dialogue can new arrivals to Ghana know what Ghanaians want for Ghana and how to help steward this vision. In partnership with the Ghana Cooperatives Council, we will host a conference in Accra at the National History Museum where attendees will share knowledge and experience while co-creating equitable development policy.
Dialogue is the key to our trip; it is only through dialogue that two distanced peoples with shared roots can begin to find synergies between themselves, and only through dialogue can new arrivals to Africa know what Africans want for Africa and how to help steward their visions. Co-created equitable development policy can only be built upon discussion, exchange of ideas, and information. This conference will begin, re-establish, and strengthen economic relationships throughout the African Diaspora.
Please email greg(at)theselc.org to reserve space on the trip, then make your deposit here.
(2) Equitable Cooperative Development Policy
The growing American cohort is a group of cooperative-minded people seeking to learn how Ghanaians in particular, and Africans in general, structure their collective efforts, to offer our experience and expertise to local projects, and to engage critical conversation regarding international cooperative exchange of resources. Attendees will form relationships that bloom into
- Cultural content,
- Import/export agreements,
- Thought partnership, and
- Community-owned real estate development uniquely structured to prevent displacement.
As global pressures from capital begin to move more and more Black residents from their homes, repatriating back to West Africa begins to make sense for the financial realities of many displaced people. We seek to build bridges now, and begin dialogue with Ghanaians to understand how capital pressures affect their lives and how an influx of cooperative effort from African Americans can increase their capacity to develop and co-own their own neighborhoods, instead of allowing outside capitalists to determine how neighborhoods are developed based solely on property ownership.
(3) Coast to Culture Podcast
Our podcast, Coast to Culture, will document how cultural exchange attendees are approaching the Year of Return. Each person will give regular updates on how planning for the trip, and participating in the Year of Return has affected them emotionally, financially, interpersonally, and spiritually. Exchange organizers will share knowledge and revelations from their experience developing the exchange trip. Upon return to the Motherland, Coast to Culture hosts will interview experts in culture, law, business, and cooperative enterprises to help ground the audience in African cooperative business opportunities and how to prepare for international business between the U.S. and West Africa. We will forefront how welcoming Ghanaians are to cooperative business and how well African-Americans are received during the Year of Return. All of our podcast segments seek to spark engagement with cooperatives about Ghana's open door policy for the African Diaspora.
Please email greg(at)theselc.org to reserve space on the trip, then make your deposit here.
Tentative Ghana Cooperative Exchange Itinerary
October 11 - Arrival Flight
October 12 - Dinner & Artist Exchange
October 13 - Slave Castle Tour
October 14 - Un-Conference
October 15 - Collective Decision by Attendees
October 16 - Collective Decision by Attendees
October 17 - Collective Decision by Attendees
October 18 - Closing Exchange Reception
October 19 - Departure Flight