Imagine a bustling neighborhood where the local grocery and cafe is cooperatively owned. It’s a hub, a meeting place, a point of connection where people come to shop for the week's groceries but stay to chat over a cup of tea. All the investors in the store are neighbors and the worker-owners know them by name. The co-op hosts a yearly fiesta where neighbors and investors get to meet the farmers who grow the food for the coop.
A beautiful image of a sustainable community that’s interconnected and nourishing itself, right? Because we all know that a sustainable economy centers relationships, not transactions.
Interdependence has been a recurring concept at the Law Center that has evolved into a closely held value. So much so, that we’ve decided to offer a series of events and happenings next month to explore how we rebuild lives, communities, and legal systems on a foundation of interdependence. This will be a space to conjure images like the one above, and more!
As a prelude to Interdependence Month, we’re narrowing in on the individuals in our web of interdependence. Who are the people that hold the Law Center up, push us to strive and think creatively, and support us in all we do?
Pride-ful Cooperators & Queer-led Solidarity Economy / Mutual Aid Orgs
Behold the LGBTQI leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, thinkers, and colleagues of our community! Click on their faces to learn about the vital work they do in service of the solidarity economy.
Legal Fellow Highlight
Our latest cohort of Legal Fellows serve the legal needs of a diverse array of businesses, cooperatives, and educational institutions around the country, focused on growing local sustainable economies. Every month we’ll feature a few of our current fellows and the fantastic work they’re doing. Click here to see all of our 2021 Fellows.
|Adam Johnson | Encouraging cooperative growth across Appalachia in order to create a more equitable relationship between work and the individual.|
|Cristina Mathews | Helping people of modest means in rural northern California protect their rights at work, fight predatory consumer lenders, and plan for the future.|
|D Abuyounes | Public interest attorney committed to community economic empowerment through the development of worker, housing, and real estate cooperatives in greater Los Angeles.|
Remembering Robert Takashi Yanagida
Early this month, our long time collaborator and supporter Rob Yanagida passed away. Rob was an attorney and social justice activist who focused his legal practice on the developing new economy, such as: worker, consumer and multi-stakeholder cooperatives, non-profits, community enterprises.
When asked to say what Rob meant to SELC, our Law Center colleague Yassi had this to say:
I believe we met about seven years ago, back when our small team at the Sustainable Economies Law Center had just started hosting legal cafes in the East Bay. He was such a dedicated volunteer attorney, and I was always impressed that he’d travel so far from Santa Cruz to Oakland just to pay it forward. In the years since, he proved himself to be a fierce advocate for worker cooperatives -- inspiring, exploring, and founding multiple efforts to bring cooperative economics and culture to Santa Cruz and beyond. In the years we worked together, I was grateful to be fighting the same fight for a future that is more just, peaceful, collaborative, and kind. The ripple effects of Rob’s work will continue to reverberate, inspire, and unfold into a more beautiful world.
#BlackCapitalMatters Legal Fund
Help solve one of the most pressing issues within the black business community — lack of consistent financing and a solid capital raising strategy. The Law Center legal fellow and attorney Elizabeth L. Carter has created a legal fund to provide legal services to underrepresented businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, and investment funds. Click here to donate and support this vital initiative.