Mainstream, dominant economic and governance systems are failing to meet our people’s needs. The failures of a capitalist political economy are becoming more apparent. We are seeing new and devastating impacts on people’s lives. We are seeing this power-over system spreading harm. And we see the system concentrating harm among the most marginalized and vulnerable.
Now is the time for us to stand together and say firmly: “there’s no going back!”
No going back to a political economy that privileges owners over workers. No going back to dividing poor and working class communities with white supremacy and ableism. Nor to criminalizing Indigenous, Black and Brown communities. No going back to putting profit over the health of our bodies and ecosystems. Nor one that treats workers’ lives as expendable.
We hope the network facilitates connection among organizers. We hope it can help you access technical support and resources and build your capacity. And we hope it further weaves together the solidarity economy work in our region.
Those of us organizing amidst the crises of state violence, natural disasters, mass incarceration, ICE raids, and climate chaos already know that our lives depend on a massive shift in our political economy. The current crises we are living in are lifting the veil. People are experiencing the harm, pointing the finger at capitalism, and yearning for another way.
Eighty people from across the South met in September 2019 at Highlander to continue weaving a network to build solidarity economies. We met to radically reimagine our economy according to values and principles of solidarity economy: solidarity, cooperation, equity, sustainability, pluralism, and participatory democracy. Now more than ever, we know that these are the values that will literally save us.
We hope the report will be a useful tool to spark conversations in your community. We hope it helps you remain curious about opportunities and possible paths forward. And we hope it helps you face challenges, build resilience, and seed solidarity economies.
What if our economy valued our work, our lives, our power like our labor was what made everything possible? What if our political economy valued what we value: care for our disabled, elderly, and sick, social justice, democracy?
As we organize in this moment to keep our people and our communities safe, it’s important for us to remain grounded in our vision of beloved community. We get to keep finding ways to connect our local and grassroots work with movements for radical transformation.
Thanks for everything you are doing to build and fight for an economy and society we deserve.