Just Economic Transitions: What economic and business models promote justice and solidarity?

To realize racial justice, and other forms of social justice, we have to address the underlying structures (rules, incentives, practices) of our existing dominant economy. Much of our economy is based on “othering” and oppressing people and destroying natural resources, then either denying wrongdoing or looking at harm done as “externalities.” We need new economic models in both urban and rural communities at the individual business/company level, community/economic development level, and economic policy level that support human dignity, diverse belonging, and ecosystem vitality.

From cooperative ownership models to community-based and sovereignty movements to circular economies and gift economies, different alternatives are showing up, being reinvigorated and evolving. And there are many longer-standing “regenerative” economic models in indigenous communities and communities of color.

Did you know that Booker T. Whatley, a black American who taught at Tuskegee University, launched the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) concept and Pick-Your-Own (U-pick) farming models?

And see this article on “What Indigenous Culture Can Teach Us About a Fair Economy.”

Here are a few more of the many evolving economic models you can check out:

Arctic Cooperatives Limited

Federation of Southern Cooperatives

Detroit People’s Food Coop

Cooperation Jackson

As you explore these long-standing and new models, what comes up for you? What thoughts? What feelings? What approaches are you experimenting with and/or hearing about that support justice and sustainability? What are some of your own visions (more on vision tomorrow) for a just and thriving economic future?