Main Group

The Kola Nut Collaborative
The Kola Nut Collaborative (KNC) is a mutual support network of people engaged in reciprocal exchange of services, skills, and goods through a timebank where the currency is an hour of time for everyone. Through membership in the Kola Nut Collaborative people: create and strengthen community bonds, create economic freedom by providing an alternative means to get needs and desires met, and encourage creativity in redefining self-sufficiency, interdependence and valuation of time. The Kola Nut Collaborative introduces a paradigm where members reflect on the available resources in their lives moving from a perception of scarcity and lack to abundance and wholeness.
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Subgroups You Can Join

  • Cooperation For Liberation Study & Working Group
    This listserv is designed to facilitate collaboration and cooperation among community stakeholders for the purpose of discussion, networking, resource sharing, and ongoing capacity building around cooperative economic development strategies in Black communities. It is a communication channel of the Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group (Coop 4 Lib). * * OUR PURPOSE Coop 4 Lib is an intentional gathering space where we explore, enrich, and exchange insights on the historical and contemporary use of cooperative economic development strategies within Black communities. OUR MISSION Coop 4 Lib is a Black-centered collective from communities actively healing through different forms of oppression. We advance Black liberation by building a worker cooperative to meet cultural and material needs and growing the worker cooperative movement. We exchange knowledge & resources and foster space for community, joy, and solidarity. OUR VISION To realize the dreams of our Black ancestors and carry on their radical tradition by imagining and shaping a world that embraces the collective wellness of the Earth and all living beings. We speak to the future where our communities thrive economically, spiritually, creatively, and culturally through self-determination. WHAT WE DO In the spring of 2018, Coop 4 Lib launched as a reading group which began intentionally analyzing and mapping the ideas of Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard's "Collective Courage" on the role of cooperative strategies in the history of Black organizing and the Black Radical Tradition. We later followed this text with two others ("Jackson Rising" by Kali Akuno and Ajamu Nangwaya & "The Next American Revolution" by Grace Lee Boggs) before recently embarking upon an internally facilitated adaptation of "Collecting Ourselves: A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum" by Northcountry Cooperative Foundation. During the course of our development, we deliberately shifted from study group to working group picking up co-facilitation assistance along the way from within Chicagoland's cooperative ecosystem to fill the gaps in our own shared knowledge. We are continuing to use this curriculum study to shape our ideas on the contemporary use of cooperative strategies in today's Black organizing landscape. The culmination of this work will be the launch of a new cooperative endeavor in conjunction with a targeted community in the city where community outreach proves most fruitful for our efforts. GETTING INVOLVED Coop 4 Lib hosts general public meetings ( ) bi-weekly on Sundays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and the most up to date meeting information is distributed via the calendar reminders sent out through the listserv. You are invited to attend one of these regular public gatherings to build your cooperative acumen or gain more information. Our sessions offer a robust mix of deeper study of cooperative operations and governance; role playing functions within a cooperative to test decision options within a cooperative environment; and bringing in guest facilitation to fill gaps in our knowledge about specific elements of cooperative organizing and development. OUR STRUCTURE Our current structure is informal and consensus based with a core planning team coordinating strategic decisions and subcommittees tasked with building out specific programmatic areas within the Working Group. CURRENT COMMITTEES Coop 4 Lib has empowered the following committees to develop functions and make decisions around specific programmatic areas which include the following: * Development * Outreach/Organizing * Facilitation * Culture-Arts-Movement (CAM) GETTING ACQUAINTED New participants can acclimate themselves to unique approach of Coop 4 Lib to cooperativism, a solidarity economy framework, and aligned social movements by visiting the resources below. We acknowledge that the history of racism and racial capitalism have are intertwined with all social critique in the US and that the mainstream practice of cooperatives and a solidarity economy have not escaped this impact. Our approach to cooperatives and solidarity economy are entangled with the Black liberatory tradition, histories of resistance, and radical imagination. "Building a Cooperative Solidarity Commonwealth" by Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard ( ) "Here's How We Prepare To Be Ungovernable In 2017" by Sarah Lazare ( ) "The Good Money Issue" by Yes! Magazine ( ) "The Case for Reparations" by Ta-Nehisi Coates ( ) "The Case for Reparations" (Audio) by Ta-Nehisi Coates ( ) "Collective Courage" by Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard ( ) "Jackson Rising" by Kali Akuno and Ajamu Nangwaya ( ) "The Next American Revolution" by Grace Lee-Boggs ( ) CURRICULUM REVIEW Our most recent undertaking has been internally reviewing and facilitating an adapted version of Northcountry Cooperative Foundation's publication "Collecting Ourselves: A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum". While the curriculum proves somewhat imperfect for our needs, it has been a skeletal framework on which we can build new examples and supplement with case studies that better reflect the experiences of the populations we serve. To archive the entire process, we have employed Dropbox Paper as a multimedia presentation tool for session agendas which can also be linked and referenced for later review. Cooperation 101 ( ) Coops As Tools ( ) Using Coops ( ) Pause & Reflect ( ) Demystifying Development ( ) Demystifying Development Revisited ( ) What's Your Process? ( ) What's Your Process? Revisited ( ) Organizing Your People ( ) Organizing Your People Revisited ( ) Deciding How We Decide ( )
    73 Members, 425 Topics, Archives Viewable Only By Members, Restricted, Last Post:
  • OANM Facilitator Network - Cohort One
    Offers & Needs Market Facilitator Network - Cohort One
    11 Members, 15 Topics, Archives Viewable Only By Members, Last Post:
  • OANM Facilitator Network
    Offers & Needs Market Facilitator Network
    1 Member, 0 Topics, Archives Viewable Only By Members
  • Resist & Build Summit
    Resist and Build Summit brings together key national organizations that are working for system change to engage in a learning process and identify opportunities to amplify common areas of work , brainstorm potential areas for collaboration, and distinguish our roles. This listserv has been configured for the purpose of helping participants in the Resist and Build Summit network to coordinate and communicate more easily with one another.
    90 Members, 30 Topics, Archives Viewable Only By Members, Restricted, Last Post:
  • Solidarity Economies of Greater Chicago
    *This listserv is designed to facilitate collaboration and cooperation among community stakeholders for the purpose of discussion, networking, resource sharing, and ongoing capacity building of Solidarity Economy practices and initiatives in the Chicagoland area. It is a communication channel of the Chicago DSA Solidarity Economy Working Group. * *OUR MISSION* Our mission is to educate, advocate, and build a community of practice around a vision of a democratic economy in Chicago. *WHAT WE DO* In the spring of 2018, the Working Group hosted its first event, Solidarity Economy 101, during which we introduced approximately 40 members of the chapter to the concept of a solidarity economy. This gathering wove together presentations from Horizontal Stateline on community land trusts, the Kola Nut Collaborative on timebanking, and Dill Pickle Food Co-op on consumer cooperatives as a frame for understanding the solidarity economy as a more democratic method of provisioning social benefits and economic resources. In the fall of 2018, the Working Group went a step further hosting Chicago's 1st Cooperative Economy Summit ( ) which drew approximately 200 attendees to location in the West Loop for a day long gathering of 7 panels and 6 breakout sessions where we were further able to unpack the specific elements of the solidarity economy already present in Chicago in order to build shared narrative and connect those initiatives to one another. Panels and breakouts covered housing, food, worker, and electric/utility cooperatives; cooperative crowdfunding; participatory budgeting; community land trusts; and sustainable circular economies. </iframe In the winter of 2018, the Working Group co-hosted "Chaos or Community: Mutual Aid from Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria" which invited Luis Rodriguez Sanchez & Christine Nieves of Proyecto de Apoyo Mutuo Mariana; Miguel Alvelo of Chicago Boricua Resistance; and Mike Strode of the Working Group to discuss how mutual aid is helping Puerto Rico recover from its combined economic and ecological crises. Mutual aid is one of the fundamental principles of the solidarity economy framework. *GETTING INVOLVED* At present, the Working Group is resetting into a space where we can collectively engage in deeper study and learning around the cooperative principles before deciding the next set of initiatives we would like to pursue. There are several opportunities for socialists who would like to plug in and lead new solidarity economy initiatives. We have begun revisiting a shelved zine and pamphlet project which is meant to introduce the solidarity economy and highlight specific examples present within the Chicago ecosystem. This project is seeking those interested in writing and research on the solidarity economy take on sections of the pamphlet. An ongoing development from the Cooperative Economy Summit is our solidarity economy mapping initiative under development by a member of Chi Hack Night and the Data Commons Cooperative. Data science, coders, or those interested community asset mapping can help build a map of initiatives throughout to help people connect with the solidarity economy in their neighborhood. We host general public meetings on the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and the most up to date meeting information is distributed via the calendar reminders sent out through the listserv. *CURRENT INITIATIVES* In addition, the group has room to launch and support several other suggested initiatives such as those noted below. • Public and Political Education • Speaker/Panel Series • Reading/Viewing/Discussion Series • Campaign Building • Cross Issue Organizing • Study Tours • Mapping Movement • Monthly SE Mixer (Sunday Soup) • Crowdfunding • RE-Summit *OUR STRUCTURE* Our current structure is informal and the interim facilitator is Mike Strode ( ). *GETTING ACQUAINTED* New participants can acclimate themselves to the solidarity economy framework and aligned social movements by visiting the resources below. A socialist economy is possible and we can initiate behavioral shifts in the ways communities deal with social and economic provisioning in advance of a broader socialist transformation. "Solidarity Economy: Building Economy for People & Planet" by Emily Kawano ( ) "The Solidarity Economy" by Midwest Socialist ( ) "The Solidarity Economy" by Upstream Podcast ( ) "Solidarity Economy, Pt. 1" by Season of the Bitch ( ) "Solidarity Economy, Pt. 2" by Season of the Bitch ( )
    208 Members, 627 Topics, Public Archives, Last Post: