Co-op Hour Mutual Aid Series: Caring For & Educating Our Children

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Panelists / Presentatores:
Teresa Mansell / Childspace
Naomi Alexis / It Takes A City NY
Ellen Vera / Co-op Cincy’s CareShare

Hear from worker cooperative voices what it takes to create sustainable solutions to a perennial economic crisis that works just for the 1%. For many, the crisis of the pandemic comes on top of many other crises of debt, rights, exclusion, inequality, low wages, etc. With all the challenges that a democratic process brings, worker cooperatives have been spaces to help revert the exploitation of the ruling class by engaging in practices to build agency, empowerment, and shared responsibility. Yet worker cooperatives struggle like any other business under economic crisis, and the model to create another way for our economy is more vulnerable than ever. What are worker cooperatives doing today to care for their communities? What are the different struggles in rural and urban settings? What does it mean to Do it all …and again without childcare? What can we do to support essential workers? What does the cooperative ecosystem need to do to support our economies to thrive?

The importance of reproductive labor has never been so evident as in this pandemic, nor as challenging. Parents all over the world are struggling to figure out how to arrange and afford childcare and education when schools and childcare centers are partially open. In the middle of the pandemic and economic crisis, many parents have no choice but to keep working but can’t find affordable and safe childcare, especially when their kids’ school days are being shortened. The government has failed to provide guidance and protection to teachers, providers, children and families. We are not just numbers, statistics, we are families facing real challenges. We must stretch our collective imagination for a future for our children. What can we learn from different co-op models to support and protect each other as a whole community? How can we ensure that our strategies don’t contribute to racial inequality and segregation, nor to let the government off the hook?

 

A co-production of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and Democracy At Work Institute.

 

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