Last month Little Rock native Ed Whitfield visited Little Rock for a series of events and conversations around building solidarity economies. The event was organized by Datule Artist Collective, the Women’s Project and, Little Rock Collective Liberation.
His public talk, “Blood, Bones, and Dirt,” focused on the long history of slavery and capitalism while also offering examples of democratic power building on a local scale. ( Click here to read more about Whitfield.)
As an outgrowth of his visit, he has invited a delegation from central Arkansas to attend the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy in Worcester, Maine July 10th-12th. The delegation represents the work of both Solfood Catering and Box Populi, and everyone in the delegation is already developing the cooperative movement here in central Arkansas.
Coop delegation and friends. Solidarity economies help build stronger futures for adults and children alike.
In other words, people are not attending this conference to learn about cooperatives in the abstract. Rather, they’re going to gain concrete skills, information, and resources to support what they’re already building….AND to bring home what they learn. After the conference the delegation will offer trainings and conversations in both Little Rock and other communities (including rural communities) that will help our communities grow economic cooperatives.
Here is what Marie Long of Solfood has to say of this training: “I truly believe that solidarity economics is imperative to the survival of Western Civilization. Capitalism, as practiced today, has failed us. It has completely negated the concepts of cooperation and striped many of us of their humanity. Solidarity economics not only rewards creativity, but promotes togetherness and bolsters our innate sense of community and mutualism.” The community has put together a donation page asking everyone to give what you can. This is not just about people going to a conference. This is about creating ripple effects to help build our community’s capacity to organize across race, class, and region to build a just economy.
Ed Whitfield visiting Little Rock
Community leaders sharing their stories during Whitfield’s visit.
Agenda from Ed Whitfield’s talk at the Willie Hinton Center
To help raise money Little Rock Collective Liberation is putting together a Nerd Nite, “A fun, fast-moving adult show-and-tell where participants have 5 minutes to share their knowledge about a unique topic.” According to organizers, “Nerd Nite is an international phenomenon- one of our members even went to one in Cambodia! She heard about topics ranging from creative dumpster diving to homo floresiensis to edible weeds.”
Come join Little Rock Collective Liberation for this event this coming Sunday at 6:oo at Vinos and bring all your friends. It’s only five dollars to attend, but throw more in the hat if you have it. All proceeds go toward the delegation’s trip. Learn more here and sign up to share your knowledge.