Agrarian Trust

Building Democratic Ownership in the US South

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From the Federation of Southern Cooperatives:

On October 4-6, 2013 the CoopEcon 2013 conference will be held at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund’s Rural Training & Research Center in Epes, Alabama. This is not a conference for developers, although we are sure some will come. “This is mainly meant to help those who will go home and do the work of building jobs, justice, and community wealth”, said coordinator Angela Brown.

Organized by the Southern Grassroots Economies Project, that includes the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, the mission of CoopEcon is consciously centered around engaging directly with those most affected by the economic crisis and least likely to benefit from any efforts at recovery. Women, youth, African Americans, poor whites, immigrants and native Americans in rural and urban settings in the South form our core constituency and will be attending.

Participants will be coming from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. There will be two tracks of participants: (1) those who are already engaged in cooperative economic enterprises and want to strengthen and expand them and (2) those who are looking to learn how to start such enterprises.

Finally, we cannot stress how important the development of these cooperative skill sets can be for our communities. The South has been home to intensely exploitative and dehumanizing economic structures since the founding of this country. But the South has also been the home of transformative social and economic justice struggles that have inspired the nation and the world. The Southern Grassroots Economies Project came into being to bring the energy, idealism and justice orientation of the southern freedom struggle to the current needs for economic development along cooperative lines of democratic ownership and control.

For additional information about this exciting and relevant conference, please contact Angela Brown at 404 765 0991 or by email angelabrown AT