Worker Co-op Week sessions were made to inspire with topics ranging from carrying on the legacy of Black cooperative visionaries and recruiting the next generation of the homecare cooperative workforce, to discovering financial tools for immigrant workers and securing health care for worker co-ops and more. These sessions were curated by and for worker-owners and cooperative movement builders to both meet our current needs on the road to a just pandemic recovery, and foster our communities’ shared prosperity.
Day 1 of Worker Co-op Week will be closed by a Keynote Panel address featuring a conversation between special guests U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York's 16th Congressional District and sci fi writer & housing justice organizer, Rasheedah Phillips of Policy Link and the Black Quantum Futurism artist collective, moderated by AORTA worker-owner and USFWC Executive Director Esteban Kelly. Aside from the engaging session and keynote content, the conference is a space for worker co-op movement builders to connect, discuss and engage with shared values through a virtual film screening and to celebrate one another’s hard-fought achievements at the 2021 Worker Co-op Awards.
Session Block 1 丨12pm ET / 11am CT / 9am PT
Session Block 2 丨2pm ET / 1pm CT / 11am PT
Social Hour丨 4pm ET / 3pm CT / 1pm PT
During this time, Worker Co-op Week participants are invited to connect with colleagues, meet new cooperators and expand their network of mutual support. There will be open virtual spaces to connect with others that align with shared affinities, projects or industries. Stay tuned for more information about the structures social spaces we'll be hosting!
Keynote Panel: Beyond Wakanda– Can Hubs of Workplace Democracy Catalyze Communal Futures?丨5pm ET / 4pm CT / 2pm PT
Our keynote presentation premiers a conversation between U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York's 16th Congressional District, AORTA worker-owner and USFWC Executive Director Esteban Kelly, and sci fi writer & housing justice organizer, Rasheedah Phillips of Policy Link and the Black Quantum Futurism artist collective. Together they'll explore how compelling visions of a liberated future can inspire today's actions for building community wealth through cooperative ownership and governance. Congressman Bowman is the lead sponsor of the Green New Deal for Public Schools, and a supporter of bills that link innovation with cooperative development. The conversation will also feature activist co-op members in dialogue about local organizing and multi-racial strategies for meaningful change toward a post-capitalist future.
About Rep. Jamaal Bowman:
Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D., represents New York’s 16th District, which includes the Northern Bronx and parts of Westchester County, including Yonkers, New Rochelle, and Mount Vernon. Bowman was born and raised in New York City, spending his early years in public housing and rent-controlled apartments, raised by his working-class single mother. Bowman began his career as a crisis intervention teacher in a Bronx public school and went on to earn a doctorate in education from Manhattanville College.
In 2009, Bowman founded Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, a Bronx middle school focused on unlocking the natural brilliance of all children through a holistic curriculum, where he served as principal for a decade. At CASA, Bowman worked to center students’ voices, cultural awareness, and love. He has been an outspoken advocate for rethinking education, including ending state-sanctioned yearly standardized testing.
Bowman was elected to Congress in 2020, and has since been dedicated to passing visionary policy that infuses climate justice with economic and racial justice, and to highlighting the importance of research and investing communities of color.
Bowman lives in Yonkers, New York, with his wife and children.
About Rasheedah Phillips:
Rasheedah Phillips currently serves as the Managing Attorney of Housing Policy at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, has been a fearless legal advocate for tenants rights and childcare at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia since 2008.
Phillips began her career in the Community Economic Development Unit, community lawyering on behalf of small childcare and she has since trained on racial justice and housing law issues and skills throughout the country. Rasheedah is a 2016 Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute Fellow, 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity, 2020 Givelber Distinguished Public Interest Lecturer, and a 2021 Ambassador for Health Equity with PolicyLink. She has won numerous other awards for her work toward advancing racial justice and health equity through her teachings and continues to show us her vision of Queer liberation through her AfroFuturist interdisciplinary art.
Phillips’ writing has appeared in Keywords for Radicals, Temple Political and Civil Right Journal, The Funambulist Magazine and more. Phillips is the founder of The AfroFuturist Affair, a founding member of Metropolarity Queer Speculative Fiction Collective, co-founder of Black Quantum Futurism, and co-creator of Community Futures Lab. As part of BQF and as a solo artist, Phillips is currently a CERN Artist Resident, Vera List Center Fellow, Knight Art + Tech Fellow, a former Pew and A Blade of Grass fellow, and the breadth of her art has been experienced from Philadelphia to London.
Screening of The Big Scary “S” Word 丨 7:30pm ET / 6:30pm CT / 4:30pm PT
We are honored to be able to offer a virtual screening of Yael Bridge's The Big Scary "S" Word, which "delves into the rich history of the American socialist movement and journeys with the people striving to build a socialist future today."
After the screening, we will be joined in conversation by Director Yael Bridge, Zara Serabian-Arthur and Eric Phillips-Horst from the production team at Worker Co-op Meerkat Media as well as film-featured guest, USFWC Board president Ricardo Nuñez to answer questions and engage with the themes in the film.
We invite you to watch the screening and share your live thoughts and questions:
- On Twitter tagging @usfwc and @socialismmovie, using the hashtag #WorkerCoopWeek
- On our public Worker Co-op Slack in the #workercoopweek2021 channel
We look forward to experiencing the history of Socialism in the U.S. and the ties to the worker co-op movement with you all Wednesday night!