Other Worlds

The Legacy and Current Growth of Black Cooperatives

October 28, 2015

An interview with Jessica Gordon Nembhard

by Beverly Bell and Natalie Miller

Photo of Mandela Foods Cooperative, courtesy of Jessica Gordon Nembhard.

For National Co-op Month, we present a three-part series from an interview with Jessica Gordon Nembhard. Read the first piece, Black Cooperative Economics During Enslavement, here and the second piece, on how the cooperatives were critical partners to struggles throughout African-American history, here.

When I first became interested in cooperative economics, everybody, Black and white, told me that Black people  just don’t engage in cooperative economics. But that didn’t seem right to me. So I started studying it, talking to people about it, and participating in the US co-op movement. I found there were hardly any Blacks involved, except when they were in agricultural cooperatives in the South. None of the mainstream co-op literature talked about Black co-ops, and yet I was sure that African-Americans must have been involved.


East Bay Premiere of Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley

October 27, 2015

Other Worlds, Friends of the Earth and Food First are co-sponsoring a film screening of Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz will introduce the program and Filmmaker Jesse Freeston will lead the post-film discussion.

When a 21st century coup d’état overthrows the only president they ever believed in, the farmers take over the plantations. With no plans to ever give them back.

We Are All Indigenous & We Are fighting For a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry

October 27, 2015

Together to build a fair and supportive Brazil

The social and union movements from Mato Grosso do Sul, who got together last September 22nd , reaffirm their full support to indigenous peoples’ struggle for their rights, such as the battle to reclaim their territory and at least the chance of a fair and decent life. Once again, outraged, we denounce that in our Mato Grosso do Sul some of the farmers and their roughnecks have been working with some armed organizations and in less than a month they effected 12 (twelve) paramilitary attacks against Guarani Kaiowá, Tekohá Ñanderú Maragantú, Potrero Guasu, Guyra Kamby'I, Pyelito Kue and Kurupi. As a result of this war, Semião Vilhalva,  Guarani Kaiowá’s leader, was murdered and three Indians were shot. Many others were injured by some rubber bullets, while others were beaten up. 


Indigenous Mayans Win Stunning Repeal of Hated ‘Monsanto Law’

October 27, 2015

Cross posted from Waking Times

Originally released October 19, 2015

By Alex Pietrowski

Photo Credit: Cristina Chiquin

The success of the Guatemalan people in defending their food sovereignty and stopping “Monsanto Law” is an inspiring example that people, when united, can overpower even the largest of corporations.

African Seed & Food Sovereignty

October 23, 2015

Other Worlds brings to you a 7-part article series on African food and seed sovereignty, which will feature interviews with grassroots leaders (mostly women) from Senegal, Mali, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Each is working for seed sovereignty and the decolonization of Africa’s food system.

Other Worlds will release the articles every other Wednesday beginning November 4th. They are in English, run around 1200 words, and include photos.

Brazil Aims to Torpedo International Moratorium on Terminator Seeds

October 22, 2015

Farmers’ Rights and Food Sovereignty Under Fire

By Etc Group

Orignially released on October 2, 2015

At a time when just three corporations – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – control 55% of the world’s commercial seeds, industrial farming interests in the Brazilian Congress have introduced a bill that aims to overturn the country’s 10-year old ban on Terminator technology – seeds that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds. The technology is designed to secure corporate profits by eliminating the age-old right of farmers to save and re-plant harvested seeds.

AgroEcology: the Bold Future for Africa

October 21, 2015

The text below comes from a press release from the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa:

It’s time for us to recognize that agroecology is the future of farming in Africa! Industrial agriculture is a dead end. It claims to have raised yields in places but it has done so at great cost, with extensive soil damage, huge biodiversity loss and negative impacts on nutrition, food sovereignty and natural resources.

The Black Co-op Movement: The Silent Partner in Critical Moments of African-American History

October 21, 2015

An interview with Jessica Gordon Nembhard

by Beverly Bell and Natalie Miller













The Federation of Southern Cooperatives logo, courtesy of Jessica Gordon Nembhard.

For National Co-op Month, we present a three-part series from an interview with Jessica Gordon Nembhard who is Professor of Community Justice & Social Economic Development at John Jay College, CUNY; and an Affiliate Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. She serves on the following boards: Grassroots Economic Organizing, the Association of Cooperative Educators, and the US Solidarity Economy Network; and is a founding member of the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Gordon Nembhard’s acclaimed new book is Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. This is the first of a three-part interview to run during October, which is Co-op Month. See the first piece, Black Cooperative Economics During Enslavement, here.

Black Farmers' Lives Matter: The significant contributions of Black Farmers in America

October 15, 2015

By Heather Gray, Federation of Southern Cooperatives


Photo courtesy of Heather Gray

The 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize was shared by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund (Federation) and the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras. The prize was presented in Des Moines on October 14, 2015. 

The Food Sovereignty prize was first awarded in 2009 as an alternative to the World Food Prize (also taking place this week in Des Moines, Iowa) founded by “the father of the Green Revolution,” the late Norman Borlaug. While the World Food Prize emphasizes increased production through technology, the Food Sovereignty Prize, awarded by the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, champions solutions coming from those most impacted by the injustices of the global food system. In honoring those who are organizing to reclaim local food systems, the commons and community self-determination, the Food Sovereignty Prize affirms that nothing short of the true democratization of our food system will enable us to end hunger once and for all.(EcoWatch)


Haitian Cholera Victims Tell UN to “Face Justice”

October 14, 2015

New Campaign Brings Victims’ Portraits to UN for Five-Year Anniversary

GENEVA, NEW YORK, PORT-AU-PRINCE, October 13, 2015—On the morning of October 14, activists will be erecting large portraits of cholera victims outside the United Nations (UN) offices in New York, Geneva and Port-au-Prince to commemorate the 9,000 lives lost from cholera brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers five years ago.  The portraits are a part of a new campaign, Face Justice, which calls on the UN to hear victims’ calls for justice.  The campaign demands that the UN accept responsibility for causing the epidemic through faulty waste management, provide reparations, and invest in water and sanitation to eliminate cholera.


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