Cooperative Economics for a POC-Led Future: Aaron Tanaka

Under the Trump regime, we’ll certainly have to be on the defense to protect the communities most likely to be attacked — but we’ll also have to build powerful, alternative models where POC, Muslim, undocumented, disabled, and queer folks have leadership. In this week’s episode, Laura speaks with Aaron Tanaka, founder and director of the Center for Economic Democracy about his longtime advocacy and visionary work for the next system of solidarity economics. 

Tanaka wants to know if Trump will make us think think or act differently about extractive capitalism. To change the circumstances of injustice, whether it’s mass incarceration or mass displacement, we have to build our communities’ governance power to take control of their economic resources — so says Tanaka. 

The Center for Economic Democracy is one of the many organizations behind Boston’s Ujima program, which is funneling the discourse of democratic economics into the practice we need. The Ujima project is helping communities of color direct their resources into the ideas they believe in, through a cooperative model of community budgeting. 

All this, and an F-Word from Laura on why we’ve got to look beyond personality politics to understand the actual culture that’s driving the nation’s voters.


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