An Economics of Belonging, with Dorian Warren, Cynthia Kaufman & Quinton Sankofa | #OBConf2019
I wanted. To start, by just, making, this statement that we, are on Ohlone land and the Aloni are the the original. Inhabitants of this area and still the inhabitants, of this area and still an important presence in what, happens here in this place my, name is cynthia coffman and i'm the director of the Vasconcelos institute for democracy, in action at De Anza College which is a Community College in the South Bay right near here, we. Also have Dorian, Warren the president, of community change and community action and the co-chair of the Economic Security Project, and you got to know him this morning and Quinton. Sankofa who's the co-director, of the, movement. Generation based. Here in Oakland. Here, what we're talking about here is an economics, of belonging, we're. Gonna hear from these. Two as speakers, I'm gonna make a few short comments, after they speak and then, we're gonna do a little bit of a small group conversation. Amongst yourselves and then a kind of a plenary, conversation. Where, you can direct questions or comments up to the front door to each other and. I just wanted to start by saying that you know the theme of this conference is. About other and belonging, and I would say that we live in a society where belonging is incredibly, hard for people from a variety of marginalized, communities, and I, would also say given the economic situation. That with a I would say capitalism, as a dominant, economic force in our society and and globally, that, capitalism. Makes it hard for anybody to belong, but there's there there's some really important dynamics, with capitalism, that undermine belonging, for everybody. We're. Also going to be we're gonna be looking at what changes need to be made to build an economy of belonging and. I would say with the one of the things I was happy about this morning is kind of where it ended with that question that they kind of threw into our lap about, what, is our vision for a society of belonging and that's both a vision for sort of a society, culture of belonging but also in economics, of belonging what, what, what do we think and I'm hoping that the work we do here this morning is going to help us really understand, that better and.
Because. All three of us are actually organizers. I hope that we're going to look at what it's going to take to actually as, Dorian, ended this morning talk, about what, it's going to take to sort of tear down the old of, economics. That that does, not have belonging what's, going to help us envision that new economics, of belonging and then what are we gonna actually do as organizers, to build that. And then we're gonna start with them with Quinton. Good. Morning everybody. You. All are a beautiful group of people I am very happy to be here with you all today again, my name is Quinton Sankofa, I am one of the co-directors of Moomin generation the justice and ecology, project, and. So in this presentation I have about 15 minutes and I have way more than 15 minutes of information so. We're going to try and get through, this together, but, I think some of the stuff I have supplementary. May, sneak in may not. I'll. Say just a little bit about who moving generation is and then I'm going to get into some of the core frames that we present, around. Economy, around pillars. Of economy, extractive. Economy is, regenerative, economies. And. The just transition framework, and. So the slide that you have up in front of you right now oh and just a name movement. Generation we're, sponsored, by the movement strategy center so, you can find us here in Oakland we also have an office out in Berkeley. And South Berkeley, we. Are a flat organization a flat nonprofit, as, eight of us and we pretty, much manage the organization together, and. So it gives us a tremendous ability, to practice some. Of the values that we would like to see in other workplaces around. Shared governance, and leadership and, decision-making. Primarily. We work with activists, and organizers, and other change makers across. A variety, of different movement. Sectors, and. One. Of the key things that we do is we help folks understand, the ecological crisis. Some. People call it climate change we talk about it as the ecological, crisis, and climate change being one of the parts of that crisis, and.
We Also work with folks to understand strategy on how to move us from the economy, of extraction. To, an economy, of regeneration. Another. Way to think about it is moving from an economy, based on banks and tanks to one based on cooperation, and caring. One. Of the core things that we do to, to. Help our folks is we, hold three to five days strategy, retreat, at. The strategy retreats if we're doing them here, in the Bay Area we were usually doing up at the Occidental arts and ecology, Center which. Is in Sonoma County but sure has how many folks are coming. From someplace in California. By, show of hands okay a lot of Californians, here that's great how many folks are coming from outside the state oh. Okay. Wow okay so people are coming from in California, and outside of California don't have anybody, in here from the Midwest, all. Right anybody here from Cleveland oh just. Me okay, that's cool but. Yeah originally are from Cleveland okay but. I'm really happy to a lot, of different folks are here because I feel like that's where we, get a lot of creativity. And energy when we are able to come together in these different spaces and get out of our traditional, bubbles. So. Yeah so we offer these strategy retreats and we usually do them over five days and they're pretty heavy we start by exploring the ecological, crisis and. We really sit with that grief we look at the numbers we look at the science, and, we sit with the grief of what's happening in our ecosystems. And, then we work to. Develop strategies, and explore, strategies on how to shift things for, our people we. Also offer various programs, it's. Very important for us to not just be analytical, and thinking, about these issues we like to get into the world and practice, different solutions, and strategies so. We offer uh courses. Like our earth skills course or a permaculture for the people course the slide that you see behind me on, the right side of the leaf is our 2010 retreat I was a member of that retreat that. Year that's when I met movement generation and it literally changed the course of my of. My my, work and my politics, I was, looking for a place where I could talk about ecological, justice and what was happening in our planet alongside all, the social, economic racial. Gender, sexuality, all of these other topics, a movement, generations, retreat was a place where I found people were trying to talk about all these things together, and. So. I. Think. Yeah. Okay cool so, we. Consider ourselves grassroots, II colleges, okay I wasn't trained as any colleges, but, we study ecology in, order to make meaning and sense of the world and how it applies to our social movements, and so, today I want to talk to you a little bit about ecology, economy ecosystems.
And, We'll start with this and just, to be transparent. I'm moving through the stuff really fast I usually don't do it but I only got 15 minutes and I usually do this more participatory, but it's like 100 riyal, so. We can't do that right now so my apologies, I do have some, just transition scenes here this is a little, booklet that we put together to kind of go more in depth into some of the things I'm talking about so I only have a handful I have a couple in Spanish too so if you want to get a little more flavor then. After the session just come up and I can give you one of these, okay. So let's get into it so iko iko is, a very popular word right now but we want to get into the roots of this word and where to come from and what did it mean right. Does. Anybody in here know the origins of the word eco like what language that it comes from. Thank. You KO's it's a greek it comes, from a greek word or course or echoes and. You see that in like Greek yogurts and stuff like that at your supermarket right but, what does it mean right what does this word mean we see it everywhere and it's, important for us to understand that Eco simply means home, that's. What it means it means home okay, and so we'll go through a couple of things to explore, more about home and this meaning. Eco. And Logie put together loggia, is the study of things the knowledge of things like biology, is the study of life or the knowing of life so ecology. Is the knowledge, or, understanding, of. Home, okay. That's very important to notice the understanding, of home. Ecosystem. System. And. This in this way means together the different parts that make up home. Is your eco system. And the, eco system, can. Be as big as the entire planet, or, it can be as small as a drop of water it. All depends on where you draw the. Boundaries. Of what you're inquiring. In or looking at or observing, so eco systems are very, important, and very. Malleable. And. Diverse. So. That, brings us to economy. Right and when we think of economy, what are the first things that come to mind when I say the word economy just shout them out real quick money. What else. Does. It hard as money. What. About Wall Street. Derivatives. Stock exchange Commerce. Clause all, of these things right. Capital. And what are our feelings when we say economy, do we have good feel bad right. Economy. Doesn't feel good to us I wonder why right, so, let's get into it right, so economy, that were eco alongside, know, me and know me means management. Right like taxonomy is the management of the classification. Of different different. Animals but put, together away eco. Economy. Means simply management. Of home ok, and so, there's been a concerted, effort to disconnect, you and I from this management of home right but it's very simple economy, just means management. Of home. And. So a movement generation we're very interested in this idea of ecological. Justice that. Is just as based on a right relationship and, understanding of, home and how to manage home in a proper way. But. Unfortunately, the. Economy that we have right now the, global industrial.
Mostly, Capitalist, economy. Has. Led to a mismanagement. Of home a global. Mismanagement, of home and that puts us into a ecological. Disruption so. Disconnecting, us from our ability to know home managed home and understand, home. It's. Heavy, what's happening, right now with this mismanagement, of home ok, we. Are in the midst of some. People would say the sixth great, species. Extinction. We. Know about dinosaurs, going extinct, we know about other species going extinct, and extinction, is a part of evolution, it is a natural thing it happens, the, problem with the. Level. Of extinction we're facing right now is that. It's. Unprecedented, in the in the speed at which is happening it's, unprecedented, in the amount of life that will go extinct. We stand. To lose up to 90%. Of all living things on, this plant all living, species on this planet if. We continue down this road and, this, extinction, is the only extinction, I was caused by a single species, who's. That species us. Ok. So. We are in a different mo, and time. And. This. This ecological. Disruption or, this mismanagement, of home has impacts, all over some, of the impacts that we explore our impacts, on their energy or biological. And cultural diversity, land. Labor and migration food. And agriculture. Waste, and toxins, these. Are some of the lenses that we would go through a little bit more in depth at our strategy retreat but today I'm just gonna say a little bit about water. Water. Is life no. Doubt right water, is sacred. This. Is our. Hydrologic. Cycle, right, the way that water moves, through our. Ecosystem. And. I want to be clear and say this to you our you, know this but let's just put it into perspective. Water. Is sacred water, is life. Every. Drop of water that is on our planet. Has. Been here since, the beginning and. There. Is no more water coming, all the, water we have now is all the water we ever had is just constantly. Moving through various, cycles from evaporation, condensation. To. Precipitation. So, there's no new water coming, this, is all we have to work with and we've, been blessed or very fortunate, as a species, to have water in this way. We. Can think about water in these ways the, earth is, 75%. Water. My. Friend at the Occident in the arts and ecology center Brock Dolman he says we don't actually live on planet earth we. Live on planet water. Right. Your. Bodies mostly, water. Just. Like the earth, is, now. Only. Two-and-a-half, percent of all, the water on this planet is freshwater. Only. Two-and-a-half percent and that's the water that we need as a species, to survive. Only. 1% of that fresh water is easily accessible, to us a lot. Of it is trapped in glaciers. And snow, fields. That's all freshwater, sidenote. As the, oceans. Warm and. Climate, change warms our planet. Glaciers. Are melting that's, fresh water being, converted, into salt, water. Okay. So. Only. 1% is easily accessible to us and. Unfortunately. Half. Of what we have access to has already been polluted. So. This is where we're at this is part of that mismanagement. Of home the, waters didn't come to us polluted. They. Came to us purer and. Through. This economy, they've. Been seriously contaminated. And polluted. Now. In, order. To transform, the economy that got us to this place and we can name it capitalism, if we want we can have it a lot of things we, like to call it extractive, the, extractive, economy in, order, to transform, our economy is going to help us to understand, some basics about the structures of economies, to, break it down and be real simple about it because. There's not that hard again if he kind of Mimi's management home I think we all can manage home together. It's, a daily practice that all of us have to do in order to show up in these places have, to manage home and usually, your manage your home and the set of relationships, associated. With home, and. So. Let's look at some basic. Pillars. Or components. Of all economies. So. All. Economies. Have resources. And a, side note - again only a fifteen-minute so I'm gonna go quick language. Matters and we're, trying to dance with this capitalist.
Eurocentric. Limited. Language. Because it's the language that we have in this country but, it is very limited and so the. Framework that we're working in looks, at resources that's something to be managed a lot of our folks in our, ancestral, and indigenous communities don't look at them as resources, right like things to take they, look at them as life sources, things to interact with so that's just a side note on my language okay so. I'm gonna use this language because this one that I think we can all have the common understanding about so. We have resources, we in any economy you take resources. You. Combine them with some form of work toward, some purpose, now. You also need some type of a worldview, or culture. That, helps make sense to participate in, it, and underlying. All the economies, is some governance, system, some. Way to facilitate, the, process so, that's just basic, economic. Stuff, no, matter what economy, you're looking at a capitalist, economy. Socialist. Economy, underground. Economies. Political. Economies. Care. Economies. All types, of ways of managing home, can, be viewed in this way it's, not the only way but it's one that we find simple, and useful for our purposes. Now. Let's. Take a look at where we are now a lot of us are familiar what we would call the extractive, economy and, this is why we call it extractive. The. Way that we obtain resources in our current economy is, through. Extraction. We. Dig up things we, burn things and we dump things all over the planet that. Is how we get and use resources. In this economy we combine, that with a certain form of work that form of work is exploitation. Under. Most people's desires, they, do not wake up in the morning wanting to cause destruction on the planet they do not wake up in the morning and say hey I would like to go drill a well in the middle of the ocean for oil it's, a very dangerous, polluting. Type of job but. Because we live in an exploitative, economy, people are forced through coercion and I would argue violence, to participate, in that way and for. What for. What the purpose of this economy that we are currently in is the concentration, of wealth and power, it. Can be said that the purpose of our economy, is something else to create jobs to create the pursuit of life and liberty but, only the only way you can understand a system is by what it, produces. The outcomes, of you so no matter what we say about the economy what it produces, is a concentration, of wealth and power and. You need a worldview to make this make sense to participate in part. Of that worldview is the myth of white supremacy, I understand, what I'm saying not white supremacy, there's nothing supreme about white people it is a myth called. White supremacy, that many people buy into and I, will argue that that myth says that white people specifically. White males are. Superior. To other, people, to. The environment. And I would argue to life itself, that's. What we're dealing with. Now, what. Kind of governance structure, do we need to facilitate this, one, that is based on militarized, military. Militarism, and violence. Make. No mistake about it if you do not participate in this economy you will be met with violence, if you if and, I'm not gonna I'm a using the word choose here just for the illustration but if you choose to say hey I don't want to be a renter. Or owner I'm, gonna go into the park and I'll put, a tent there and I'll live there in a very simple, life everyday you, will be met with violence, you will be removed unfortunately, people are not choosing to do that people are forced on the streets right now and when they get on the streets they are met with violence.
When, They're just trying to find a place to exist, because. They, have not participated in this economy. Okay. So, we want to move to a regenerative economy and so I'm going to give you a flavor of what that looks like and then I'm gonna close. So. The regenerative economy if we want to build a new economy we, have to think of it in our minds first right so. In the new economy in a different economy in a regenerative. Economy what. Would it look like how can we build it well where. We get our resources from, will. Be through regeneration. Working, with the natural systems, of of. Life and how life functions, this requires, us to have great, Ecoliteracy, we, have to be able to understand our water shares our food shares our bio regions, how the system, actually functions. In and, of itself not, a control. System ok combined with what type of work, cooperation. Right so, we need to see folks having more power in their workplaces, to decide what they do the, value that we bring as a species, is around, our work and our energy, that's what we bring to the web of life we bring our work our energy and our culture, towards, what purpose in, this economy our purpose must be ecological. And social well-being, that. Has to be the reason why we get out to bed every day that has to be the reason why we confront conflict that has to be the reason why we make decisions, because we're moving towards ecological. And social well-being, now. What kind of worldview do you have to have to for, this to make sense you have to have one that's rooted and caring, and sacredness. Or we, can say belonging, we have to believe that everybody but laws and everybody matters if we're gonna have this type of an economy, and, what's going to facilitate this process deep. Democracy. I'm not talking about the kind of democracy that we have now that allows a president. Like Donald Trump to be elected, I'm talking about the type of democracy that we have where everyone's, voice matters, and power is shared and decision-making. Is made on the level at which it impacts the people the most those are the people who are making that decision okay. So again, I went through this very quickly and I do believe my time is up but I want to give you a little flavor of kind of how we think about this thank. You. So. I'm gonna build off of what you just said Clinton if that's okay because, I just learned a whole bunch of stuff so I was taking notes and. So. I'll offer maybe a couple of auditions, - what. Quitting just laid out, and. The way I come at this question about what. Kind of economy are we trying to build and I'll come back to what, I mean by that I think. About actual workers, I, see, Jerry Hudson in the room who. Was a teacher and mentor so, I'm quite. Inspired. By his years. Of experience organizing. Workers and especially workers of color and. I think we have to think about the different categories, of workers that help us understand, exclusion, and exploitation, in the current, economy in the extractive economy, so. I think of immigrant workers I think of women workers and especially women of color, workers, I think, of black workers, and. I think about questions of what kind of. Work. And what industries, in what places are, people. Currently in or not. Working and. That. Takes you to different places depending, on, who, you're looking at and. All the thing that unites all these groups of workers is that none of them belong in a sense. Almost. Everyone is excluded, or exploited, and. So what I want to get to is the idea I like regenerative, economy I have this idea of a solidarity, economy. That's, quite different it involves cooperation and regeneration but. That's not obviously what we have right now, because. When you look at these groups of workers whether it's women immigrants. Black. Workers. Formally incarcerated, these. Are all people who don't belong but in very particular ways. So. If. We think about other, in, exclusion. It's.
Slightly Different from other inge and exploitation, so, here's what I mean by that, you. Think of women as, a category, just, bear with me. What. We know in our economy, and for most of the history of the world is the exploitation, of unpaid labor, the. Exploitation, of unpaid labor of reproductive, labor of effective labor of care labor we can call it all sorts of things but. What we know is. Women. Who were excluded from the formal economy. Once. They were included, in a, formal sense there was still the unpaid reproductive, labor. Right. So. This is what was called in the 80s the double shift. For. The first wave of women right that formerly, were in the workforce and then they come home and work a double shift that's unpaid, right. So. We. Have to keep in mind the, exclusion. Is different. From exploitation so, in some cases an especially woman of color who again, might have been excluded from workplace protections but, they were being exploited, with. Unpaid labor in lots. Of cases so think, about another category I think about immigrant workers in the US and undocumented immigrants, who are. Also other didn't have no rights and who. Are plainly, exploited. In, the, formal and informal economy. Whether. It's wage theft, whether. It's simply fear, to, prevent organizing. And, the. Building of power to change conditions. There's. Incredible. Exploitation. Even. If especially. Undocumented. Workers are included. Technically. In the economy. Right, so it's a different you have to think about it slightly differently. Or. If I think about especially. Returning. Citizens, formerly incarcerated black, workers, there's. Something different going, on there because. That's. Not necessarily the exploitation, of workers of, black, workers in the same way its, profit, from non laboring. Bodies in mass. Incarceration in, the system, of mass incarceration, it's. A bit different than how we used, to what. We used to do with black bodies they, were exploited. Now. Bodies. Black, bodies are exploited in a different way, some. Who are able to work our explosion at the work force others. Who are not able, to work are. Profited, upon for not working right. You understand, where I'm going with this so, he's that that we have to be I think careful. In terms of understanding, analytically. Who's. Excluded, who's included. Who's. Exploited. And who's. Profited, from under. The current rules of the economy, so. Another, way to say that is. Capital. Profits, from. Exploitation. Capital. Profits from exclusion, in cages, and, in, the case of formerly incarcerated, in. Terms of the question of who belongs there, is social and economic, death. Once. People leave the cage. So. They're permanently, excluded and the question is how. Do we transform, those relationships. Of both exclusion, and exploitation. Ok. So. Let me go to. What. Is the alternative and I'll come, to Quentin's point about governance, of economies. Because. The way I see the world at the economy, or. Economies, are simply, a set of rules. Simply. A set of rules and. Norms. And practices that, are written. Set. Of rules. It's. Kind of simple. The. Question and the hard question is written by whom. Who. Writes the rules, that, govern the workplace, is the. Question of power that goes back hundreds, of years, and, that's. What we're faced. With in this moment my friend Natalie Foster who's in the room likes to say that rules. And, policies, are nothing but power frozen, in a moment in time. Rules. And policies, is power. Frozen, in time. So. The question for me is how do we then. Rewrite. The rules. We've. Done so before we've, done so in workplaces all over the country but we need that power to, do that. Because. Right now and some. Of you who are me in the earlier panel and authoritarianism. The. Most authoritarian, institutions. In America are the workplace, under. Law, under. The rules there. Is no democracy at the workplace the. Boss is the authoritarian, dictator. We. Have at-will, employment that, is the rule, you. Don't get to decide if, you get hired or fired you have no say in that that's. Not democracy, that's an authoritarian, dictatorship. And we. Have accepted, this in our. Economy, and our workplace since the founding of this country in, fact. We inherited, it from. British.
Feudalism. We. Have remnants of feudalism, in. 2019. In every. Workplace in this country. So. How do we rewrite. Those rules how do we bring economic. Democracy, deep. Democracy. To. The last institutions. In this country that are authoritarian, to the workplace, that. Is the challenge in front. Of us, and. I would submit that. An. Alternative, vision is a. Solidarity. Economy. Or. A. Regenerative. Economy. We. Can brainstorm the, concept, and the names the. Idea here is that this. Is an economy where everyone belongs where, everyone has power where the dignity of Labor is upheld for all where. The power of workers is at least, equal, to the power of capital. At. Least and, where. We fundamentally redefine. The, meaning and definition, of work and. To. Redefine the meaning and definition of work we have to redefine also. The meaning and definition of, leisure. If. To redefine, the meaning and definition of, leader. Gerry. Bozzio labor movement saying. Eight. Hours a day for what. Eight. Hours a day for work it I was a day for rest it was the third eight hours. It. Was rest and sleep as a third. Play. Joy. Life. Leisure. Roses. With the bread. We. Can't ignore. Leisure, in the equation when. We talk, about work and we want to redefined work. Ultimately. A solidarity. Economy, starts. With an assumption that all our fates are linked. That. All our fates are linked, that. In the OL aver movement saying an injury to, one is truly an injury to all. Underneath. That right our notions of care and empathy. But. To achieve a vision of a solidarity economy. We. Actually need the power to do it and so, I hope that we can talk in, the next little while around, not just the vision of the economies, that we want to create, but. The strategy to, build the power to do so thank, you. Not. Anyone. Okay. You hear my voice clap, words. You. Can hear my voice back twice. You're. Such a cooperative, crane. Alright. Thank. You for so much there is so much happiness and excitement in, the room I hate it was hard to stop. Y'all that's really, good okay so, anything. Anybody wants to throw out of any kind. Yeah. Anybody. Want to respond to that or say anything. Okay. Our. Foundation, is such that where this Christian nation family, is victories. Everything. We do we. Have some of the most. It's. That or add to it. Your sister's there. Down. In our history you sneak out your, smoke, and, I cannot think of any. One. Is you know we. Are living through a time every, single day where outrageous things, happen, every day and we are numb and it's normalized. Right. And it's. Not just a Trump. Let. Me be clear, but. He's exacerbated. And magnified. Outrageous. Things that are normalized, so. I mean, one way to add the way to think about it is I, think. What's the one of the biggest dangers is when other rings becomes, normal. And. So. That seems to be baked in from the very start of this country, and so, it's, so normal and, when, I say, the, workplace is the most authoritarian, institution. In America. Like. It's a little jarring. Because. We've accepted, a myth that it's something else. When. All along, it has always been that, and. If. The first workplaces, were based on unfree, labor. And. In digit servitude, that's. How he said so it's normal. We've, come to expect when, we walk to work a democracy, no longer hoes. Because. We've actually rarely, have, had democracy, ever in, the. Workplace ever we. Have little moments in history some. Workers once empower to like change the rules, but. For the most part we have always, existed, in a feudal, authoritarian. Set, of workplaces, in this country and, I so I say, that on purpose, to, kind of shake us from you, know, last.
Thing Is we. Can have a whole Democratic tradition, and a tradition of authoritarianism, and they're not mutually exclusive they. Can coexist. And that's the history of America, right of. Deep. Right that's that's my Frederick Douglass fall and didn't leave. Does. He believe in the struggle, and, he. Believed in some of the ideals, of the American promise you can see this in dr. King's March on Washington speech, read the beginning not the end read. Off stuff before he gets to the drain part. Cuz, that's the Syrian critique of, the, so-called ideal, so I just want to suggest we have always been a contradictory, country, that. Has been simultaneously. Aspirational. Around democracy, for some people who belong an. Authoritarian. On the other side. Quinton. Do you want to take that one. Thank. You for that question. I mean, to me it's. Really about like how do we see our way for from where we are right like you're standing in the forest and how do you see, the trees right or you stand in a mugga tree and how do you see the whole forest it's. I, won't. Say it's easy, but. I would say is beautiful it's like, we. Have to really return to our humanity and really remember like and I think that's why I like the, climate crisis is is, the theme for us to all look, at because it's the thing that will remind us of our humanity like. The. Hurricanes don't care they, don't care who, you are where you are what your, religious, beliefs are what, your political ideologies. Are it's. Coming for everybody now, there are certain people who can, mitigate. The impact a little bit but they're gonna lose to the, folks who lost their houses in the wildfires there's a lot of folks who had money it. Was a lot of poor people - but it's not opposed to that money who thought that they, were protected. Right, no it's not it doesn't work like that okay and, so I think really it's about really getting back to our humanity, and I'll just say this like. We're. Just in that moment right now where we have to dream and imagine something. Bigger, because we are in the thick of it right now we are in a time of historic inequality. Where our time of global, oppression. I mean this is a bad, bad, situation, that we're facing, and. So what I want to remind us of is this our ancestors. Who were enslaved and, our ancestors, who experienced, genocide in this land in this land over, hundreds of years they. Found themselves in a certain situation like, this where, they couldn't see the end of the system they had the folks were in the middle of it let's think about the first one is 17 hunters who for, hundreds, of years this transatlantic.
Slave Trade and, the theft of indigenous. Land and the genocide have been going off for hundreds of years they had no reason to believe that it was going to stop it was not designed to stop this is supposed to be forever, don't. Get it twisted when, the folks created, the transatlantic slave trade it wasn't for a moment in time they wanted to fundamentally. Reshape the. Story of humanity that was the objective it was supposed to last forever, and. So for our people who were caught up hundreds. Of years in it and it wouldn't end for another 100 or so years what. Was their orientation. To that moment in time their. Moment and that orientation, was to fight and to they still got up they still have relationships they, still find a way to love, each other they still find a way to laugh, to, sing to, cry together to, have rituals, and ceremonies, to find, their little spaces they would go outside of the plantation, in the force and have their ceremonies, where they can practice their indigenous ways and a lot of that is what gave them the resilience, to survive. And thrive so that they continue to fight and ultimately, they destroyed, that system, ultimately, I'm, not a slave right now in that sense I'm nobody's, property in that sense because they destroyed, that system so we have to understand that we are winning, this fight we are not losing this fight but it's gonna take a long, time, but. We're not losing we're. Winning this fight and it's just gradual, so this is keep that fight going. And. I just wanted to add it. I'm. Not gonna sit as inspired is that so maybe I should have ended there but I did want it I did but I still wanted to add, something in there which is when, we think about the transition again you, know there's the metaphor of the system that needs to be overthrown, which i think is not helpful so, much as the metaphor of the fabric that needs to be revolve, in' right, so wherever we are all where we are you have to think about like what are those those, deep threads, that need to be changed, and so I feel like you know sure if you're working, in capitalist, wage labor. You. Know work on your Union and things like that but also you've got the rest of your life right you've got yourself as a political, being a social being a cultural being you've got all those different aspects of your life to make those changes and I, know that I've been interested in this for a long time when it seemed like yeah. Those are great ideas but nothing's going to happen about that all. Of us in this room do not have that problem right, we're in a time where the, change, is happening, and it's actually happening fast right. Terrible, things and also really, things and so it seems to me that it's important for us to think big to be visionary and for a and to. Throw down wherever you can write like where you live get get the green New Deal stuff going on you. Know get. Some cooperatives, going and I think worker owned cooperative czar really important, for the thing that Dorian was saying earlier about the. You. Know we can't even imagine democracy. In the workplace well, some of us can right Quinton works in a worker owned cooperative like that's what he does right and and there are a huge. Amount of our economy, gar, alperovitz is, somebody who's really good on this his work talks about all the parts, of our economy right now that are functioning, as cooperatives. Working, for the social good so we need to build on that not just because Sir, practical, reasons but also for intellectual. Reasons like for us to be able to imagine and vision that as a possibility, instead of others actually, works like all my bread comes from a worker owned cooperative people, who work there happy doing that work. Something. For more to the back yeah. As a parent, of two young kids I struggle. Daily with had a certain, body a power-sharing, way, of being despites, or at the. Obedience. Relationship I have with my children I guess I guess, in hearing how you think about home, authoritarians. In the household, especially.
In Patriarchal societies. And. No. Doubt just my man Brian style shout out to Brian let's get some non male voices into, the questions as well so. I'll say that I, think I think the management of home and that's why we really like this idea around economy, because it brings it back to your household and I think that's our primary side of struggle it's like in your actual interpersonal, relationships, like I can. Sit up here say whatever I want to say you know saying like y'all can think I'm a great guy and all these type of things but what, matters is what the people in my household think about me and, so if you really want to know who I am you should ask them but. We don't usually do that right we usually like to have this persona this public persona and that's why men get away with so much terrible, in front of in front of public places and go home and be absolute monsters, so I think, home, is the is the primary site of struggle for all of our relationships and how do we build things or how do we practice the kind of world we want to live in having, a child is a tremendous, gift it is tremendous opportunity and. I'll, just say this we. Have different cultural values around children, in this country right. Some, people say children are to be seen and not heard I don't believe that I, believe that children are sacred I believe that children are our connection to our hands sessions I feel like they come here with with the purpose, to fulfill the work of the ancestors, so if you flip that script that, you can see like some of your child's. Whatever. You want to call it their. Disobedience. As a moment, to learn and to grow and it checked yourself right like it's, an interesting relationship because, my son he is not at the age he's five he can't not care for his self that's, facts so, I have to care for him in order to care for him I have to manage, certain relationships. We have certain things that we do but, I have to do it in a way that allows his humanity. To be respected, and allow him to blossom and grow so. That requires a lot of patience, that, requires a lot of talking, that would cause a lot of my ego to go away and for. Me to remember this is young person out is developing, my son seems brilliant, but then I get reminded way he doesn't know a whole bunch of different things right so like I can't I can't really take that that, way right like he says certain thing to me and it hurt my feelings you. Know but then I have to say like I can get mad at that or I can say hey you know what that hurt my feelings, I can. Also tell him sorry how. Many parents tell their children I'm sorry. That's. Power that's about right relationship, to power you have the power in your household it's not about having power and not having it's about how you use it so you can use it as a tool of upliftment, and community, and engagement or you can use it to destroy people but, it's your choice. Thank. You. Thank. You, yep. I. And. That. Benefit. This benefit, is they, respected, me all the way we.
Were Not crammed here. Closer. Today. They. Got great. Control. But. I can also see, the benefits, that reduces. Accelerator. In. The. World. I really, appreciated that I knew greeted the. Cultural. Difference. Generational, different. I read. Quite, a bit on parenting, and the. Biggest. Takeaway, that I've gotten this far. But, I come from a generation where. Yesterday. We. Had. So. Kind. Of response with the man, over there without. Family, as, I've done a lot of reading it so reflecting, on myself and, how I treat, my husband, I treat my children, the older relationships. Take. Away and fool. Thank. You all for this this is fantastic. I really appreciate, all your comments I just want to say one thing that we say moving, generation, transition. Is inevitable, justice, is not and, we're interested in justice, and a just transition right. I'd, also say that, to. The relationship, piece we. Are relational, base people. Right like that's how we've evolved, like we've evolved. Through cooperation, so it's actually in our DNA to, seek cooperation and. It's easier work than, oppression. Right so the easier thing for us to do is to cooperate it's, very hard to oppress, another person, and it takes a lot of tremendous amount of work that's gonna leave you unhappy. At the end of the day. So. Yeah I just want to offer, those thoughts. I. Think, the undercurrent, of the the whole conversation, and probably a lot of the the, days were together is power, and. We're deeply uncomfortable, with it. Well. Comfortable with it for the right reasons when it's unjust, but. Power is ubiquitous, it's. Everywhere and we, exercise, it and so we, often are uncomfortable, with how we exercise, it and I. Think the. It. Shows, up in parenting and in schools, and. I. Think we have to think of a different way. To. Understand, power so I was just pulling up my favorite quote, from dr. King which I'll share with you in a second but I think. My. My, take on our uncomfortable, initial power is how. Do we you. Already said it it's. What we do with it as opposed. To pretending. Like it's not there, your. Parents. Exercise power over your kids you do I have a puppy I don't have a kid though. Exercise, law power over my puppy but, but. Like we have to like figure and so I often, think of just the institution, of family and incision of schools there. Is a teacher-student, relationship. That is a relationship, of power and, there is a parent chav elationship that was a parent there is a relationship of power we should always be suspicious of, hierarchies, and power relationships. Some, are self liquidating. Some. Change, did. My mother have power over me growing. Up yes I now care for her power over her. Right. So it's changed, over, time so I think we have to be more nuanced and how we talk about it, but this is my favorite dr. King quotes now from now I have a dream speech but. Because he's talked about power and he, writes some of you heard this power without love. Know. This quote power, without love is reckless and abusive and. Love. Without power, is. Sentimental. And anemic. Power. At its best and this is where Cornel West gets us from power, at its best is love implementing. The demands of justice and. Justice. At its best is power correcting. Everything that stands against, love. It's. A different, way to think. You, know I as a parents, have a competence. That my children, don't have and. Is. There power or not absolutely. But it's not a power. Over, structure, it's a power width, so. Yeah. I think I'd like to use the word competency. Hierarchies. That, acknowledge. That we proceed, from something that came before us. And. You kind of use that language but in community, organizing they talk a lot about power over power width and power for and I think that distinction, is a little helpful in that too. I want to go back to this idea, around manage at home and when I want to give you a concrete example of some of the changes we can make right like I'm not gonna I'm not I'm not here to say like hey all the DS are individual, choices that we need to make and then that's gonna get us to the revolution, like that's not the point of this so don't take it that way but we all are individual, actors with a tremendous amount of power and ability, to, shape, the world immediately, around us right I won't. Talk about money in the in the family, okay, I come from I was born in Cleveland, Eastside it's a very segregated place, my family, is a family that has generational, poverty some, some folks in the family might become homeowners, or might not so we have a lot of class disparity, and saw my family and. I've seen to play on a lot of ways it's a big family my grandma had 13 kids everybody. Had at least two kids like I got like 50 first cousins or my brothers, and sisters so y'all Gaeta y'all know some, of y'all know that right and so in my family money is funny right and. One. Of the things that really disappointed. Me it hurt me as I was growing up is that people, saw me struggling and their.
Response To that was let me know if you need something, let. Me know like. Let's. Be real I'm 13. 14 15 like. Expressing, that I need some I don't even I might not even know what I need you, know I'm still trying to figure certain things out right and so as I got older and I got wiser. And I started to experiment with something there the economy's, I started experiment, with some of the stuff we do an MG around nine extractive, loan funds I I, started a long friend of my family, and the. Loan fund it works just like this we, pulled together money me and like three of my cousins we pulled together money, on a regular, basis, and that money is available for anybody in our family and, they can come get it it's like certain limits because we don't want exhausting fun but if you need $100 no, questions asked we'll give it to you period, you, don't have to pay it back we want you to pay it back so we can give it out to others but if you need it we got it and you have it no strings attached no interest none of that now, you can't get no more until you pay it back right because you don't want the fun to exhaust but. If you need something for a hundred bucks we got you no questions asked and you know that you don't have to you, you, don't have to come and hey you know maybe, could you help me out how much could you do know what we can do is this we have this on the table for you right now period, and. So we want to start to break down these barriers in these relationships, to resources. It's ridiculous, like there's, so much power held in the resources in my family, then they become about gender and they become about age they become about all these other things to judge me like oh well, you, need a hundred dollars but last week I saw you at the club drinking some vodka. But yes so, what like you, like vodka too what the is the problem like. That's. Not why I need a hundred dollars I need a hundred eyes because my brakes went out like that ain't got in to do if I could. And. To, be clear I ain't even a drinker you didn't say but a lot of people my family are and so anyway I'm just trying to highlight like on an owner on a personal. Level like, we can start making some of these changes in our family where we're just more compassionate. To each other you. Know and we care for each other in different ways but it's gonna take a concerted, effort it's, gonna be uncomfortable, but. It's what we need and it will be beautiful that uncomfortability. That, that that discomfort that you sit with through this transition, it's because what you're gonna produce on the outside is beautiful, like, that analogy that you used I saw, my I saw my wife go through pregnancy, I was there every day I saw, her body changed I saw the pain that she had I was there at the labor in our house I saw what she went through well. We got out of that situation she. Says I'll do that again in a heartbeat, because. It's beautiful, it, hurt but. It was beautiful oh. I'm. Sorry you know. Ladies, there's, a community, of Portugal that, has been around about 40 years they work on holistic system change, called. America, they were completely after the patriarchy. Avenues and regenerative technologies. They don't work on white supremacy yet, although we're, bringing it, and. That's. A huge issue at global white supremacy, and how it underlies all the systems have changed and I feel like that goes. In. A lot of places in America and Europe that conversation. And will be needed connected. To also resources, so I would say like white folks waking up is a huge piece that is ours to do and. In. Their in their model, of the last 40 here to say, when. A child is born into the community, not only is the like. The, act of having a child at community decision like, it's like embedded in a community of less by the community, and also the, child has been rated by the community in a way where they have they. Really do have multiple, trust relationships, with different figures and the women are liberated. In a sense to be a part of the community work so there's, like thinking women and scientific, women and all with it while they're raising their children are being supported, by. That's, like the, two critiques that great but. What I've seen in that is that in.
Liberating. The resources, of the feminine, in. That birthing process during, a very vital time of woman's like. Soul and power and life like 30s to 50s to 60s that, time then. That power also gets to go into the community and goes to get to go into visioning, and actually, like. Justice, practices, that come from a different place to so little feminine and. So I've seen that work well despite. The critiques, and, I just wonder how we in. This society. Yeah. If I or they want that private home anymore you know like I want to I want to live with you all and being a struggle with you all without this. In. Play, and fun and imagination, that seems like. And. Like. I really. Wonder, like I wonder about like, this. Nope, I just wanted and. And. That's the last comment by the way well just maybe he's just kind of go out with a little comment on that you, know I really appreciate what you're saying and I do think they had said earlier that that capitalism. Degrades, leisure. Right like we're so stressed out we're so busy that we just like spend. Money to have a quick vacation or, whatever and as you step outside of capitalism, as you're able to have you. Know work less time in wage labour you're able to do meaningful important, things that are like you, know you think about things like gardening, right that some of us do is like a hobby or as fun that, are some things that other people do in a wage-labour way which is like devastatingly. Terrible, labor so, so much of what we have to do to kind of survive, if we, do it in a non capitalist. Way it. It's, it's not like work leisure it's like the, richness and fullness of life right it's, like a whole different frame. So. Again I think you have a lot more to say I love. Questions that. Are really like, good. Contributions. And arguments, this. Is why I wanted a sister back there to elaborate. So. I'll just say so I let's. Let's talk after because I want to know what you what you're thinking here I would. Just say let's. Keep in mind one, important, thing. This. Country. Has. Embraced. For, centuries the, Protestant, work ethic. That's. A recent invention in human history. The. Protestant, work ethic is a really recent invention, in human history and. We've. Taken it as like it's been here forever, it's. Normalized. So. Work. Work work no leisure and then. If we go back you know couple centuries right, leisure was for. The rulers and. Feudal. Societies, the. Plebeians, are they right the workers and servants. Weren't allowed to much, leisure so there was a value, on leisure just for those who had the power so. How do we. Democratize. Leisure, in a sense, so. That we all have access and. The. Power to envision. Our own. Leisure. Play. Imaginations. Like that should that has to be part of the. Fight to transform, capitalism, and. It can't be seen as separate am I. In my view. And. Then just the last thing I'll descend on this I. Mentioned. The quote of my friend Natalie earlier, how. Rules. And regulation, is power frozen, in a moment of time and. She reminded me especially because we're, here in a Bay Area and the Silicon, Valley culture. Of problem-solving, and logic. And she reminded me that power eats logic, for breakfast every morning. So. Yes, let's make the strongest most logical, arguments, we can about all this stuff but it all comes down the power, and. How are we gonna build power to. Enact a different vision that's around solidarity. And regeneration, and all the things we've talked about. I. Think. There's been great conversation, I wish we could talk more and do more but, I think one, thing I would just say is that um. Remain. Hopeful, you know like you all are doing the work you know and that's the only way we're gonna get out of this and this is gonna be a, multi-generational. Effort. So, please get out your mind that any. Commitment, to the change that you want to see in your life right, and if it's, not here then it's not working we're family where it's not working it's not working we need long-term, deep. Investment. These promises, are not going to go away in grant cycles, it's not gonna happen it's. Not gonna happen so. We. Have to get beyond that thinking and say hey I'm committed, for the long term, we're gonna work to fight the bad and we're gonna build the new in the way that it transforms, our society, and I appreciate, the comments that be shared because part. Of what we must do is shift our worldview, that's the basis of all of it we have to change the way we think about stuff.
And We're going to be forced to change the way we think about stuff, but. We do have to change what we think and what we value and who we value, and all of those great things and so the good news is there's a lot of that to do so, we. Need everybody. To do it that's the beautiful, thing about the management of home you actually need everybody in the village life there's no such thing as unemployment. That's. Not natural you, need everybody, to participate in order to have a high quality of life period. All. Right thank, you so much.