While the economic democracy movement has been expanding, the mainstream media have not kept up. Workplace democracy is no easy task, and many of those looking to make change simply do not have access to the information they need. That’s why we’ve started working with the intrepid journalists at GRITtv to document the movement by interviewing the frontline activists who are fighting for a new economy. This film will be a vital tool to help create a new economy by designing better policies and starting new co-ops.
On May 2nd through the 4th, one of our worker-owners, Brian Van Slyke, traveled to Jackson, Mississippi for the historic Jackson Rising: New Economies conference. There he met up with the GRITtv team to begin filming for our collaborative documentary. Thanks to the amazing funding and support from the co-op movement, which provided us with the seed money to turn this idea into a reality, TESA and GRITtv were able to conduct over twenty interviews with co-op leaders and new faces about what it takes to start a cooperative.
Here’s just a taste of what’s to come:
Through the filming process in Jackson and beyond, we’ve gathered a treasure trove of experiences and voices from people who gave on-the-ground perspectives as well as visioning for the movement on the national and international scale. We heard from people all across the country and across various socio-economic boundaries, including the US representative from Mondragon, those building a union-co-op hybrid movement in Cincinnati, workers in Chicago who took over their factory and turned it into a co-op, home-care providers who through the cooperative model have finally provided themselves with a living wage in a traditionally exploitative industry, and so many more.
Now, we’re just finishing up some last rounds of interviews and we will soon begin on the editing and story-construction process. During this time, TESA will also work diligently to build popular-education based tools that can be used alongside this free, online documentary – such as lesson plans, handbooks, and more. Expect to hear from us soon with more updates. We’ll also be announcing in the next few weeks documentary sponsorship opportunities for co-ops and cooperative allied organizations, which will come with great perks—stay tuned!
If you like this project, you’ll also like our series of interviews with new economy activists, which you can read on our blog.