Cooperative Economics for a POC-Led Future: Aaron Tanaka

Is Boston Ujima Project a model for community control in the time of Trump?

Under the Trump regime, we’ll certainly have to be on the defense to protect the communities under attack — 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 — CED about his longtime advocacy and visionary work for the next system of solidarity economics.

Tanaka wants to know if Trump will make us 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.

Tanaka and the Center for Economic Democracy are 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.