Fultonia was a project which preceded the founding of the Kola Nut Collaborative, but many of the ideas explored by Michael Tekhen Strode during his tenure as editor and archivist for this project have been revisited for the development and implementation of the Collaborative.

The first interview for the Kola Nut Collaborative on specific aims and ambitions relating to the launch of this initiative was conducted between Naimah Latify and Michael Tekhen Strode for the show “Let’s Talk About It With Myeka”.

In a panel discussion hosted by F12 Network during their Utopia Ball, an audience member posed the question about whether timebanking played any role in further quantifying or corrupting relationships which might be better served by moving towards a gift economy instead.

At the close of the first session of Cooperation for Liberation, Davina’ and Tekhen sat down to unpack their thoughts on the history and lessons Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard gifted to us in “Collective Courage”. We anticipated that this might be a short sweet ten minutes recorded just before the June 5 meeting started until…

Gratitude to the company of readers who attend Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group for making a way toward new insights we are incapable of reaching alone.

VISIT: Solidarity Economies of Greater Chicago

The Kola Nut Collaborative was invited to participate in City Bureau Public Newsroom 78: How Do We Define Black Wealth In Chicago? where panelists were able to unpack the myths, realities, and future possibilities of building wealth in communities which have seen historical divestment by both public and private entities. Our contribution offered an understanding that these communities have never lacked in social capital or their capacity to overcome underwhelming wages or recalcitrant elected officials. Extending them real partnership and control of the resources in their community might go a long way towards addressing the historical market failure to provision services.

“For the past couple months, several City Bureau Summer 2018 fellows have been looking at Black generational wealth in Chicago and the discriminatory policies (past and present) that stifle its growth. They have sought to answer the question: What is Black wealth? Through their reporting they’ve explored the cultural wealth of Chicago’s rich Black arts scene, the financial models created by Chicago’s Black businesses and more. This week at the Public Newsroom reporters Erisa Apantaku, Arabella Breck, Olivia Cunningham and Tonia Hill will continue the conversation with panelists who can speak on the different interpretations of Black generational wealth from both a historic lens and into Chicago’s future.”

Sarah Hurd hosts a phenomenal roundtable discussion for Midwest Socialist alongside a stellar group of colleagues (Renee Hatcher of the Business Enterprise Law Clinic at John Marshall Law School & Termaine Davis of Together Systems) on transforming the values of our local economy to facilitate a more rapid arrival of the solidarity economy. You find us at our most honest and willing to grapple with each other’s contradictions. You hear us dispute one another’s positions. You hear us wrestling to find a meeting point in dialogue. Every conversation is an exercise in cooperation.

“What steps are people in Chicago are taking toward creating a solidarity economy? What is a solidarity economy? Also, neoliberalism, de-growth, the problem with TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funds and Sarah debuts her plan to convince Jeff Bezos to turn Amazon into the world’s largest co-op.”

Our interview with Movement of Color Podcast was split over two episodes with the first devoted to a conversation on timebank and the second to an anti-capitalist approach to evaluating cryptocurrencies. While the initial episode was paired with a cringe-worthy introduction, the interview which follows certainly holds some worthwhile content and there is certainly many clarifying moments to be found in the discussion about cryptocurrencies for those of us who eschew accumulation for all the right reasons.

In the aftermath of the 2018 Chicago Cooperative Economy Summit, Michael Tekhen Strode spoke with Matt Stannard of Solidarity House Cooperative about the emergent aspects of a cooperative economy presently arising in Chicago which the work of Kola Nut Collaborative seeks to activate. Amara Enyia is also featured on this episode at the outset of her mayoral campaign.

“Rahm Emmanuel is leaving. Will he take neoliberalism with him? Mayoral candidate Amara Enyia wants a public bank “on day one” of her mayoral administration. Cooperative organizer Mike Strode wants to see a more sustainable, participatory, and cooperative Chicago.”

Michael Tekhen Strode recently sat down with Elias Crim and Pete Davis of Solidarity Hall for a conversation on the curious political dimensions of Chicago and how the solidarity economy framework hopes to disrupt some of the barriers to a robust civic, social, and democratized economic life for communities on the margins in this city.

“Chicago not only has a new mayor but new politics, including grassroots initiatives such as the Kola Nut Collaborative, a hybrid of timebanking and community organizing. Pete and I get a read on all these things from Mike Strode, the founder of the KNC, about his path to the cooperative movement and four of his creative inspirations: Steve Biko, Ralph Ellison, Hoyt Fuller, and Hubert Harrison.”