Give Gifts Top Banner

Sections
Home » Commonomics » "Black Women’s Blueprint" Helps Low-Income Women Get By—Through Bartering

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.
[SAMPLE]
 

Commonomics FLANDERS 555px.jpg

"Black Women’s Blueprint" Helps Low-Income Women Get By—Through Bartering

Farah Tanis learned that, of the women in poverty she worked with, 9 out of 10 had experienced violence—so she started a bartering network to help them survive.
Document Actions
— tags:

Black Women's Blueprint Team courtesy of Black Women's Blueprint

Photo courtesy of Black Women's Blueprint.

When Farah Tanis began to meet with a group of low-income women to discuss their economic challenges, she found that nine out of ten were survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault.

"Through our barter network we were able to barter food for the week, for a car ride for the week, and that's what sustained many of us."

"Most of us had grown up in poverty and we started looking at what were the systemic causes of poverty for us," she said. "We started looking at economic security as a human right and an extension of the Civil Rights."

Out of those conversations came the Black Women's Blueprint, a group that now anchors a bartering network, a sou-sou (savings pool), and several other cooperative projects.

Farah Tanis photo by Christina Jaus

Farah Tanis. Photo by Christina Jaus.

"Through our barter network we were able to barter food for the week, for a car ride for the week, and that's what sustained many of us.

"It prevented homelessness, starvation and kids being left at home alone by themselves. The barter network builds community and it builds trust," explained Tanis at a panel discussion co-sponsored by GRITtv.

From the Underground Railroad to the Civil Rights movement and beyond, cooperative strategies developed by African American women have played a leading role in helping communities survive hard times, said author, economist Jessica Gordon Nembhard, author of Collective Courage, a History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.

"Like most women, black women have always been in the background," Gordon Nembhard said. "Often the leaders and the spokespeople were men but the people doing all of the work and the strategizing were women."


Laura Flanders headshotLaura Flanders is YES! Magazine's 2014 Local Economies Reporting Fellow and is executive producer and founder and host of "GRITtv with Laura Flanders." Follow her on Twitter @GRITlaura.

Read More

Email Signup
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus


You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.




Issue Footer

Filed under:
Personal tools