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Will Jackson, Miss., Be the New Co-op Capital of the South?

Three months after the death of Jackson's radical mayor, the city's residents are working to make his vision of cooperative economics a reality.

Could Jackson, Miss., become the capital of cooperative economics in the south? Mayor Chokwe Lumumba imagined it this way, championing a vision of solidarity economics to heal the city's economic wounds and move it forward into a new, more inclusive economy.

Even if we shift the policies, if we don't culturally shift, then it doesn't matter.

Despite the mayor's untimely death in February, his work took a step forward a few weeks ago at the Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference. With the help of our viewers, the GRITtv team was able to travel to Jackson to watch and document the conversation as it unfolded.

"My goal is to see how many seeds we can plant so that we can see a complete cultural shift," said Elandria Williams, co-cordinator of the education team at Highlander Research and Education Center. "Even if we shift the policies—and there is more cooperation and technical assistance in Jackson—if we don't culturally shift, then it doesn't matter."

Is it possible to realize Lumumba's dream and make Jackson the "Mondragon of the South," as he called it? Watch our video to find out what the participants in Jackson Rising had to say.

For more on Jackson, watch and read our interview with Chokwe Lumumba. For more on worker co-operatives, take a look at our interview with Jessica Gordon Nembhard on the African-American history of cooperative economics and Chris Michael of the New York City Network for Worker Cooperatives.


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