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Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc.

Inspiring Impactful Change

At Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc., we aim to empower vulnerable community members through economic participation and ownership opportunities.

Alongside our member organizations, we also engage in critical community development initiatives that resource our communities basic needs, from food access and wellness to social, educational and artistic programming.


¡Para los lectores en español, presione cualquiera de nuestros enlaces de botón

para leer sobre nuestros programas en español y ingles!

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Our Story

Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc. believes that economic participation and ownership is key to the empowerment of our most vulnerable community members.  This type of participatory cooperative model aspires to true equity and justice, where everyone has a voice in their work, housing, local, state and national government and can easily access basic needs that extends to social, educational and artistic endeavors. 

 

Organized and led by members with lived experience of poverty, projects include worker co-op development, community owned real-estate, co-op housing, food access, mutual aid, labor organizing, youth and wellness programming, a community center, and mobilizing for direct action for legislative change .

Since our founding in late 2017, we have witnessed how our seeds, empowered by community roots, have grown to include so many solidarity economy projects. We welcome you to join us!

Contribute to our work by donating or volunteering today!

We're on the Hilltown Country Observer Cover!

Downtown Revival with a Social Mission -Click here!

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Philosophy

Creating Something Better

At Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc., our change-making process is deeply rooted in community organizing and coalition building with local and statewide networks. Our economic  development goals can only be accomplished with our incredible mentor, Cooperative Development Institute and our key statewide coalitions, Coalition of Worker Owner Power (COWOP) and MASEN (Massachusetts Solidarity Economy Network).


Together with local partner movement building groups, we bring to life community development projects that create access for vulnerable citizens at RE-Define Community Center (5 Melville St.) and O.U.R. Resurge (119 Fenn St.) that includes youth and wellness programming, food security, artistic, social, and educational opportunities, mutual aid support,

peer skill sharing, and access to basic needs.


We are so thankful to our member community groups - Manos Unidas Cooperative, The Maggie Sadoway Immigrant Cooperative, Holding & Helping Hands and RE-FORMation Academy - who co-lead our community initiatives. 


We have a heightened awareness that each and every one of us has the capability to contribute our amazing skill sets. With this strength behind us, just imagine what we can achieve together!

Our Programs

Making a Difference

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Economic Development

From worker co-op development, to community owned real-estate to labor organizing, to co-op housing, the opportunity for vulnerable citizens to democratically participate in their lives is both meaningful and transformational. Ownership opportunities opens up avenues for low income people to build generational wealth.

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Community Development

Empowering Others

For vulnerable citizens to feel empowered, they must have access to basic needs which extends to social, educational, and artistic opportunities.  Our community development projects include RE-Define Community Center, Corazonidos Community School, Mercado De Vida free food market, Madre Jardin - Let's Grow Food Together, Subsidized Transportation, Embrace Potential Wellness Program, Berkshire Art Center Collaboration - paid opportunists for artists, and peer led skill sharing classes. Join our efforts today!

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Coalition Building

Activism for Equity and Justice

Change-making doesn't happen in a vacuum. We know that we must mobilize and organize with like-minded citizens for change.  We work closely with COWOP, MASEN, and the Change for Miguel Coalition to pave important roadways in legislation and/or open avenues to local participatory governance so that our most vulnerable citizens can have their voices heard and counted.

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Food Access

Mercado De Vida

Food Access has become a critical aspect of our organizing work. Alongside our member organizations, Holding & Helping Hands and Manos Unidas Co-op and food justice collaborators, Berkshire Bounty, High Spirit Community Farm, Greenagers, South County Guido's, Mumbet Freedom Farm and Windy Ridge Farm, this program now includes Madre Jardin urban garden, a community fridge, and three days of operating hours for organic food pick up and delivery!

Thank You!

Donors and Granters like you make our work possible! Thank you for joining us in change-making!
We're sorry we don't have room to mention all of our incredible donors but we inserted our monthly sustainers!

Program Sustainers

Health Resources in Action

City of Pittsfield

Pittsfield Public Schools

Jewish Women's Foundation of the Berkshires

Cooperative Development Institute

Berkshire United Way

Berkshire Co-op Market

Berkshire Taconic Foundation

Food Security Sustainers

High Spirit Community Farm

Greenagers

Mumbet's Freedom Farm

Guido's Fresh Market

Kamaar Talieffero

Keelia Purscell

Holding & Helping Hands

 

Community Center Sustainers

Pittsfield UNICO

The Funky Pheonix

Rae Langsdale

Member Org. Grants - Manos Unidas

New England Grassroots Fund

Markham Nathan Grant

 

Thank you, thank you to our volunteers, some of whom are working 20-40 hours per week! Without you our projects would cease to be! Thank you Mariam Orengo, Nicole Fecteau, Michael Hitchcock, Maria Encalada, Kristina Cardot, Loui Perez, Isadora Aqui, Anaelisa Jacobsen, Terry Moore, Sonia Pacheco, Matt Brinton, Sandra Bonilla, and Zach Durso.

Now in our sixth year, we continue to be a volunteer run organization, whose project grants allow us to stipend volunteer staff.  In 2023 & 2024 our goal is to access operating grants so that we can graduate to payroll!

Meanwhile we welcome you to change-make with us by donating toward our stipend pay fund for volunteers working 15 hours or more!  It makes a world of difference in community organizing work led by peers with lived experience of marginalization and poverty and who come to the work to create justice and equity for themselves, their families, and their community at large!  Just press the link below and choose operating costs!


 

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