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O.U.R. Resurge Autumn Newsletter, 2020

O.U.R. Resurge Newsletter, Autumn 2020

Working together for positive change!

¡Trabajando juntos por un cambio positivo!

If you want to see more pictures of our work in progress or read this newsletter in Spanish, click on the newsletter buttons on any of our web-pages to see the pdf version!

Si desea ver más fotos de nuestro trabajo en progreso o leer este boletín en español, haga clic en los botones del boletín en cualquiera de nuestras páginas web para ver la versión en pdf.


A collaborative newsletter powered by Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc. Manos Unidas Multicultural Educational Cooperative, and the emerging Alma Latina Cooperatives.

              

The 1K Project

Are you a family that has been impacted negatively from COVID 19 and could utilize direct payment of $3000 over the course of the next 3 months?


Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc. as well as our sister organization, Manos Unidas Co-op is partnering with The 1k Project to support families through sponsorship as well as nomination. We will fill out a nomination form on your behalf and support you as a sponsor!


Text (815) 393-1070 to sponsor a family now! You can do this as an individual, organization or business! You don't need to sponsor the whole $3000 per family. $50 or higher is sufficient!”


A message from the 1K Project!


“The 1k project connects families in need with families who can sponsor them. We hope this bridges the gap until they have new employment or other assistance flowing.


The typical family that matched successfully with a sponsor is a family with at least 2 dependents, particularly small children, single mothers, people who are unable to work because of a medical condition, families with no income, unable to get unemployment insurance, and have no savings. Most families who are sponsored face challenges with groceries, rent, basic utilities, and medical bills.


Applicants must be nominated through someone that can be verified through our referral chain. That could be an employer or a local not for profit. Business owners can ask a customer to nominate them!”


https://www.1kproject.org/


O.U.R. Resurge/ Nuestro Resurge

 

O.U.R. Resurge/Nuestro Resurge is a collaborative project with Blueline Architect @ The Eagle’s Building.  As a community owned cooperative, we seek to develop ourselves through participatory and democratic modes that encourage skill building at every level. Current endeavors include participatory architecture (architecture as art), greenhouse development, minority owned business start-up space, co-op business development, a bi-lingual resource exchange, racial/social justice activism via dance and art modalities, and on and off site food sovereignty programming.


This project seeks to be a model that can be replicated elsewhere in the city of Pittsfield and in our state,  As a part of the Morningside community it endeavors to support community development  in its neighborhood and on Tyler Street with both on and offsite projects.


Would you join us as partners! Partners are participants, member-owners, organizations and businesses, colleges and universities, funders, steering committee support as well as capital and regional developers.


Current members include:

Blueline Design Architect,  Alma Latina Cooperatives, Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc., Jacob’s Pillow, Manos Unidas, Atravesando Esto Juntos Cooking Collective, Fronteras Comunes Bi-lingual Zine, Rose & Cole’s Transport Co-op, Reformation Academy, Berkshire Mutual Aid, The Sewing Collective, Communitechz Co-op, and Gustitos Baricuas Catering

Thank you to MASSHIRE, Bryan House and The District Attorney's office for their support of Blueline projects for youth workforce development, anchor institutions that will utilize the year round greenhouse to jumpstart green and clean business ventures on and off-site, a collaborative project with Tyler Street Business Group.

Thank you also to regional developers Cooperative Development Institute, Equity Trust, and MADEVELOPMENT.

Support our work! Contact rootsandmustardseeds@gmail.com & Anthony@bluelinedesign.com


SO What is Solidarity Economy, anyway?

Building out a solidarity economy hub in Pittsfield, MA is an exciting project! It is a model that we hope can be replicated elsewhere in the City of Pittsfield, and even statewide.


Solidarity Economy has a few key points!


The solidarity economy constitutes an alternative development framework.


Solidarity economy is grounded in practice and the following principles: solidarity, mutualism, and cooperation, equity in all dimensions: race/ethnicity/nationality, class, gender, LGBTQ,

the primacy of social welfare over profits and the unfettered rule of the market, sustainability

social and economic democracy, pluralism and organic approach, allowing for different forms in different contexts, and open to continual change driven from the bottom up.


For those of you curious about  solidarity economy, we belong to a larger movement in the United States - US-SEN and MA-SEN.


https://ussen.org/


The Latino Sewing Collective, a part of the Alma Latina Cooperatives


The Latino Sewing Collective in Pittsfield, MA has been meeting with Cooperative Development Institute every other week these last few months. They would like to move beyond just sowing masks and develop contracts with local hotels and other institutions sewing sheets, curtains, etc.! Thanks to the USDA cooperative development grant, CDI will continue mentorship, supporting the collective in developing itself as a worker co-op.


At this point the co-op is creating a supportive steering committee and documenting the values they want their cooperative to live by.


Meanwhile, adult and youth masks are all set and ready to go! You can call Erika, 413-347-2438 or Silvia- 413-464-1123 to put in your order!


The Sewing Co-op is apart of a growing coalition called The Alma Latino Co-ops.  Coordinating members from Manos Unidas Co-op & Roots & Dreams are building a  team that supports emerging Latino cooperatives.  Other co-ops involved are Atravasendo Esto Juntos, Fronteras Comunes Bi-lingual Zine, & Gustitos Baricuas Catering. To learn more contact Nancy Gomez at +1 (413) 841-8935


Communitechz IT Co-op

 

Communitechz IT Co-op worker owners, Rae and Zach meet with us weekly to discuss how to operate safely at this time. They are definitely accepting work but will refrain from in-home service calls at this time. On the other hand, they don’t mind service pick-ups and drop offs! Book now via their Facebook page!


https://www.facebook.com/communitechz/


They are also currently interviewing candidates interested in joining their team as a worker owner. Love computers but still learning? Some apprenticeship can be provided on the job. Let them know you’re interested!


Rose & Cole's Transport Co-op


Rose & Cole's Transport Co-op is actively looking to workforce development organizations, local employers, and/or schools who may need transportation on behalf of their constituents, workers, or members.


They are a mission oriented co-op, that seeks contracts with organizations and businesses who can support subsidizing rides for vulnerable clients.


They most definitely accept individual contracts too. An individual contract just means residents know their transportation schedules at least 3-4 days ahead of time. While they do not offer on-call at this time, their strategic plan includes the development of an UBER like app that would allow this type of growth. Meanwhile contracts enable them to assure a reliable schedule and a living wage for workers.


They will spend the next two months reaching out directly with organizations and employers in Pittsfield to prepare for a September/October re-opening.


Rose & Cole is also accepting weekly grocery contracts. Helpful for those who are immune compromised.


Please email them at rc.coopdelivery@gmail.com


Donations are being accepted to support a subsidy fund for insurance costs and the co-ops down payment for a 15 passenger van! Thank you so much for your support!


Buy a Rose & Cole shirt and $10 is donated directly to us!


https://www.bonfire.com/minority-owned-transport-co-op-to-re-launch160/


Fronteras Comunes Fall/Winter Issue Despertares/Awakenings : We Need Community Submissions!


It’s Time For A Contest! Calling All Artists!


Be on the cover of the next Fronteras Comunes Issue- Despertares/Awakenings!


Stipends of $50-$200 awarded to all contributing artists and writers.


Background Info:

WOW! The last Fronteras Comunes Zine was released in 2016, a bilingual bi-annual zine founded by Manos Unidas in 2010. You can read that issue here - So much is still pertinent! 


https://issuu.com/fronterascomunes/docs/labor_issue_spring_2016


Suitable funding for bi-lingual journals is not always easy and resources have been lacking these last few years but we are so excited and grateful to recently a Markham Nathan grant - just in the nick of time too!


 Bi-lingual journalism that actively engages and features our Latino, African American, and Indigenous community is key to creating a platform for unheard voices! We call this issue, Despertares/Awakenings! We are surely awakening to so much lately! Change is a foot and we want your voice in this issue! 


We send forth these questions - how has COVID, and or the recent surge in racial justice activism awakened you? Has it changed old perspectives? What do you envision is critical/necessary for a truly equitable society for all?


No worries if you don’t make it on the cover! We hold a two page spread inside just for art!


This issue will be printed for Berkshire production and also placed on a national platform, Issue.com. All contributing writers, artists, and translators receive a stipend ranging from $50-$200. Also let us know if you’re interested in design/layout!


Railroad Street Youth Project and Roots & Dreams is a collaborator with this very necessary collective project! Members of Fronteras Comunes, at one point, worked with TESA, Tools and Education for Social Action to become a worker co-op, but journalism has increasingly become more difficult to fund. At this point we continue this project as a journal collective and would love your input!


Please message submissions or interest to rootsandmustardseeds@gmail.com and

manosunidasorg@gmail.com


Atravesando esto Juntos (Traversing This Together)

 

Atravesando esto Juntos (Traversing This Together), a Manos Unidas collective of Latino cooks from various countries such as Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, and El Salvador among others, is now in their 8th week of delivering over 300 meals to Pittsfield's families in need, many of them Latino,  every Wednesday evening.


This collective also mans a weekly Saturday market that includes 600 lbs of donated fresh organic food distributed to family’s in need living in Pittsfield MA each and every week!


“In June, Project Bread reported that  food insecurity was impacting nearly 1 in 8 white households versus over 1 in 5 Black households and and nearly in 1 in 3 Latinx households. These numbers are even greater when you look at households with children. In June, TWICE as many Black and Latinx households with children were struggling with hunger as compared to white households with children. ....In MA, where unemployment has reached over 17%, the expiration of unemployment benefits could drive these numbers up unless Congress acts fast.”


http://www.projectbread.org/news-and-events/news/heres-what-we-know-about.html


Will you help this Manos Unidas Collective continue the fight against food instability here in Pittsfield, MA! We’ve noticed many of you have donated through Manos Unidas’s PayPal account. That is still very much an option! Mighty Cause, though, processes your donation with less fees!


Roots & Dreams, our collaborative partner, is holding this fundraiser on our behalf! All donations are tax deductible. Roots & Dreams tax exempt # is 82-301205.


Thank you, thank you for your support!

https://www.mightycause.com/story/Lcy1afmanosunidas


We also want to send a huge thank you to our partners whose generous support makes this initiative possible!  Thank you Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Berkshire United Way, Markham Nathan Fund for Social Justice, and the Latino Division of the Boston Foundation.


A Move to Change the State Flag & Seal!


We’ve been busy working with the MA Indigenous Agenda Coalition to support necessary changes including the modification of state flag and seal which now shows a native man with a sword over his head with the Latin insignia-by this sword we have peace. Above is recent pictures of us at The Statehouse!


Thirty-six years is a long time to wait for racial justice to be delivered. That's how long the bill to change the flag and seal has been delayed by one committee or another at the State House. With symbols of white supremacy rapidly falling across the country, the time has come for Massachusetts to act.


For 400 years, Massachusetts has ignored the rights and concerns of indigenous peoples. Now is the time for the Legislature to pass these bills and stop ignoring indigenous voices!


-Mahtowin Munro for the MA Indigenous Agenda coalition


“We are excited to say that that the bill to change the flag and seal unanimously passed in the MA Senate. Now it has a new number (S.2848) and the legislature has gone into extended session, so we do not know how much longer we have to get it through the House. It is in the House Ways and Means Committee, and the only legislator from our area that serves on that committee is the representative named John Barrett - who represents Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesboro, New Ashford, North Adams and Williamstown. If anybody who lives in any of those towns might be willing to call or write to John Barrett and urge him to support S.2848, that would be great!” David Detmold, Lead organizer. 


As you might know, Pittsfield has voted to retire Native American Mascots! https://www.masslive.com/news/2020/08/pittsfield-school-committee-votes-to-retire-native-american-mascot-of-taconic-high-school.html  


Find out more at changethemassflag.com or email lead organizer daviddetmold@gmail.com


What’s new?


Family Solidarity Gathering every Friday at 4:00 (Park Square) Outdoors - Social distancing practiced.


Reformation Academy and Manos Unidas Co-op team up to have a weekly art slam outside where we can safely socially distance ourselves. Art that’s transformative is the name of the game!


The Mural Project


September 27th, 2020, 2:00-5:00 @ Park Square, Pittsfield, MA - a community initiative presented by O.U.R. Resurge & Blueline Design


This on-site art was sponsored by Blueline Design at The Eagles Building contrasts the American Eagle (the depictive symbolism of American and Eagles members) with the Indigenous Golden Eagle. The sponsored art was meant as an intentional way to facilitate a conversation about old and new power structures and furthermore, to promote an awakening to indigenous and cultural fables/symbols as a means to inform and empower us in transformative, just, and equitable power dynamics.


The wisdom of our ancestors needs space to be rebirthed and depicted as we create modern constructs meant to empower.  Storytelling and art are such critical building blocks for change-making. It helps to reclaim the meaning and purpose begot from being a part of this rich cultural collective of humanity that spans across time.  As we know Graffiti is an immediate and raw form of human expression often used as political commentary. We would like to combine storytelling and art to create “The Mural Project” at The Eagle’s building.


This project will be ongoing over these next few years. Several places outside and within The Eagle’s Building have been designated for our mural awakenings!


Initially we will be working with Jules Talbert, a Literature Major and compelling comic artist at NYU, who is currently working alongside Anthony Barnaba of Blueline Design to further this story of the American Eagle, and the Golden Eagle as apart of Frontispiece, a Latin term to mean the principal front of the building and/or an illustration preceding and usually facing the title page of a book. This initial comic type Frontis piece will be placed on the two walls entering the Eagle’s Building. Jules and Anthony will be present at our community kick off event to get community feedback on what else should be included in the Frontispiece! Along with community input, three different speakers (Latino, African American, and an Indigenous) will share their stories and the symbols that are meaningful to them as it pertains to transitioning out of oppressive power structures. A canvass will be present for youth and adults alike to paint their ideas which can later be used as a part of the mural 


Overall, THE MURAL PROJECT, continuing into Spring, 2020, will utilize fables which are verbal stories using animals and nature as well as graffiti as an art form. While fables are often thought as children oriented, it can  help adults, with fixed ideas, see the message hidden in a fable and allow the adult brain, to absorb the meaning of the story without feeling it as a threat. It creates a moment of introspection and from there maybe: better understanding of how people should be treated. (Equally)


Community members will continue to discuss both cultural fables and personal stories about images and symbols that come to mind when they consider inequitable structures/racial oppression in our country as well as images and symbols they believe personify healing! We look forward to the ongoing events and community participation for this incredible project at the historic Eagles Building.


We will send out a separate Kick Off community invite soon! Thank you to PNAT (Pittsfield Neighborhood Action Team) for a spark grant that supports the materials needed for community to create art and for a lead artist to support us! Want to support the ongoing work of The Mural Project?


Email: rootsandmustardseeds@gmail.com and anthony@bluelinedesign.com



Would you like to donate directly to our work? Safely donate using PayPal! All donations are tax deductible.


Roots & Dreams - https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/rootsmustardseeds


Manos Unidas Co-op -

https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/manosunidascoop



Roots & Dreams y Mustard Seeds Inc.  rootsandmustardseeds@gmail.com

PH- 413-345-2794

https://www.facebook.com/coopspittsfield  

www.rootsandmustardseeds.com       


Manos Unidas Mutlicutlural Educational Co-op    manosunidasorg@gmail.com

PH -413-841-0298    https://www.facebook.com/manosunidascooperative


 
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Roots & Dreams and Mustard Seeds Inc.

 

413-345-2794

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