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Solidarity Economy in Practice: Philadelphia

Conservation Land Trusts

Lower Merion Conservancy, circa 1970

Natural Lands Trust



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Willistown Conservation Trust


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Wissahickon Watershed Conservancy

Community Gardens

Before« «and after

Worker Cooperatives

Wooden Shoe Books and Records

The Pedal Co-Op

Firehouse Bicycles

Food Cooperatives
Weaver·s Way
´In the language of the local food movement, we·re eaters, not passive consumers.µ

Weaver·s Way Co-op Farm

Weaver·s Way also runs Weaver·s Way Community Programs to educate children about environmentalism, sustainability, and running an enterprise

Artists· Cooperatives

Little Berlin

Highwire Gallery

Nexus Art Gallery

Daycare/Educational Cooperatives

The Cooperative Nursery School

Parents and teachers work together, share knowledge, and make decisions that allow children to thrive.

Social Enterprises
is a commercial bank dedicated to developing the ´green economyµ by providing financial services associated with the triple bottom line. Their services: -build sustainable enterprise -help protect the environment -Increase social equity
Chairman Sandy Wiggins speaks at annual TED conference

Community Supported Agriculture
Rural farms«
Greensgrow Farms

Pennypack Farm

Charlestown Cooperative Farm

«and urban farms

Community Currencies
Downtown Dollars
The Ardmore Initiative established Downtown Dollars as result of frustration with lack of economic stimulus. In first month, sold $15,000 worth of Dollars

Allows Ardmore residents to purchase $200 of community currency at half price (e.g. 20 DDs for $10) to use participating businesses.

Self-Help Programs
S.H.A.R.E. Food distributes bags of groceries (~$35-45) to those in need in exchange for two hours of community service

´It·s about food, but it·s also about transforming how people see and think about one another.µ
- Steveanna Wynn, Executive Director

Fair Trade/Ethical Purchasing
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Sells goods produced ethically and sustainably

´One day all artisans in the developing countries will earn a fair wage, be a with dignity and respect and be able to live a life of quality.µ
A shoulder bag, and a worker from Guatemalan cooperative Ruth & Naomi, whose artists made the bag. Ruth & Naomi emerged from the solidarity of Guatemalan women during the country·s civil war.




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Consumer Cooperatives
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The Energy Cooperative is owned and controlled by its 1000+ members.




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Uses group buying power to negotiate lower prices from local oil companies Provides electricity from local and renewable sources Active members participate in important decisions (one vote per person)

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Housing Cooperatives

Bryn Gweled

The Simple Way

Camphill Soltane

Altair Cohousing

Settlement Houses
United Communities Southeast Philadelphia
´Promotes the educational and economic advancement of individuals and families within its host neighborhoods.µ
‡Dates back to 1847 ‡Initially established to help new immigrants adjust to urban life ‡Established when three settlement houses merged; now operates two facilities in SE Philadelphia ‡Currently associated with United Way CDC ‡Programs include« ‡Homeowner education ‡Youth employment ‡ESL classes ‡Community development ‡Neighborhood Advisory Committee

Green Village Philadelphia
‡Founded by coalition of local business, community, and environmental leaders ‡Hopes to serve as ´a catalyst for comprehensive neighborhood revitalizationµ ‡Though still in development, hosts neighborhood green workshops

Three Groves Eco-Village
‡Both an eco-village and a cohousing community ‡Members will take part in community dinners several times per week in Common House ‡Plans to be a ´learning community and an educational resourceµ for local individuals and families

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Community Financing
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foundation that distributes money and other financial and technical resources to groups that promote social justice. Specific grants include« -Racial & Economic Justice Fund -Media Justice Fund -Phoebus Criminal Justice Fund
Members of Bread and Roses meet with a 2009 grantee.


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Gender/Minority Financing
Women·s Opportunities Resource Center
Promotes economic self-sufficiency to disadvantaged women by providing entrepreneurial training, business assistance, incentive savings programs, and access to financial resources.

Mary Ann and Pam Nelson used the Women and Company Micro-Enterprise Boost Program to found Farm Fresh Express

Shasia Willis attended the Smart Start training program, and went on to establish her own childcare program.

Lisa Bishop, thanks to an Economic Opportunities Fund, was able to start Voice of Victory Publishing

Community Development Corporations
Project H.O.M.E.

«partakes in local protests«

Hosts community meals«
´«empowering families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, alleviating the underlying causes of poverty, and enabling all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society.µ

«works with local politicians