April 2, 2009
Economic Justice from the Bottom Up: The Solidarity Economy Movement Emerges in Its First U.S. Conference
By Carl Davidson

Nearly 400 organizers and activists gathered at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst March 19-22 for the first national gathering of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, exceeding the expectations of its organizers.

The deepening economic crisis made the meeting quite timely. The overall theme was ’Building Another World,’ and drew participants from the East Coast, South and Midwest of the US, even Alaska and Puerto Rico. Internationally, delegations came from Quebec, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, and Canada. People represented economic justice and green jobs projects, food coops and credit unions, worker coops and labor unions, and peace and justice organizing efforts.

"Our diversity was very dynamic and creative," said Julie Matthaei, a USSEN coordinating committee member. "It served us well in affirming our unity, discussing differences, and helping us reach a deeper understanding of the solidarity economy in our context."

Read more on the U.S. Solidarity Network (SEN) website.