Pentridge Children’s Garden New Member Tour

Check out this upcoming event!

We’re less than a week away from the longest day of the year and plants are growing like crazy. If you’re regretting the fact that you don’t have a plot at a community garden, it’s not too late get one and plant some late season vegetables. If that’s too tall an order it’s never too soon to start planning ahead for next year.

Check out the Pentridge Children’s Garden on June 28th or use this handy directory to look for other plots around West Philly.



Block Party or ‘Bloc Party’?

Block Party or ‘Bloc Party’?
Owen Lyman-Schmidt

June is here and all around the neighborhood cones and banners are closing off streets for block parties. Block parties are high up in my ‘Best Things About Summer’ list along with ripe tomatoes, water balloon fights, and porch fans, but this year there’s another type of block party that’s even more exciting. I’m talking about the ‘Bloc Party’, an effort to mobilize the hundreds of thousands of people across Philadelphia who have been directly affected by mass incarceration. By some estimates there are over 300,000 people who have served prison or jail sentences in Philadelphia, and when you consider all the people who have seen their friends and family members do time, you have the makings of huge voting bloc with the power to reverse the punitive, racist, classist policies and practices which have caused Pennsylvania’s prison population to balloon from 8,243 people in 1980 to over 52,000 today. This ‘Bloc Party’ is about more than bouncy castles, it’s about ending mass incarceration, stopping the legal discrimination against the formerly incarcerated and breaking the cycles of violence  in our communities.

To learn more about the Bloc Party attend their free event tomorrow, June 11th from 6-9 pm at The Friend’s Center (15th and Cherry st) or contact the hosting organization The Center For Returning Citizens.

For more information on efforts in Pennsylvania to end mass incarceration in and the damage it does to our communities check out Decarcerate PA.

For the City Form needed to get your block closed for a block party go here.


AP Photo/Steven Senne

Jackson Rising

“What’s the alternative to gentrification, to stadiums, to ruthless exploitation? It’s the solidarity economy. It’s cooperation. It’s democratically owned, worker-run cooperatives for child care, retail, auto repair, factories, health care, you name it. It’s already rising in Jackson Mississippi, and soon, near you.”
Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report

What happens when strong social movements put cooperatives on their agenda for serious, structural change?
By Laura Smoot, Mariposa Education & Outreach Coordinator

Readers, I want you to learn about what’s been happening in Jackson, Mississippi, because their vision is one of the reasons I get out of bed and go to work at Mariposa.  Impressive movement-building organizations there have been working together based on a plan they co-wrote called the Jackson-Kush Plan, which you can read here, “to move Jackson and the state of Mississippi from ‘worse to first’ in regards to income inequality, wealth equity, health access, and the practice of democracy.”

At the beginning of this month, over 300 people gathered at the Jackson Rising New Economies Conference in Jackson to explore and discuss how to fund, found and foster a different kind of economic system based on democratically self-managed cooperatives.  Here are some of the best articles about what went down:

Will Co-ops Spark a New Civil Rights Movement?”

Jackson Rising: Black Millionaires Won’t Lift Us Up, But Cooperation & the Solidarity Economy Might

Jackson Rising: An Electoral Battle Unleashes a Merger of Black Power, the Solidarity Economy and Wider Democracy