Dulce Detroit, Radical Productions, and Bridging Languages are the 3 newest worker-owned cooperatives in the city of Detroit.
Grace in Action Collectives–a network of collectives and worker-owned cooperatives rooted in Southwest Detroit–hosted a launch party at UNI Springdale Park on June 4, 2022 to celebrate.
Each of these cooperatives received free legal support from attorneys in DJC’s Economic Equity Practice to get up and running.
Economic equity is a core focus of DJC’s work because, for an organization focused on ending mass incarceration, it’s not enough to tear down prisons and policing. What kinds of opportunities await our loved ones once they’re free?
Our attorneys help community members build structures like worker owned co-ops because they are a democratic alternative to the exploitation of the existing economic system. Co-ops provide all members with a voice in how things operate, what services to provide, and how to fairly split up earnings.
Each of these 3 cooperatives are also filling a vital need in their communities:
>> Dulce Detroit is a childcare service provider. The team of 4 worker-owners provide quality and structured support to the 44% of Michiganders living in a childcare desert.
>> Radical Productions offer design and coding solutions to complex community problems. Services range from graphic design and website creation to developing apps that monitor pollution and fight for clean air.
>> Bridging Languages provide translation and interpretation services in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Urdu, Bengal, and Hindi. The co-op is the product of “young minds who have grown up and seen language equity be a need in their community.”
Idalis Longoria – director of cooperative development for Grace in Action – made it clear at the launch party: “There are somewhere between 9 and 15 co-ops in Detroit and you’re looking at the 3 newest ones… but these businesses will not thrive without your support.”
Unlike large corporations where chief executives “walk away with a bunch of money, profits get split up evenly between all members,” said Longoria. “Every worker is an owner and every owner is a worker. If you walk away with nothing else today, walk away with that.”
Grace in Action Collectives is aiming to launch 200 cooperatives by 2030 and DJC is proud to partner with them toward this goal.
DJC’s three-pronged approach of “defense, offense, and dreaming” ensures that we’re meeting our clients where they’re at and defending them from threats of incarceration.
That same approach also ensures that we devote just as much of our resources toward dreaming up the new structures–like cooperatives–that will be present and define a world free of imprisonment and other forms of oppression.
Support the Detroit Justice Center, Grace in Action Collectives, and Detroit’s cooperatives to help us continue bringing forth the truly just world we all deserve.