Night School: Reducing Recidivism Cooperatively – Feb 10 at 6pm

Feb10Ann Hoyt of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives will discuss her research regarding how Italian Social Co-ops Reduce Recidivism. She has found that social co-ops in Italy, which employ ex-cons, have played a major role in reducing the recidivism rate from 70-80% down to 20-30%. What are the implications for the US and Milwaukee? We’ll find out. Here’s the description she sent us:

Title: “I’m Outta Here – With a Job!”

Description: In 2009 and 2011 Ann Hoyt was a visiting researcher at the University of Trento, Italy where she visited worker cooperatives designed to support offenders and ex-offenders. She studied the cooperative business potential for providing post-release support and reducing recidivism; the legal and financial structures that support these co-ops; methods used for organizing them, and possibilities for adapting this model to American re-entry programs. Ann will share what she learned in Italy, answer questions and discuss the potential for offender co-ops in Wisconsin. Ann is Professor and Chair of the Department of Consumer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Consumer Cooperative Specialist at UW-Extension.

1/13 Night School rescheduled to 2/10

This Sunday’s Night School has been rescheduled! Now on February 10th, Ann Hoyt of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives will discuss her research regarding how Italian Social Co-ops Reduce Recidivism. She has found that social co-ops in Italy, which employ ex-cons, have played a major role in reducing the recidivism rate from 70-80% down to 20-30%. What are the implications for the US and Milwaukee? We’ll find out. We unfortunately had to reschedule this because our speaker has a broken shoulder. We have moved it to February 10th!

Film Screening: SHIFT CHANGE Putting Democracy To Work Dec. 9 at 6pm

Along with the Riverwest Co-op, Riverwest Public House’s Night School is proud to present SHIFT CHANGE, a brand new documentary about worker co-ops in the United States and abroad.

After the screening, we will have a panel discussion featuring some ‘stars’ of the film:

Rebecca Kemble of Union Cab, US Federation of Worker Co-ops, and writer for “The Progressive

Ole Olson, who sits on the Isthmus Engineering co-op affairs committee, is active with the U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops and in MadWorC, a budding network of Madison worker cooperatives that promotes support among coops in the area, and encourages creation of new co-ops.

Dec9

The film visits several worker owned enterprises in North America, and in the Basque region of Spain, to show the diversity of participants, products and ways of doing business in employee owned firms. Each offers inspiration as well as practical ideas about making these enterprises successful. Stories in the film include:

Mondragón Cooperative Corporation [MCC]: Begun in the 1950s, the Mondragón co-ops have transformed a depressed area of Spain into one of the most productive in Europe with a high standard of living and an egalitarian way of life. These co-ops produce computer chips, high tech industrial machinery, household appliances, and many other products. They are owned and managed by their workers. Seeing the achievements of the MCC helps to overcome the idea—widespread in North America—that worker run cooperatives can only exist on the economic fringe.

The Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio: This is an ambitious urban redevelopment model, directly inspired by Mondragón, where local institutions and public officials are supporting green cooperatives of previously marginalized, predominantly African American workers, who provide commercial laundry services, install solar energy systems, and grow vegetables in vast urban greenhouses.

Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, San Francisco, California: Started 30 years ago, there are now six of these independent worker owned and managed cooperative bakeries that work together to provide the financial and legal services they need, and to incubate new coop bakeries.

Cooperatives of immigrant workers: Often the most marginalized in our current economic system, immigrant workers are starting cooperatives to create secure, environmentally friendly jobs. The non-profit WAGES helps low income women, largely Latina immigrants, organize green house-cleaning cooperatives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Isthmus Engineering and Manufacturing in Madison, WI: This proudly worker owned and managed company designs and builds custom high tech manufacturing equipment for the medical, automotive and energy industries. They have a strong commitment to improving solar technologies. They’ve joined with other longstanding coops in Madison, including Union Cab and Community PHarmacy, plus many others, to form a network of worker cooperatives that can support each other and encourage new cooperative businesses to form.

Equal Exchange, Boston MA: Founded in 1986, Equal Exchange is one of the largest roasters of fair trade coffee in the world. Democratically managed by those who work there, Equal Exchange distributes coffee, tea, chocolate bars, cocoa, and snacks produced by cooperatives in the U.S. and other countries. The more than 100 worker owners seek to demonstrate through their successful business, how worker cooperatives and fair trade contribute to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.