A conversation with Andrew Zitcer hosted by Jamila Medley


Thu Feb 10 2022 at 06:00 pm


Kelly Writers House | Philadelphia, PA

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From the crises of racial inequity and capitalism that inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and the Green New Deal to the coronavirus pandemic, stories of mutual aid have shown that, though cooperation is variegated and ever-changing, it is also a form of economic solidarity that can help weather contemporary social and economic crises. Addressing this theme, Andrew Zitcer's new book Practicing Cooperation delivers a trenchant and timely argument that the way to a more just and equitable society lies in the widespread adoption of cooperative practices. But what renders cooperation ethical, effective, and sustainable? Providing a new conceptual framework for cooperation as a form of social practice, Practicing Cooperation describes and critiques three U.S.-based cooperatives. Through these case studies, Zitcer illuminates the range of activities that make contemporary cooperatives successful: dedicated practitioners, a commitment to inclusion, and ongoing critical reflection. He asserts that economic and social cooperation must be examined, critiqued, and implemented on multiple scales if it is to combat the pervasiveness of competitive individualism.
ANDREW ZITCER is an associate professor of Urban Strategy at Drexel University. He studies cooperative social and economic practices as well as the arts as a vehicle for community transformation. He is also the co-founder of the Rotunda, a community arts venue, and Kol Tzedek Synagogue, a progressive Jewish congregation.
JAMILA MEDLEY is an organizational development consultant, leadership coach, and educator/advocate for the solidarity economy. From 2012-2021 she served in governance roles and then as executive director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA). Jamila, a UPenn alum, lives in Philadelphia's Mt. Airy neighborhood and serves on the boards of directors of Food Co-op Initiative, Movement Alliance Project, All Together Now PA, and the Independence Public Media Foundation.

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Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, United States

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Kelly Writers House

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