Edited by Kali Akuno and Matt Meyer
Mississippi is the poorest state in the US, with the highest percentage of Black people and a history of vicious racial terror. Black resistance at a time of global health, economic, and climate crisis is the backdrop and context for the drama captured in this new and revised collection of essays.
Cooperation Jackson, founded in 2014 in Mississippi's capital to develop an economically uplifting democratic "solidarity economy," is anchored by a network of worker-owned, self-managed cooperative enterprises. The organization developed in the context of the historic election of radical Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, lifetime human rights attorney. Subsequent to Lumumba's passing less than one year after assuming office, the network developed projects both inside and outside of the formal political arena. In 2020, Cooperation Jackson became the center for national and international coalition efforts, bringing together progressive peoples from diverse trade union, youth, church, and cultural movements.
This long-anticipated anthology details the foundations behind those successful campaigns. It unveils new and ongoing strategies and methods being pursued by the movement for grassroots-centered Black community control and self-determination, inspiring partnership and emulation across the globe.
Foreword by Richard D. Wolff.
"Jackson is one of the epicenters of resistance for all of us to emulate; this book lays the scene." -- Chris Hedges, journalist, Presbyterian minister, and Princeton University lecturer; author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
"Jackson Rising is the rarest of things: a real strategic plan. You will not find a simple wish list that glosses over the hard questions of resources, or some disembodied manifesto imploring the workers forward, but a work in progress building the capacity of people to exercise power." -- Richard Moser, author of The World the Sixties Made
About the Contributors:
Kali Akuno is a cofounder and codirector of Cooperation Jackson. He was the director of special projects and external funding in the mayoral administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS. His focus in this role was supporting cooperative development, the introduction of eco-friendly and carbon reduction methods of operation, and the promotion of human rights and international relations for the city. Akuno has also served as the codirector of the U.S. Human Rights Network, and the executive director of the Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) based in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina. He was a cofounder of the School of Social Justice and Community Development (SSJCD), a public school serving the academic needs of low-income African American and Latino communities in Oakland. Kali currently splits his time between Jackson, MS and Marshfield, VT.
Richard D. Wolff is professor of economics emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a visiting professor at the New School University in New York. Wolff's recent work has concentrated on analyzing the causes and alternative solutions to the global economic crisis. His groundbreaking book Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism inspired the creation of Democracy at Work, a nonprofit organization dedicated to showing how and why to make democratic workplaces real. Wolff is also the author of Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism and Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do about It. He hosts the weekly hour-long radio program "Economic Update," which is syndicated on public radio stations nationwide, and he writes regularly for The Guardian and Truthout.org.
Matt Meyer is a noted educator, author, and organizer currently serving as Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association. As former national co-chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and former chair of the War Resisters League, he is second only to A.J. Muste--"dean of the US peace movement"--being elected to the top position of both historic organizations. Based in New York City, Meyer has led seminars, courses, trainings, and conferences in over sixty countries throughout five continents, focusing on themes including the strategies and tactics of revolutionary nonviolence; political imprisonment; decolonization and the cases of Puerto Rico, Palestine, West Papua, Western Sahara, and Ambazonia; and the connections between militarism, white supremacy, patriarchy and imperialism. Meyer is Senior Research Scholar at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst Resistance Studies Initiative, noted by South African Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu (in the foreword to his book with Bill Sutherland, Guns and Gandhi in Africa), as having "begun to develop a language which looks at the roots of our humanness."