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We know that workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, too often with no real say in the conditions they’ve had to face and the risks they’ve had to take. Meanwhile, the net worth of American billionaires has grown by over a trillion dollars since the start of the pandemic. How would a more democratic economy have responded to the current crisis?

Our new special report from TRNN journalist Jaisal Noor, produced with the support of the Solutions Journalism Network, answers this question with an in-depth look at eight worker cooperatives in four cities: 

  • Cooperative Home Care Associates (NYC)
  • Brooklyn Packers (NYC)
  • Taharka Brothers (Baltimore)
  • Joe Squared Pizza (Baltimore)
  • Red Emma’s (Baltimore)
  • ChiFresh Kitchen (Chicago)
  • Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (Cleveland)
  • Phoenix Coffee (Cleveland)

How have co-ops in the food industry and in the care sector stepped up to protect their worker-owners? How have traditional businesses found a path through the pandemic through a conversion to worker ownership? How have worker co-ops created opportunities for those traditionally excluded or marginalized in the economy to build workplaces centered around dignity and democracy? And what challenges and setbacks have these nascent efforts to build a new economy facing?

Tune in on May 13th at 7PM EDT for the report’s premiereand stick around for a live discussion and Q&A, co-sponsored by the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the New Economy Coalition, featuring worker-owners from cooperatives featured in the report, and moderated by The Real News’ Managing Editor Lisa Snowden-McCray. The panel will include:

  • Jaisal Noor, The Real News Network
  • Raina Kennedy, Brooklyn Packers
  • Najee Haynes-Follins, Red Emma’s
  • Detric McCoy, Taharka Brothers
  • Lisa Snowden-McCray, The Real News Network (moderator)

This special report has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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Jaisal is currently the Democracy Initiative Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network and is a former TRNN host, producer, and reporter. He mainly grew up in the Baltimore area and studied modern history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining TRNN, he contributed print, radio, and TV reports to Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and The Indypendent. Jaisal's mother has taught in the Baltimore City Public School system for the past 25 years. Follow him on Twitter @jaisalnoor.