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Commonomics, a new series from YES! Magazine in collaboration with GRITtv.org, examines what it will take to strengthen our local economies for the benefit of all.

Starting this month, Laura Flanders, the lead reporter on the series, will be traveling the country asking the question: what makes for a strong local economy? And she’ll find people who are answering that question in unique ways.

These are people like Chokwe Lumumba and Mark Tilsen.

Lumumba, a former Black Nationalist and one-time attorney to Tupac Shakur, was recently elected Mayor of Jackson, and wants to create worker-owned cooperativessmall-scale green businesses, and investments in training and infrastructure in Mississippi’s capital.

native aerican foods

Tilsen is an indigenous entrepreneur on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation who has just begun the process of turning ownership of his local food products company, Native American Natural Foods, to his workers.

Laura Flanders, the magazine’s Surdna Foundation-supported Local Economies Reporting Fellow, will focus on people like Lumumba, Tilsen, and the “gatherers,” those women and men who are working to foster economic growth from within their communities.

Commonomics will be asking what’s working, what isn’t, and by what standard are our local economies to be judged? To find answers to these and other questions, Commonomics will look at communities where, by choice or by crisis, people are trying to figure out how to transform what they’ve known into something better for all.

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