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The Making of a Democratic Economy

Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard

From Ted Howard, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, and Marjorie Kelly, author of The Divine Right of Capital, and Owning our Future, The Making of a Democratic Economy is a clarion call for a movement ready to get serious about transforming our economic system. Illuminating the principles of a democratic economy through the stories of on-the-ground community wealth builders and their unlikely accomplices in the halls of institutional power, this book is a must read for everyone concerned with how we win the fight for an economy that’s equitable, not extractive.

Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age

Ellen Brown

Purchase through: IndieBoundAmazon Amazon Kindle Barnes & Noble

Today most of our money is created, not by governments, but by banks when they make loans. This book takes the reader step by step through the sausage factory of modern money creation, explores improvements made possible by advances in digital technology, and proposes upgrades that could transform our outmoded nineteenth century system into one that is democratic, sustainable, and serves the needs of the twenty-first century.

Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions

Justine Porter, Danny Fisher-Bruns and Bich Ha Pham

The Democracy Collaborative’s new report Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges with Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions discusses the role of anchor institutions and collaboratives in leveraging the power of their economic assets to address social and economic disparities and to revitalize local communities.

The report focuses on the work of anchor institutions and partner organizations that have joined to form place-based networks, or anchor collaboratives, to develop, implement, and support shared goals and initiatives that advance equitable and inclusive economic development strategies. Anchor mission work is not easy, but our hope is that this state of the field report will provide information and assistance to groups wanting to do anchor mission work or to create anchor collaboratives.

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia partnering with The Democracy Collaborative to launch the Northern Virginia Anchor Collaborative


April 30, 2019

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia partnering with The Democracy Collaborative to launch the Northern Virginia Anchor Collaborative

New initiative will build a more inclusive economy by connecting resources of anchor institutions to community needs

FAIRFAX, VA: Although Northern Virginia enjoys one of the highest incomes in the nation, pockets of deep poverty persist. Overall, 15.9% of the 2.32 million in the region are living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Creating an economy that works for all Northern Virginia residents, especially the disproportionately Black and Hispanic communities that lack the opportunities to prosper and build wealth whiter ones enjoy, requires aligning all available resources in the region in a coordinated effort.

Catalyzing such an effort is the aim of the new Northern Virginia Anchor Collaborative (NVAC), spearheaded by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia (CFNOVA). Inspired by the community wealth building framework established by The Democracy Collaborative, the new initiative will use the resources of “anchor institutions” like nonprofit hospitals and universities and local governments to drive the regional economy in the direction of equity and inclusion, beginning with a pilot project in Fairfax County’s Route 1 Corridor.

Right To Own: A Policy Framework to Catalyze Worker Ownership Transitions

Peter Gowan

Our new report explores the "right to own"—giving workers the right of first refusal anytime their workplace is up for sale—as a strategy to massively scale up employee ownership in the economy. We outline the major provisions and legal changes necessary to enact this right, and the ecosystem of support and financing necessary to make it truly operative for workers.

Building Resiliency through Green Infrastructure: A Community Wealth Building Approach

Worker coops and social enterprises can build the green stormwater infrastructure our cities need for climate resiliency—while also building community wealth.  Read more about Building Resiliency through Green Infrastructure: A Community Wealth Building Approach...

January 2019 Anchor Collaborative Convening

From January 16th to 18th, 2019 the second Anchor Collaborative Convening brought together 55 leaders and champions of anchor collaboratives from 25 communities across the US and Canada. The Democracy Collaborative would like to extend our immense gratitude to New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and to all of our participants who brought thoughtful, fun and creative energy throughout.

Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions

Emily Sladek, Guest Editor

‘Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions’ focuses on the role of urban and metropolitan universities as anchor institutions in their community to address long standing inequities. Anchor institutions are nonprofit or public institutions that are rooted in place. These institutions have a mission to serve and are the largest employers and purchaser of goods and services in many communities. Also, they have other assets and capacities that can be leveraged to support reciprocal community development, including local hiring, procurement, and investment practices. Anchor mission strategies involve the entire university, including the business, community partnership, administrative, research and academic divisions.

Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ) is the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ quarterly online journal. This special issue, guest edited by The Democracy Collaborative's Emily Sladek, is an initiative of TDC and CUMU's Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative.

An Indigenous Approach to Community Wealth Building: A Lakota Translation

Stephanie Gutierrez, co-founder of Hope Nation LLC, explores hows effective community wealth building in Native communities depends on an active process of cultural translation. Read more about An Indigenous Approach to Community Wealth Building: A Lakota Translation...