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Expanding democratic ownership Fighting for a new systemic vision

There’s a movement afoot to build a more equitable, democratic economy in the United States. It’s a movement led by community-based activists who, each in their own way, are building new institutions to support social and economic justice, rooted in community-controlled land and enterprises. This movement has a name: it’s called community wealth building.  

Drawing on a decade’s worth of conversations with key leaders in the growing field, from cooperative developers and community activists to impact investors and social enterprise innovators, this book of interviews from the Democracy Collaborative dives into the front lines of the movement to build community wealth.  Exploring both the breakthrough projects that helped define the field and the lessons learned when deep challenges presented themselves, Conversations on Community Wealth Building is a unique look at the people, practices, and policies behind the new equitable development models of the 21st century.

Collecting 34 interviews conducted by Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow Steve Dubb, Conversations on Community Wealth Building is now available on Amazon or through your local independent bookstore.

Featuring interviews with experts on these topics:

Land Banks and Community Land Trusts

John Emmeus Davis (Burlington Associates, Interviewed in 2011)

Rosalind Greenstein (Lincoln Land Institute, Interviewed in 2007)

Dan Kildee (Land Bank Authority, Interviewed in 2009)

Worker Cooperatives and Employee Ownership

Hilary Abell (Project Equity, Interviewed in 2010)

Molly Hemstreet (Opportunity Threads, Interviewed in 2014 by John Duda)

Melissa Hoover (Democracy at Work Institute, Interviewed in 2010)

Blake Jones (Namaste Solar, Interviewed in 2013)

Emily Kawano (Center for Popular Economics, Interviewed in 2015)

John Logue (Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Interviewed in 2008)

Rodney North (Equal Exchange, Interviewed in 2012)

Rob Witherell (United Steelworkers, Interviewed in 2013)

Community Development Corporations

Seema Agnani (National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, Interviewed in 2007)

Maggie DeSantis (Building the Engine of Community Development in Detroit, Interviewed in 2008)

Bernie Mazyck (South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations, Interviewed in 2011)

Steven McCullough (Communities In Schools, Interviewed in 2009)

Community Investment and Institutional Strategies

Tony Brown (Uptown Consortium, Interviewed in 2007)

Michael Shuman (Community Economist, Interviewed in 2015)

Social Enterprises and Innovation

José Corona (Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Interviewed in October 2014)

Rey España (Native American Youth and Family Center, Interviewed in 2014)

Carla Javits (REDF, Interviewed in 2011)

Brenda Palms Barber (North Lawndale Employment Network, Interviewed in 2010)

Kate Sofis (SFMade, Interviewed in June 2013)

Community Investment and Institutional Strategies

Lisa Hagerman (Double Bottom Line Partners, Interviewed in 2010)


Paul Hazen (U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, Interviewed in 2012)

Ramón León (Latino Economic Development Center, Interviewed in 2009)

Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Cooperative Union (Interviewed in 2012)

Community Organizing and Education

Caroline Murray (NYC Department of Education, Interviewed in 2012)

Raquel Pinderhughes (Roots of Success, Interviewed in 2012)

Ai-jen Poo (National Domestic Workers Alliance, Interviewed in 2014)

Reverend Barry Randolph (Church of the Messiah, Interviewed in 2013)

John Taylor (National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Interviewed in 2010)

Community Development Financial Institutions

Ron Phillips (Capital for Opportunity and Change, Interviewed in 2006)

Mark Pinksy (Opportunity Finance Network, Interviewed in 2009)

Eric Weaver (Opportunity Fund, Interviewed in 2008)

Publication date: 2016-08-16
Publication URL:

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