This Week's Guest:

Air Date: March 23, 2023
Cooperative Advocate, Cooperative Development

Stacey Sutton Ph.D., Professor at theUIC, discusses Wealth Building Initiative, and Solidarity Economy Research


Everything Co-op closes its commemoration of Women’s History Month with an interview of Stacey Sutton Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago. Dr. Sutton and Vernon discuss her new body of cooperative city research, “Real Black Utopias,” where she examines the infrastructure and ideology of Black-led cooperatives and solidarity economy ecosystems in multiple cities.

Stacey Sutton is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy. Dr. Sutton Co-Directs the Solidarity Economy Research, Policy & Law Project and serves as the interim Director of UIC’s Social Justice Initiative. Her research focuses on solidarity economy, prefigurative politics, economic democracy and worker-owned cooperatives, racial equity, and disparate effects of place-based city policies. For the next two years, the Solidarity Economy Research, Policy & Law Project will serve as the ‘hub’ for the City of Chicago’s $15 million dollar Community Wealth Building Initiative that aims to promote the local, democratic, and shared ownership and control of community assets to transform our economy to be more sustainable and just by supporting worker cooperatives, community land trusts, housing cooperatives, and community investment vehicles.

Dr. Sutton serves on the Board of the New Economy Coalition, she is a Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, and a Senior Researcher with the Small Business Anti-Displacement Network (SBAN). Dr. Sutton is working on a book project titled, Real Black Utopias, which explores the infrastructures, ideologies, and practices of Black-centered worker cooperatives and solidarity economy ecosystems in numerous US cities. Dr. Sutton received a BA from Loyola University in Baltimore, an MBA from New York University, an MS from the New School for Social Research in New York, and a joint Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Sociology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Our host, Vernon Oakes, is a consummate advocate for cooperatives. He is a Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and he’s served on several boards and committees to advance the interests of cooperatives. Recently, he served on the Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force, established by Anita Bonds, At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Vernon is an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community, by promoting the added value of the cooperative business model. 

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