COLLECTIVE REMAKE: Art, Business, Education, News, People, and Recycling for Sustainability is a unique social enterprise—in Los Angeles County—designed to support the creation of worker-owned businesses and other kinds of cooperatives with people who have been incarcerated and other individuals who live in communities that have been marginalized socially and economically.
Cooperatives offer a democratic business structure that is open to individuals who are otherwise discriminated against in the job market because of a criminal record, or due race, sex, class, gender identity, age or ability. Over 50% of the Black Community in South Los Angeles is unemployed or underemployed. The unemployment rate for Blacks in Los Angeles is 17%, twice what it is for whites—one-third of black workers are underemployed compared to 20% of whites.
For former prisoners, opportunities to find work for a living wage are few.
Worker-owned businesses and other kinds of cooperatives can ignite a local economy in communities that are disenfranchised due to the loss of living wage jobs, unfunded social programs, deteriorating schools, over policing and high rates of incarceration.