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 are marginalized socially and economically due to race, sex, class, gender identity, age or ability.
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. 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.