Society of Woman Geographers Webinar


"An Ensemble of Possibilities":
Enunciating the Geography of New York City's Solidarity Economy

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
12:00 Noon (EDT)

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The Solidarity Economy (SE) refers to the myriad of ways people collectively meet their needs based on values of mutualism, cooperation, ecological sustainability, justice, and democratic control. These collective forms of production, distribution, consumption, and redistribution vary in model, ranging from worker, food, financial, and housing cooperatives to community gardens, and collectives. These models join together in New York City to create a 'movement space'--a geography of relationships between SE sites that is both politically and materially produced. In this presentation I will discuss the production of physical Solidarity Economy space in New York in three ways: SE spaces as entry points or barriers to Solidarity Economy analysis, the ways that practitioners regulate these spaces, and what new spatial relationships are made possible through Solidarity Economy work. How do these gardens, credit unions, or food cooperatives create a values-centered geography in New York City?

Lauren Hudson is a doctoral candidate in earth and environmental sciences at the City University of New York-Graduate Center under the advisement of Dr. Marianna Pavlovskaya. Her dissertation, "Defining 'Movement Space' in New York City's Solidarity Economy," is an ethnographic project about women who engage in collective forms of labor throughout the city. Using both interviews and sketch maps from participants, her research asks how in doing such work - which includes cooperative finance, community gardens, and food cooperatives - women are redrawing the boundaries of the city and creating a movement geography based on collective values.

In addition to graduate work, Lauren is a peer educator with the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York, an organization that she and other collective members of SolidarityNYC, a solidarity economy advocacy organization, co-founded. She is also a lecturer with ThinkOlio, were she teaches subjects related to feminist urban geography. Before landing at CUNY, Lauren received her bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College and began working in the cooperative space soon after as a Cooperative Finance Leader of America Fellow at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

This event is co-sponsored by the Society of Woman Geographers .