Author Archives: Aric Sleeper

Oakland-based cooperative builds community through collective property ownership

East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative takes historic real estate off the speculative market in West Oakland.

In 2015, after the economy began to fully recover from the Great Recession, the tech industry witnessed an explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. This resulted in an influx of people in the Bay Area, driving housing costs up and displacing the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) residents from their homes in cities like Oakland—a trend that continues in 2022. Continue reading

Indigenous-led organization opens new salvo in fight for climate justice

NDN Collective, inspired by the Standing Rock Sioux movement, releases a report on Dakota Access Pipeline. Continue reading

How collectives are empowering people to understand the tricky financial side of life

Removing the taboo around talking about money, two collectives are helping people work toward securing their financial well-being.

Financial health is the elephant in the room that we avoid talking about in social situations, at work, and even with our loved ones, despite the fact that financial well-being has a profound effect on how we think and feel. A review of 32 studies conducted on the dynamics of financial well-being and mental health between 2001 and 2019 found that a person’s financial situation has a “significant impact” on their mental health, with financial hardship being frequently associated with increased stress, anxiety and depression. Yet, financial well-being remains a taboo subject. Continue reading

How PeoplesHub is fostering local revolutions

PeoplesHub offers organizers essential knowledge and online solutions for progressive change.

Every revolution starts small—with an idea that the status quo isn’t quite right and a change needs to happen—but building a social movement from the ground up means putting in serious work. Connecting and organizing people who are like-minded, even at a local level, without access to the right knowledge can be daunting, especially without any help. Since 2017, PeoplesHub has assisted and reinforced progressive social movements through online training in team building and leadership, so that nascent revolutionaries can see their vision to fruition. Continue reading

How artist cooperatives found new ways to help creative people thrive despite COVID-19

How artist collectives are helping creatives stay afloat during the pandemic.

In the age of online retail and freelance work platforms like Etsy and Upwork respectively, the ability for professional creatives to skip the job hunt and become independent contractors can be very appealing, but studies show that the challenges and anxieties faced by freelancers increase when they take on the responsibility of managing every aspect of running a business, from accounting to marketing and beyond. The global pandemic has only exacerbated the worries of independent creatives, who may not be able to afford to take time off when they want to, whether they are sick or healthy. Continue reading

Cooperative artist residencies give Black creatives the space to thrive

How two nascent artist residencies on opposite sides of the country are giving Black creatives opportunities to rest and create.

Under the pervasive stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, waxing and waning ad infinitum, with no end in sight, finding time to be creative for creativity’s sake can provide a booster to mental health, according to a study conducted in March 2021. Members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) community already coping with the degrading effects of systemic racism on their mental health are in even greater need of time devoted to arts and crafts. However, renting a studio space, affording equipment and supplies, or having any free time at all for creative pursuits may only seem like a pipe dream to poor Black creatives living paycheck to paycheck—ubiquitously oppressed by institutional racism. Continue reading