Research|Action just had its fifth full year of operation! We had three major projects last year, the same as in 2020, so let’s review. We concluded a project that started in 2019, working with a cooperative legal group on evaluating a number of their programs. We hope to have a blog post soon on how we do program evaluation work.
We also continued a project with the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative’s Economic Democracy Learning Center, which is creating a curriculum and approach to nurturing cooperative values in schools and youth groups. The community-based nonprofit sees education at all levels as an essential part of the movement to build an equitable, sustainable, and democratic local economy that creates wealth and ownership for low-income people of color.
We also have worked for two years with the Central Brooklyn Food Democracy Project, which seeks to create good jobs and access to healthy food for Central Brooklyn residents through a consumer owned, Black-led cooperative grocery store and worker owned food enterprises. Research|Action is serving as project evaluators through 2023, and contributing collaboratively developed research that creates opportunities for organizational learning.
And unexpectedly, we were contacted by the Georgia Working Families Party which wanted to draw on some of our earlier research on an Atlanta City Council member who opposed criminal justice reform. The WFP set up a website using our research.
At the end of the year, as always, after accounting for all income and expenses, we democratically discussed what to do with our surplus. We retained some of it for expected expenses next year, and the rest was paid out to the members. This included an extra payment to one of our members to assist with their health care costs. This reflects our values of democratic decision making, equity and “to each according to their need.”
Please see our Projects page for more information about our work. If anyone wants to discuss a potential project, please let us know. Moreover, we always want to help others think about forming their own research collectives, and we’re happy to discuss how we started and run ours, so let us know if you want to talk!