Imagine: You wake up in a parallel universe where you and everyone you know can (and indeed must for survival) start over again with nothing but your collective knowledge and memories from your time spent on Earth. How do you organize yourselves in such a way as to sustainably provide for all the needs of your community? How do you protect your new society from falling prey to the handful of people in your new world who merely want to use all of you for their own benefit alone? How do you decide what values are most important to your new society and how you do you prioritize your methods and plans for upholding them?
These are some of the persistent questions we’ve been asking ourselves at StreetWise INK as we work toward fine tuning the details of our founding documents.
StreetWise INK is a one of kind venture, organized and operated entirely by people with current or former experiences of homelessness, with the goal of creating the type of society we wish to see in the world through the creation of a democratically founded and controlled, socially and economically just, Screen Printing Worker-Cooperative.
The harsh realities of people living on the streets and/or those who suffer extreme and abject poverty is tragically quite different. In Memphis, if you don’t have a phone number, an address, access to hygiene products, access to transportation, or even proper nourishment to keep your body functioning after nights of having to sleep with one eye open in all kinds of weather, options for any work at all are practically nihl. If you are lucky enough to get any work at all, it is likely by being hauled off to clean up blight for the City’s Work Local program, which caps how much you can actually make. There can be dignity in any kind of work, of course, and you’re glad to have it as you push down the knowledge that you’re being treated in much the same way as the trash you’re picking up, and that this charity is basically just the City’s way of killing two birds with one stone.
This is where something new is needed. This is where StreetWise INK comes in. People who have been abandoned and discarded by our current system, taking it upon themselves to create a better way, not just for themselves but for anyone who knows the impossibility of the bootstraps scenario, anyone with similar experiences who wish to try something new.
Creating a better way of life together.
StreetWise INK will be meeting several times this month to fine tune our goals and plans as we continue to learn more about bylaws and operating agreements. We are grateful to have a thoughtful and dedicated group of individuals on our Advisory Board who spare their time and expertise to assist us in moving forward.
If you are interested in being a part of our success, or would like to donate time, experience, or resources, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to donate funding to help our members get to and from meetings and work, please donate here: https://midsouthpeace.org/our-
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