Racism remains one of the largest stumbling blocks toward social inclusion, sustainable communities, and better opportunities for residents. Since 2008, CoLab has convened networks of leaders of color and other socially-marginalized groups to explore ways of addressing this and other impediments to a robust democracy. In each network, CoLab works to build collaboration between community organizations and labor unions, which hold important reserves of collective wealth of low-income people through pension funds, collective bargaining agreements and other assets. Examples of such networks include:
- 2012 Mel King Community Fellows, twelve highly-respected state- and locally- based community organizing leaders from around the U.S. that together are exploring issues of race, ethnicity, civic engagement and financial sustainability of organizing.
- Economic Democracy Working Group, Information forthcoming...
- Forum on Race and Democracy, ten national leaders and scholars from the civil rights, labor, community-building, and immigrant rights movements, who meet to explore and facilitate connections across their movements.
- Transforming Capitalism, a dynamic group including economists, innovative bankers, business leaders, and community activists co-convened with the Presencing Institute to examine the roots of the current financial crisis and explore more generative alternatives for organizing economies.
- URBAN, an effort to develop and support a multi-disciplinary network of scholars and practitioners committed to the use of community-based research for collaborative generation and testing of knowledge.