About 20% of the pots that we make don’t pass our standards for a pot that can be sold at full retail. You can read all about these imperfect pots—or “Seconds” as they’re called here. For the past several years we sold Seconds at in-person sales once or twice a year, and during an annual, online blowout that put considerable strain and stress on our fulfillment and care teams and created an unpleasant customer experience for the many who didn’t end up getting to take home pots.
Since last fall, we’ve added inventory to our seconds collection that you can shop at 20% off retail. We periodically introduce a non-profit, grassroots organization or individual in our Western North Carolina community working toward racial equity, community reconciliation, and supporting the liberation of folks who’ve been systematically oppressed by white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. Since October, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars for local organizations. So it’s working! We ask you to learn about the work they do and point you to where to donate to sustain that work. Donate any dollar amount, submit your screenshot (we’ll show you how down below) and you’ll get a password to shop the Seconds Collection.
Leer en español
En enero, febrero y marzo, te pedimos que dones a...
En el primer trimestre de 2021, estaremos recaudando fondos y difundiendo el trabajo de PODER Emma, una organización de base ubicada en Asheville, la cual crea y sostiene redes de cooperativas y acción en el vecindario de Emma. En este espacio, les hablaremos de PODER Emma, que será la beneficiaria de fondos recaudados por East Fork en enero, febrero y marzo.
Si no eres de Asheville, probablemente pienses que Emma es una persona, pero de hecho, Emma es un vecindario semi-rural de clase trabajadora con una población inmigrante significativa. Muches residentes han vivido en Emma durante generaciones y otres son relativamente recién llegades. Si sabes algo de español, reconocerás el doble sentido de la palabra PODER--que puede significar el poder que tenemos como comunidad o el poder realizar algo.
Durante más de una década, les vecines de Emma trabajaron juntes para detener el perfil racial y los retenes de chequeo de licencias, crear poderosas iniciativas de organización cultural y cultivar el liderazgo transformador de las familias inmigrantes dentro de las escuelas. La posible gentrificación y desplazamiento debido al auge de bienes raíces de Asheville amenaza esta valiosa infraestructura comunitaria. PODER Emma trabaja para crear poder colectivo y control comunitario para asegurar que les residentes de legado puedan permanecer en el vecindario.
Si bien nos centraremos en destacar el trabajo de PODER Emma con las empresas que le pertenecen a les trabajadores, es importante entender el contexto más amplio. Estamos emocionades de compartir toda nuestra historia aquí (próximamente llegará una versión de este sitio web en español).
Estabilidad por Medio de la Propiedad Colectiva
Hoy en día, Emma Community Ownership administra tres redes de cooperativas:
• Vivienda y bienes raíces: 48 unidades de vivienda permanentemente económica en siete comunidades de casas móviles, así como dos propiedades comerciales en Emma
• Colectivos que les pertenecen a les trabajadores: Cinco empresas (contabilidad, servicios de traducción e interpretación, administración y mantenimiento de propiedades, limpieza del hogar y un preescolar) que le pertenecen a les empleades
• Red Cooperativa de Aprendizaje y Servicios Compartidos de Educación Temprana: Educadores de la primera infancia de habla hispana que comparten el desarrollo de currículos, aprendizaje entre colegas, apoyo profesional, desarrollo de pequeñas empresas y proporcionan recursos para quienes aspiran a ser profesores sustitutes y de enriquecimiento
Desarrollo con Liderazgo Comunitario
PODER Emma supervisa cinco proyectos que apoyan y fomentan las conexiones de vecine a vecine que tienen como objetivo mejorar la calidad de vida para las personas y la comunidad Emma:
• Alcance: visitas a miembres de la comunidad para ofrecer conexión, información y recursos
• Planificación del vecindario: la investigación comunitaria garantiza que las decisiones tomadas sobre políticas públicas, zonificación e inversión por parte de los gobiernos locales, instituciones y agencias tomen en cuenta las necesidades de les residentes
• Programa para la Seguridad de Casas Móviles: este programa inició en colaboración con Habitat for Humanity y ha instalado aparatos de seguridad en los parqueaderos de casas móviles que le pertenecen colectivamente a PODER Emma
• Cooperativa de Comidas Tradicionales Emma: un colectivo de compra de alimentos por mayoreo, permite que les miembres compren frijoles y arroz orgánicos a costo, al igual que alimentos tradicionales como mole, amaranto y salsa.
• La historia viviente de Emma: una colaboración con Word on the Street/La Voz de Lxs Jovenes en la que jóvenes del vecindario crean cortos documentales sobre sus vidas
Read in English
In January, February and March, we're asking you to give to...
In Q1 of 2021, we are raising funds and awareness for PODER Emma, a grassroots organization based in Asheville that creates and sustains networks of cooperative ownership and action in the Emma neighborhood. In this space, we will tell you about PODER Emma, which will be the recipient of funds and awareness raised by East Fork in January, February and March. If you aren’t from Asheville, you probably think Emma is a person but in fact, Emma is a semi-rural, working class neighborhood with a significant immigrant population. Some residents have lived in Emma for generations and some are relative newcomers. If you know some Spanish, you’ll recognize poder as a noun that means power and the verb to be able.
For over a decade, neighbors in Emma worked together to stop racial profiling and license checkpoints, create powerful cultural organizing initiatives and cultivate transformative leadership of immigrant families within the schools. The potential gentrification and displacement due to Asheville’s real estate boom threatens this valuable community infrastructure. PODER Emma works to create collective power and ownership to ensure that legacy residents can remain in the neighborhood.
While we will be focusing on highlighting PODER Emma’s work with worker-owned businesses, it is important to understand the greater context. We are excited to share our whole story here!
Stability Through Cooperative Ownership
PODER Emma Community Ownership provides technical assistance and lending to three cooperative networks:
• Housing and Real Estate Cooperatives: 48 units of permanently affordable housing in five resident owned mobile home communities as well as two cooperatively owned commercial properties in Emma
• Worker-Owned Cooperatives: 5 worker-owned businesses: Power In Numbers Bookkeeping Cooperative, Cenzontle Language Justice Cooperative, Chispas Property Management & Maintenance Coop, Green Muse Cleaning Coop, and La Bugambilia Preescolar Coop Early Childhood
• Education Shared Learning & Services Cooperative Network: A network of Spanish-speaking women who work as early childhood educators, share curriculum development, peer learning, professional support, small business development and opportunities to work as substitute and enrichment teachers
PODER Emma also manages a membership program that fosters neighbor-to-neighbor connections, builds community power for advocacy and improves the quality of life for individuals and the Emma community. The membership program includes door to door outreach, neighborhood planning, distribution of materials for mobile home safety, a living history documentation project, and a traditional foods cooperative.
• Outreach: visits to community members who can use some connection and access to information and resources
• Neighborhood Planning: a neighborhood association that conducts and presents community research to ensure that decisions made about public policies, zoning and investment by local governments, institutions and agencies are informed by the needs of the people living there
• Mobile Home Safety Program: an initial collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, this program has installed security devices at the mobile home parks that are cooperatively owned by PODER Emma
• Emma Traditional Foods Cooperative: a bulk food purchasing cooperative allows members to purchase organic beans and rice at cost, as well as traditional foods like mole, amaranto and salsas, offering both access to healthy foods and food traditions to be passed on to future generations
• Emma Living History: a collaboration between PODER Emma and Word on the Street/La Voz de Lxs Jovenes in which young people in the neighborhood create short documentary films about their lives in the community and interview legacy residents and business owners.
Let's get started.
1. Donate any dollar amount to PODER Emma.
2. Take a screenshot of your donation receipt or record
3. Send that screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org with "PODER Emma" as the subject. If you do not put "PODER Emma" as the subject, you will not receive a response.
4. You'll receive a response from Care as soon as digitally possible* with the link and password to the seconds collection! That password will be good until April 1st. Please do not share your password with anyone.
*It may take a moment to receive that email—sometimes 1 minute, sometimes 15 minutes (technology, am I right?). If you do not receive an email after 15 minutes, please check your spam folder or resend!
Our seconds inventory provides a necessary source of revenue. We have to sell them, and we like that folks are able to purchase imperfect pots for a little less money. We’ve been thinking long and hard on how to get seconds out the door in a way that’s less chaotic. And while there's no "perfect" solution, we've landed on something that works for now that also potentially serves as a little learning/teaching moment and helps habitualize personal wealth spreading practices. We and the organization we have partnered in October are so pleased with the response so far, and judging from the Seconds we’ve sold, our customers are, too.
In case you are wondering why we don’t just do all of this on our own, earmarking funds for the organization, our values manager Clarissa Harris said it best: “We want folk to engage with where the funds are going and understand why the funds are going there. Active engagement makes the process more sustainable and relational...It’s a little thing, asking folk to wander off a path for a sec they may not have usually but our hope is that this little thing can lead to a bigger and more beautiful relationship. We are looking for the place where this becomes less about transactional charity for discounted pots and more about the possibility of good work to be done. Hey, it could happen.”
What is wealth redistribution?
Wealth redistribution is the movement of money, property and social clout or access from one population of individuals to another through some sort of social-societal catalyst. That catalyst could be voluntary, like “charitable giving” and “philanthropy,” or it could be mandated by the government in the form of state and federal redistribution programs like taxation, welfare, public services or land reform.
Why is wealth redistribution not the answer?
Most wealth has been acquired, grown, passed down, and hoarded within a framework of supremacy, by siphoning resources away from marginalized populations across the globe. Wealth redistribution keeps the power in the hands of the oppressors and oppressive systems. It asks that people and institutions who have access to stolen wealth and resources use their discretion to sympathetically and incrementally give access to that wealth to others who have less. In short—the oppressor chooses where and how funds are redistributed; often this redistribution still primarily benefits the oppressor. Regardless of good intentions, this process edifies the very supremacy it attempts to circumvent.
What is wealth reclamation? How is it different?
The concept of wealth reclamation acknowledges that the way wealth is distributed, hoarded and grows is dictated by an ethos of supremacy. And that white people, corporations, and nations functioning in a supremacy culture have stolen wealth from Brown and Black people. Wealth reclamation acknowledges that something that has been stolen cannot simply be redistributed without reconciliation. Reclamation is defined by the Wealth Reclamation Academy of Practitioners as “the equitable and just distribution of resources.” This process relies on “resource mobilizers” use of Black feminist values, radical inclusivity and intersectionality, working in tandem with marginalized communities to steward the rechanneling of “the flow of social and material wealth back into social justice movement and community building.”
How can we participate in wealth reclamation?
If we really, truly want to make our world more equitable we must be willing to “move up off of stuff”—as Clarissa’s mom used to say—in order to make space for folk who have historically been excluded and kept from building and living the life that feels best to them. Somewhere in these active processes of “moving up off of,” we allow space for what is just.
What are reparations?
To be clear—stand-alone actions like us asking our audience to donate money in exchange for something is not reparations, and let me tell you why: According to the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Reparations Now Toolkit, in order for the process of reparations to be justly and thoroughly completed, five conditions must be present:
- Cessation, assurances, and guarantees of non-repetition
- Reinstitution and repatriation
Without all of these conditions, an action does not meet the qualifiers to be considered an act of reparations. Those who embark on this process need to know it will be lengthy, that they will need to remain communicative and mindful, and avoid working in silos. Participating in wealth reclamation in the way we’re suggesting here only meets the criteria of compensation. That’s not “wrong” or “bad”— it’s just not the whole deal. But this first step can get us to thinking:
What would it look like for us as a global society to push to see the complete processes of reparations fulfilled in our communities?
Exciting question, right?
Why do I have to donate? Why doesn't East Fork just donate?
“We want folk to engage with where the funds are going and understand why the funds are going there. Active engagement makes the process more sustainable and relational...It’s a little thing, asking folk to wander off a path for a sec they may not have usually but our hope is that this little thing can lead to a bigger and more beautiful relationship. We are looking for the place where this becomes less about transactional charity for discounted pots and more about the possibility of good work to be done. Hey, it could happen.”
— Clarissa Harris, East Fork Values Manager