Building Cooperative Businesses
One major goal of Manos is to lift up the underheard through cooperative economy initiatives. Our goal is to foster local ce-op businesses tha tprovie opportunities to work toward common community goals whiel stil lmeeting the bottom line. Projects have included a Green Cleaning Co-op, Potluck Thrift Store, Common Frontiers/Fronteras Comunes Bi-lingual Green People' s Zine, as well as mentoring woman individually in small business ventures.
When a Manos member shares an idea tha tcatches on at an UP Collective meeting, the organization teams up with CDI (Cooperative Development Institute) in Deerfield, MA. The Institute will assist with a feasibility study, and if the project is viable, Manos will invest time and resources to give members their best shot at a successful co-operative business venture!
Community Organizing, Leadership Development
The UP (under heard population) Collective has been the driving force behind all Manos's endeavors. A group think tank, it mobilizes many who were once immobilized, frozen by isolation, oppression, inequality, and feelings of bein unable to access thier needs. Manos provides a forum for peers to mentor and advocate for each other, share resources, and develop leadership. With a belief in each individual's innate gifts and skills, each member brings an immense amount of knowldege and experience to the table.
Each week a different member teaches on a subject he/she has some breadth of knowledge of and that relatives to a community need/concern. A group discussion follows, stimulating ideas on how to move forward, improvising ways to improve our lives, our families lives, and that of our communities. Members of UP Collective also participate in shared bilingual resources, which aid members in meeting thier tangible needs.
Since our founding 7 years ago, the following projects have emgerged from our UP Collective: Cross Cultural Organizing Initiative, Madre Jardin/Mother Earth Urban Community Garden, Rise Up Youth, Green Clean Cooperative, Potluck Thrift Store, Woman Weaving Worlds/Mujeres Moviendo Montanas Collective, Fronteras Comunes Green People Bi-lingual Zine, and Bethesda and Ruth's Mission House (a cooperative living residance). NEW PROJECTS COMING UP THIS SEPTEMBER: MENS SUPPORT GROUP, and a WOMANS GROUP (for woman who primarily speak Spanish).
Manos Unidas is a multicultural cooperative based organization that strives to unearth the common strengths and innate skills of our underh heard community through shared bilingual resources, empowerment ventures, living arts, cross cultural organzing, and cooperative ecomony initiatives. We aim to use popular education to create a network of mutual aid while encouraging civic engagement and workforce readiness in central Berkshire County. (and receantly into the Pioneer Valley). Working alongside low income, immigrant, youth, and differently abled communiy citizens, we are unfolding a culture of "Beloved Community" (MLK Jr,) while crossing borders of race, class culture, language, ability and belief hand in hand.
UPCOMING PROJECTS: STARTS SEPTEMBER - MEN'S SUPPORT GROUP, WOMANS GROUP designated for woman who primarily speak Spanish, NOW PARTNERING with RECOVERY LEARNING CENTER on NORTH ST. PITTSFIELD, MA Both groups will meet at the Recovery Learning Center. THANKS RECOVERY LEARNIGN CENTER! Looking forward to a great collaboration!