Dr. Stacey Sutton on "Real Black Utopias"

A Fight and Build Framework at the Radical Edge of Economy

Wednesday, March 29, 2023 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM EDT
Johnson Center, Meeting Room C

We welcome Dr. Stacey Sutton to the Sociology and Anthropology Colloquium at Mason. Her talk on "Real Black Utopias: A Fight and Build Framework at the Radical Edge of Economy" is also a part of the 2023 Next System Speakers Series and cosponsored by the African and African American Studies Program and Global Affairs Program.

"This is an auspicious moment for transformative change. Amid the current conjunctural crisis—rampant inflation, insurmountable household debt, climate catastrophes, displacement and community erasure, global pandemics, political instability, and resurgence of White nationalism— the solidarity economy is ascendant. In communities across the country, people are prefiguring alternative economies and social relations including community- and worker-owned cooperatives, people’s assemblies, non-extractive finance, community land trusts, and more. This study maps Real Black Utopias (RBUs) in the United States and analyzes the role of the state, questions of scale, and organizing principles. I define RBUs as place-based, Black-centered, ecosystems of transformative organizations (formations, coalitions, collaboratives, cooperatives) fighting intersecting systems of oppression while building liberatory models in the interstices of the system. Though Real Black Utopias present in Chicago, Jackson, Boston, Atlanta, and other cities are distinct formations, they espouse a Black liberatory ideal, solidarity economy practices, and prefigurative politics."

About the Speaker

Stacey Sutton is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago in the Department of Urban PlanningStacey Sutton and Policy. She directs the Solidarity Economy Research, Policy & Law Project, which serves as the hub for the Chicago Community Wealth Building Ecosystem. Stacey’s research focuses on prefigurative politics, solidarity economy, economic democracy, racial equity, and disparate effects of place-based city policies.

Dr. Sutton published an article titled Cooperative Cities in the Journal of Urban Affairs in which she analyzes municipal support for worker cooperatives in 12 cities, and she is currently working on Real Black Utopias, a book manuscript that examines Black-led solidarity economy ecosystems across the United States. Stacey is a Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University, and she serves on the Boards of Directors of the New Economy Coalition and of the Woods Fund.

Dr. Sutton received a joint PhD in Urban Planning & Policy and Sociology from Rutgers University, an MBA in Economics and Organizational Behavior from New York University, and a BA from Loyola College in Baltimore.

Hosted by Sociology and Anthropology Department Colloquium Series, Next System Studies at Mason and the Center for Social Science Research.

Sponsored by African and African American Studies Program, Global Affairs Program, and Cultural Studies Program.

Add this event to your calendar