We have titled this series, “Narratives to Build Collective Economic Power,” but can narratives actually do that? At Common Future, we believe they can—and must. In this series, we feature five community wealth builders from our network who share their stories and the beliefs underpinning their models—stories that emphasize collective power, community trust, and reparative investment. In addition to learning about their work, readers will learn about the challenges and opportunities in identifying and uplifting new stories that create new narratives about what’s possible.
The stories told share common themes yet vary tremendously. Two authors are from the US South—one recounts the story of organizing to protect Black-owned land in South Carolina; the other looks at what is required to develop Black-owned businesses in Mississippi. We also include a story about how to preserve Latinx businesses in Los Angeles. And we have two stories from Native America—one that focuses on Indigenous economics and another that poses comunalidad (communalism) as an alternative economic and narrative frame of reference.