Videos//Community Resourcing

Explore community resourcing with two special videos on the African diaspora and trans liberation.

In October 2022, Nonhlanhla hosted a webinar with author of the Resourcing Your Community Toolkit, Zahra Dalilah, in conversation with Berlin-based Somali organiser Axmed Maxamed on community resourcing within the African diaspora. 

They spoke about how their grandmothers had been using saving circles such as pardner and susu and the parallels between this and the mutual aid movement in the African diaspora currently. 

We also talked about trust, community and self determination as a legacy of Black radical organising and how community resourcing takes us closer to this.  

In December 2022, Nonhlanhla co-organised an event in partnership with UK based trans organisers on trans Community Resourcing. 

The event sought to create a space for international solidarity economics exchange between Black American trans organisers and UK based trans community organisers in the UK. 

Bringing together two powerhouses, Qween Jean and Ceyenne Doroshow, who recently utilised community resourcing to buy a trans-led community housing project in New York in a beautiful and insightful conversation with artist and community organiser Chloe Filani. 

Together, they spoke about liberation work being about freeing yourself and others in order to determine your own destinies, the role of trans organisers in visioning and building what liberation can look like through care and love.

This event was filmed by Colleen Lee.

We’re so thankful for the generosity of our collaborators for sharing their expertise and practise with us, and to the people that attended the events. 

Please consider investing in these community organisers to continue their amazing work, by donating to their fundraisers below and purchasing Qween Jean’s beautiful book. 

Donate to We Exist’s Trans Healthcare Fund 

Donate to Axmed’s mutual aid work by donating to their PayPal

Donate to G.L.I.T.S to support US trans organisers on the frontline

You can also buy Qween Jeans book ‘Revolution is Love: A Year of Black Trans Liberation’

Article//Why Community Resourcing is a Tool for Liberation

Nonhlanhla writes about the history of wealth in the UK and the importance of community resourcing for marginalised people.

Across history, the resources for racialised communities to live full lives have been systematically denied.

The enclosure of wealth and power in the hands of wealthy white people is a legacy of slavery and colonialism. It saw generation after generation of white people getting richer and richer, while racialised, queer and disabled people got poorer and poorer.

Runnymede Trust’s The Colour of Money report published in 2020 illustrated the severity of the racial wealth gap in the UK. Bangladeshi and Black African households have only 10% of the average wealth of white British households. UK Black Pride’s research also shows that British gay, bisexual and transgender employees earn 16% less on average than heterosexual peers.

This enclosure of wealth has resulted in marginalised communities being plunged into a dire cycle of crisis and precarity. It’s resulted in lack of access to shelter, food, and healthcare. And ultimately, a lack of possibility to self determine outside of the poverty that racial capitalism socialises marginalised people into.

Throughout history, people have been coming together to meet community needs in response to the inability to rely on an economic system that is not built for us.

In meeting community needs, these initiatives have fed, housed, healed and offered political education for marginalised folk to define their existence and destinities outside of how racial capitalism pre-determines folk towards poverty and precarity.

This survival work has been key to the resistance of marginalised communities. However it’s drastically underfunded and resourced, leading to communities relying on unstable philanthropic funding.

To receive monetary support, communities face having to depoliticise their work, to meet the changing whims of funding priorities and the speculation and policising that is funding reports.

The philanthropic model of moving stolen wealth (through slavery, colonialism and racial capitalism), into the communities where the wealth was stolen puts people in a situation of navigating power dynamics that affirm that marginalised communities cannot be trusted with wealth. This further keeps wealth enclosed in the hands of rich white people.

For example, research found that 5% of funding went to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic organisations. Of that 5%, the funding was used on service provisions/survival work of meeting the needs of communities who are impacted by structural inequality. It’s worth noting that this percentage doesn’t capture unregistered groups who have not gone through the legalised structures of setting up as organisations/charities – which is a lot of marginalised community groups.

This problem leaves community groups under-resourced and unable to deliver the work that matters in the community.

Which begs the question – how are we meant to survive in an economic system that makes it almost impossible to? How have communities survived under precarity in the past, and what does that look like for us now?

This has been on our mind a lot at Decolonising Economics – in our work and in the communities we work with. It has led to us being engaged in some interesting and vital conversation with organisers about Community Resourcing sparked by the work of Zahra Dahlilah on the Resourcing Your Community Toolkit, and how people are building resources and power to meet the needs of their communities without the interference of the extractive economy.

Community Resourcing refers to the ways in which communities are coming together to collectively save towards their liberation. We often think about how during enslavement, enslaved people would collectively save for the freedom of one person, then do it all over again with the vision of their collective freedom. Or how when the Windrush generation arrived in the UK and were faced with discrimination, where they were unable to take out loans to buy houses or even rent – they would come together and collectively save to purchase homes to be lived in collectively.

These forms or collective saving exists but are hidden throughout history due to the hegemony of the capitalist individualistic and competitive narratives. Community Resourcing as a tool reminds us that sharing, caring and trust helps us to move towards our collective liberation,

To further explore the questions of community resourcing, we collaborated with Black and Trans organisers who are at the forefront of mobilising towards the creation of resources to care for their communities. We’re really excited to launch two event recordings to educate people on what community resourcing is, what it looks like and how organisers are navigating challenges towards creating self sustaining communities whilst applying pressure on the state.

Find out more about the events and watch our YouTube videos!

Want to learn more?

Read the Resourcing Your Community Toolkit.

Watch our four-part series Decolonising Futures, where we speak to community leaders about a Just Transition world.

Toolkit//Resourcing Your Community: How To Sustain Social Movements Through Community Provision 

This toolkit offers an opportunity to explore avenues to resourcing movements outside of grant funding which can create a healthier distance from institutional philanthropy and push the work of African, Afrodescendent and Black social movements into greater freedom and fewer restrictions.

Download the Resourcing Your Community: How To Sustain Social Movements Through Community Provision toolkit.

This toolkit offers an opportunity to explore avenues to resourcing movements outside of grant funding which can create a healthier distance from institutional philanthropy and push the work of African, Afrodescendent and Black social movements into greater freedom and fewer restrictions.

Drawing on the wisdom of four case studies, and an in depth analysis of capitalism, meritocracy and trust and risk as a foundational principles of wealth redistribution, it explores how communities can, do and have pooled funds to sustain essential community work locally, regionally and transnationally.

We at Decolonising Economics have long been dreaming of research on liberatory economic practices that exist within Black and People of Colour communities in the UK, and were beyond elated by the release of this crucial toolkit. 

Solidarity Economics has a long history and legacy in communities of colour, yet the hegemony of orthodox mainstream economics has obscured these vital and pluralistic  approaches to economics. This toolkit highlights Black led economic thought and concrete practice that rarely gets platformed in economic innovation. 

We’re excited to be able to host the toolkit on Decolonising Economics’ website, as a vital resource for building a discourse around pluralistic approaches to economics and the value of African economic thought and practice.

Want to learn more about THE RESOURCING YOUR COMMUNITY toolkit?

You are invited to join a conversation between Decolonising Economics and Zahra Dalilah, author of Resourcing Your Community: How to sustain social movements through community provisioning. 

When: Thursday 20th October, 6-7pm (online).

VIDEOS//Decolonising Futures

In our four-part series, Decolonising Futures, we explore how embracing “economics from the margins” supports our collective organising strategies towards a Just Transition.

From reparations as a strategy for collective healing, to the economics of queerness, we had the honour to connect with so many brilliant community organisers, artists and practitioners delivering Just Transition work. 

The events were aimed at anyone who is ready to explore some of the deeper and more nuanced truths around structural racism that we often miss in our racial justice organising strategies and practices.

Racial Hierarchies: Caste, Class and Capitalism

Community organisers Nish, Claude Hendrickson and Kelsey explore caste, class and capitalism in the first talk of our Decolonising Futures series.

They look at the historical roles that racialised communities have played in facilitating white-dominance, to the impact on wealth inequality in the UK and globally.

Resourcing Reparations: Investing in Collective Healing

Racial justice organisers Yvonne Blake, Penny Wangari-Jones and Esther Stanford Xosei are working to popularise the idea of reparations through their organising and campaigning. 

In the second part of Decolonising Futures, they explore how colonial exploitation has impacted the wealth of communities of colour and the stories of resistance and mobilisation towards reparative justice. 

Caring for Every Body: Organising Towards Disability Justice

Disability justice organisers Jumoke and Kym from the Triple Cripples explore the history of disabled rights, colonialism and ‘rise and grind’ culture in the third part of Decolonising Futures.

They cover the origins of colonial mindsets that put different values over some people’s bodies, while labelling others as disposable. 

The Economics of Queerness: How Colonialism Shaped Sexuality and Gender

In the final part of Decolonising Futures, QTBPOC community organisers June Bellebono,  Amardeep Singh Dhillon and artist Evan Ifekoya explore the relationship between capitalism and the constructs of sexuality and gender.

They discuss how homophobia and transphobia are colonial legacies alongside reimagining our queer economic futures. 

More about Decolonising Futures:

Part of our work at Decolonising Economics is supporting organisers committed to racial justice in divesting from the Extractive Economy and investing in the Living Economy. 

This series supports the launch of our Crowdfunder for our 2021-22 programme: Investing in BPOC-led Solidarity Economics.

Illustrations of Decolonising Futures speakers by the RAD Mural Co-operative.

We hope you take away as much insight and richness as we did from these conversations.