June 2, 2023

A Letter From PeoplesHub: Big Changes in 2023

Dear PeoplesHub Community,

If you've been in this work alongside us for a while now - or if you’ve attended any of our solidarity economy offerings with the Solidarity Economy Principles Project (we are offering them again this month!) - you might know of us as an organization working to practice the solidarity economy principles we bring to you in our popular education. As a workplace, we’re living out the hard work to build a culture of collective care and accountability, shared vision and resources, and democratic decision-making processes. Often, this looks messy! But putting solidarity economy principles into practice means creating ways of being that push against capitalism and the extraction so rampant in our world and organizations. It means we often map the routes as we go...

To show you where our route has led us, we have to retrace our steps. The loss of our former Executive Director Elandria Williams, who planted the seeds of PeoplesHub, was significant for our organization. At the time of Elandria’s death in 2020, the staff agreed to continue carrying forward the mission and vision. However, we’ve learned over the last few years that building out five programmatic focus areas at once is no small feat. We’ve learned that we’ve been aspiring to implement more than our capacity allows. And we’ve also learned what PeoplesHub uniquely offers our movements, so we can sharpen our focus and contributions.

In this next phase of our work, we are going deep rather than wide to continue making our strongest impact. We are taking root in our solidarity economy principles and bringing you more popular education about solidarity economy work. To support our solidarity economy programs, we are thrilled to welcome onto the team our new Solidarity Economy Coordinator, Imani Fox! Imani brings an abolitionist perspective, with a background in public health and co-op organizing, to our solidarity economy offerings.

A solidarity economy looks like interdependence, collective care, leadership by those impacted by harms, and ultimately, thus…access for all. This is why practicing our solidarity economy principles also means taking root in our disability justice and access work. Our disability justice programming is about strengthening a disability politic and building access-centered cultures, about collective community care and leadership development, and about anticapitalist work in the disability justice movement. We are excited and empowered to focus fully on bringing you popular education in these deeply interwoven areas.

As we deepen our focus on solidarity economy and disability justice work, we’ve moved into a leadership model to reflect it. We are thrilled to (re)introduce two people who’ve been with PeoplesHub through changes and challenges over the last four years, and who are uniquely prepared to lead our work. Hafidha Acuay, our former Managing Director, and Dustin Gibson, our former Director of Access, Disability and Language Justice, are the new Co-Directors of PeoplesHub! You will hear more from Hafidha and Dustin about the vision for PeoplesHub in the next few weeks.

This is a bittersweet moment for us - because alongside our excitement to welcome our new Co-Directors, we also share that Nico Amador has moved on from PeoplesHub. Nico has brought so much to PeoplesHub, and we are deeply grateful to him. Here’s a message from Nico:
In my four years at PeoplesHub, I’ve seen the organization’s work and vision grow beyond what anyone could have imagined, leading the way on key movement needs – from creating cultures of access to online methodologies to building the solidarity economy. I’ve often said to friends and colleagues that I’ve never before been part of such a creative, talented, and dynamic team, and it’s been an honor to witness the contributions each person has made and the impact we’ve had. It’s time for me to transition out and make space for new leadership to take the organization into its next chapter. I continue to believe in the importance of this work and the strength of the collective wisdom of our staff, trainers, and collaborators. It’s with appreciation, care, and hope for the future life of PeoplesHub that I step away.

In this phase of our work to build solidarity economies and disability justice, we are excited to bring you new programming!

  • Our first-ever Undoing Internalized Ableism Cohort is already underway. Keep an eye on our social media for updates from the Cohort this month!
  • This September, we will begin hosting Mapping Our Futures, a solidarity economy curriculum that brings new people into solidarity economy practices and principles through a thoughtful, political, and holistic analysis of what, how, and why.
  • As we build a new world - solidarity economy style - we must imagine a new world! In that spirit, we are continuing our Arts and Social Justice Residency for a second year and are thrilled to welcome four new Artist Fellows. Look out for more updates from Ebony, Sharif, Joshua, and Kal-El on our social media, and expect an invite to a talkback with them next month!

In Care and Community,