In its fifth year, 2015-2016, the Urban Research-Based Action Network(URBAN), is a field-building network incubated at CoLab that supports collaborative research between universities and activist communities seeking institutional and policy change. URBAN is a joint effort among scholars -- at the City University of New York Graduate Center, CoLab, University of Massachusetts, Boston -- and the highly-regarded academic publishing house, SAGE Publications. URBAN brings together community-based social justice organizations that seek rigorous research methods to analyze their circumstances and options for addressing institutional failure, and academic researchers eager to put their work to practical use making change in the real world. Under CoLab’s leadership, URBAN grew to over 1,000 members, with nodes of activists and activist scholars in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and more recently in Hartford, as well as in substantive areas-- American Educational Research Association (AERA), ongoing convenings and panels with the Urban Affairs Association. Last year, in keeping with URBAN’s commitment to embed itself within public higher education institutions, CoLab spun off leadership of URBAN to the CUNY GC, where it continues to grow into a robust nationwide network.
Transnational Economic Democracy Mel King Fellows, 2016-2017
The 2016-2017 Transnational Mel King Community Fellowship brings together diverse leaders, activists, and practitioners in CoLab’s networks across the Americas to explore innovative models and frameworks for advancing economic democracy and self-determination.
Increasingly, globalization and the interdependence of our political economies demand a transnational perspective in efforts to democratize ownership of the economy and build shared wealth. Rising trends of local experimentation with economic democracy – from efforts to build worker centers and cooperative networks to community banks and solidarity economies – create key opportunities to learn, connect, and build across place.