An Evening with Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young
Filmmakers Dworkin and Young will present two documentaries:
Shift Change and Don't Give Up Your Voice
Economic inequality has increased considerably in recent years and is a major topic going into a presidential election year. Ordinary citizens face an uphill battle in changing our laws and institutional structures to remedy a system where top execs receive 200 to 300 times the pay of workers.
BUT filmmakers Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young have documented a successful approach – worker-owned cooperative businesses – that can be implemented without political upheaval. Without sacrificing profit motive, they include worker earnings and security, and community benefit as equal priorities.
The Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI) and CWC welcome filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin to the Garfield Theatre for the screening of two documentary films, where Mark and Melissa will introduce the films and conduct post-film Q&A. The evening's films are offered in conjunction with CUCI's 4th Biennial Co-op Symposium - "Liberating Our Future Together: Building the Cooperative Ecosystem."
Learn more about the symposium on November 15 and 16.
Please join us on Thursday November 14 to interact with the filmmakers and view two documentaries with a combined run time of 96 minutes:
☀ SHIFT CHANGE: PUTTING DEMOCRACY TO WORK, 56 minutes, in English and Spanish with English subtitles.
Automation, trade wars, global competition and increasing economic inequality present serious challenges for American workers.
Based on their research and inspired by a successful long-term example in Spain, Dworkin and Young suggest that employee-owned enterprises (co-ops) offer a way to build a sustainable economy with stable employment, good working conditions, better earnings and significant benefit to the community.
Shift Change opens with visits to worker cooperatives in the U.S. – starting in Cleveland OH and including Madison WI, Boston MA and San Francisco CA. The film devotes considerable time to their primary model – the famous Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC) in Spain, the world's largest cooperative network.
Begun in the 1950s, the Mondragón co-ops have transformed a depressed area into one of the most productive regions in Europe with a high standard of living, low unemployment and an egalitarian way of life. Owned and managed by their workers, these co-ops produce computer chips, high tech industrial machinery, household appliances and many other products. While filming, Dworkin said it was exciting to see people with a sense of community, working together and supportive of each other.
The stats are impressive: The MCC is a network of 120 co-ops with 100,000 employees and $25 Billion in annual sales. In the Basque Country, 60 percent of residents are employee-owners and the unemployment rate is half that of the rest of Spain.
☀ DON'T GIVE UP YOUR VOICE, 40 minutes, mostly in español with English subtitles.
This new documentary looks at the widespread and creative resistance to the policies of Argentine president Mauricio Macri – as voiced by worker co-ops and labor groups via public protests, in theater and in music. The filmmakers suggest the events depicted offer instructive parallels for the U.S, while illustrating the power of collective action – as just recently Macri was soundly defeated in his bid for reelection.
☀ AN EVENING WITH FILMMAKERS MARK DWORKIN & MELISSA YOUNG
Documentary screenings plus intro and Q&A with the filmmakers
Shift Change, in English and Spanish with English subtitles, 56 minutes
Don't Give Up Your Voice, in Spanish with English subtitles, 40 minutes
☀ DATE & TIME:
Thursday, November 14, 7:00 PM
Theatre opens at 6:30; seating at 6:45.
THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St, Cincinnati 45202. – Learn more
☀ TICKETS: Online and (859) 957-3456.
Adult general admission, $10 advance, $15 door.
Student & ArtsPass general admission, $8 advance, $12 door; must show valid ID at Will Call counter.
Advance sales cut off four hours before show time; thereafter tickets available at the door (unless sold out in advance).
☀ PARKING & DIRECTIONS:
Parking Options Google Map Drone View
Ample parking at affordable rates — 1,700+ garage spaces within two blocks ‐ Gramercy Garage (next door, enter via Race, 7th or Elm streets), Garfield Garage (9th St., next to the Phoenix) and Macy's Garage (7th Street). Another 363 surface lot spaces within a couple blocks, plus numerous on-street meters. Other transport options include the Streetcar, Metro, Tank, Uber, Red Bike, etc.
☀ ADA ACCESS: We have completely revamped and improved ADA access, with a direct path to wheelchair spaces and companion seats (no outside transit, no ramps, no stairs). Individuals using walkers or wheelchairs should call ahead to let us know your screening date and time, (859) 957-3456.
☀ DINING & DRINKS:
Across the street from the Garfield, you'll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks. CWC patrons will receive a 15% discount on their order, excluding beverages.
Enjoy a pre- or post-film meal or coffee and dessert or hang at the bar. You'll need your online ticket purchase confirmation or ticket stub from the event – discount valid only for the date of attendance at the Garfield.
Hours: TUE-THS - Dining, 5-10 pm; bar 3:30 - midnight. FRI-SAT - Dining 5-11 pm; bar 3:30 - 2:30. SUN - Dining 5-9 pm; bar 3:30 - 1-pm. Reservations recommended – (513) 954-8974. Check out the menus and photos: thebutcherbarrel.com.
Please or call (859) 957 3456.
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ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young are life and work partners, creating documentaries on issues of environmental sustainability, social justice and economic equality.
There's more to Dworkin and Young beyond researching and creating films and winning dozens of cinema awards – they are builders, educators, activists and change agents. They travel extensively to shoot their documentaries, returning home to Whidbey Island, Washington to edit. (Coincidentally, Whidbey was the beautiful filming location for Griffin Dunne's "Practical Magic.")
Check out this excerpt from a 2014 profile by Dianna MacLeod in Whidbey Life Magazine:
When Mark Dworkin sat in the projectionist's booth of The Clyde Theatre [Langley, Washington] in the 1970s making sure the images on the screen kept moving, he didn't know his own movies would one day be projected on that screen. He knew only that he enjoyed filming amateur theatricals and local events all over Whidbey Island.
When carpenter Melissa Young traveled to Central America to build schools in the 1980s, she couldn't foresee that her excellent Spanish and rapport with villagers would lead her to help edit a short film about the effect of the war on the peoples of Nicaragua. In fact, as she was leading the building brigade, she considered the film – shot on location – a distraction from the real work of reconstruction.
But when they found each other in the course of making that film, Dworkin and Young each found a life path, one dedicated to telling the stories of ordinary people – determined and sometimes visionary – living extraordinary lives. They also found the perfect name to describe their new venture, Moving Images.
"When I saw the power of witnessing, the power of storytelling, the power of film, I traded my woodworking tools for a camera," commented Young.
"There's a disconnect between media coverage and human testimony," said Dworkin. "It's important to remedy that, to connect media with our success stories as human beings."
If their films – many award-winning – follow a similar trajectory, it is to identify a conflict, problem or injustice and present individuals resisting the status quo, finding alternatives, struggling to remake the world. You might say that Young and Dworkin put a human face on the dynamics of change – individual as well as institutional.
Although every one of their 25+ films made since 1986 explores how change happens, the who, what, and why is unique in each case. Among their subjects: The plight of post-industrial Detroit ("We are not Ghosts," 2012). Threats posed by farmed salmon ("Net Loss," 2003). The impacts of genetic engineering on agriculture ("Risky Business," 1996). The lives of 19th-century women in Central Washington and British Columbia ("How Can I Keep on Singing?" 2001).
CINCINNATI UNION CO-OP INITIATIVE
CUCI is rooted in local relationships with Mondragon dating back to the 1980s, when a Cincinnati nonprofit called the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) began sending delegations of local civic leaders to the Basque region of Spain. The trip inspired future CUCI board member Jerry Monahan, union leader of the Greater Cincinnati Building and Construction Trades Council to share the idea of creating worker cooperatives in Cincinnati with colleagues at the AFL-CIO Labor Council – including future CUCI co-founder Phil Amadon.
Phil devoted much of his 32-year career as a railroad mechanic to the labor movement. When he read media reports about the 2009 USW-Mondragon partnership agreement announcement, he decided to convene a study group of local organizers to explore the idea of creating unionized worker cooperatives in Cincinnati. Kristen Barker of the IJPC, Ellen Vera of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 75, and Flequer Vera of Amos, began to meet regularly with Phil in early 2010. After months of studying the Mondragon principles, the Knights of Labor vision for a cooperative commonwealth, and the Evergreen model in Cleveland, a consensus emerged that union co-ops could help address the decline of family-sustaining union jobs in Cincinnati. Phil, Kristen, Ellen and Flequer founded CUCI in late 2010 and began to reach out to potential partners including the OEOC, Evergreen, USW, Building and Construction Trades Council, UFCW, and Mondragon.
CUCI founders hosted our first public event in February 2011, attracting 80 to 90 community members. Out of this group a steering committee was formed that began to meet biweekly to explore the idea of developing union co-ops in Cincinnati. In April 2011, CUCI sent eight delegates to an OEOC workshop where we met Michael Peck, Mondragon's North American Delegate who had collaborated with Rob Witherell of USW to orchestrate the Mondragon-USW partnership agreement. In the following months, CUCI engaged Michael, the OEOC, and The Ohio State University Ohio Cooperative Development Center (OCDC) in discussions about potential union co-op business ideas.
CUCI launched our first union co-op, Our Harvest food hub, in April 2012. In June we received a $15,000 grant and $10,000 from UFCW to fund a market study with the OCDC. Since mid-2012 we have continued to incubate Our Harvest, fundraise for new union co-op feasibility and market studies, build relationships with labor leaders, and engage the Cincinnati civic community in our efforts.
In early 2013, UFCW agreed to subsidize the development of Our Harvest by allowing Ellen to work full-time as CEO during the start-up's incubation stage. A CUCI delegation visited Mondragon in the summer of 2013 and Mondragon hired Kristen shortly thereafter to lead the development of the Mondragon USA union co-op federation. CUCI launched our second union co-op, Sustainergy energy retrofitting, in November 2013. CUCI recently added staff to explore how cooperative models can lift the childcare sector in Cincinnati. We plan to launch Apple Street Market, a multi-stakeholder union co-op grocery, in 2019. CUCI currently works with dozens of partners, a thirteen-member board of directors, hundreds of volunteers, and five union co-op businesses in various phases of development.
Our Union Co-op Family Several worker cooperatives in the U.S. were unionized before the USW-Mondragon collaboration agreement and do not explicitly follow the USW-Mondragon union co-op template. For instance, Cooperative Home Care Associates in the Bronx is by far the largest worker cooperative in the U.S. with 1,100 worker-owners who voted to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199 in 2003. The SEIU provides crucial help to CHCA when they lobby New York state authorities on home care issues. The Union Co-ops Council of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives features case studies of several others on its website (http://unioncoops.org).
An exciting new generation of union co-op development initiatives has also launched in the wake of the 2009 USW-Mondragon collaboration agreement and explicitly taken up the template CUCI follows in its development efforts. To date, union co-op development is underway in multiple U.S. cities including Cincinnati, OH; Dayton, OH; New York, NY; Denver, CO; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, WI and St. Louis, MO, as well as the state of Maine. CUCI Executive Director Kristen Barker also works as an organizer at Mondragon USA, which supports the development of these union co-op initiatives across the country. Mondragon USA has also launched a foundation arm called 1worker1vote.org.
Learn more about CUCI.