FRIDAY KEYNOTE SPEAKER, Social Justice Activist
Ed Whitfeld is co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC).
He’s a hard hitting speaker who is utterly committed to grassroots endeavors. His sentiment is that there is no point in “teaching a man to fish” if all the fishing holes are behind a private fence, or if the fishing gear is inaccessible.
A long time social justice activist, Ed had been involved in labor, community organizing and peace work since the late 60‘s when he was a student activist at Cornell University. He was the chairman of the Greensboro Redevelopment Commission for 9 years and formerly board chairman of Greensboro’s Triad Minority Development Corporation.
In his work with F4DC, Ed helped initiate the formation of the Southern Grassroots Economies Project (SGEP) and their annual CoopEcon conferences aimed at networking and training among people interested in developing a cooperative new economy in the US South. He has visited and studied worker cooperative activities from the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, OH to the massive Mondragon Cooperatives Corporation in the Basque region of Spain. For Ed, helping people in communities engaged in meaningful, democratic, just, sustainable and productive activities is a key motivation.
He is currently helping to provide technical assistance to a group of people living in an urban food desert struggling to develop a community owned cooperative grocery store. Ed is deeply involved in conceptualizing and spreading the idea of democratic ownership and the reclamation of the commons.
You don’t want to miss a speech from Ed. He can lay it down.