Narratives of independence: the national and the local

This is a talk I gave to the ‘Back to the Future? What Next for Voluntary Action and the Welfare State’ Conference in July 2019. Thanks very much to the Discourses of Voluntary Action team – Georgina Brewis, Angela Ellis-Paine, Rose Lindsay, Irene Hardill and Rob Macmillan – for inviting me. My work is trying …

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Structuring, supporting and shaping the field: nonprofit infrastructure (part 1)

The Nonprofit Association of Oregon is a membership body like a council for voluntary service back home. The kind of services it delivers will be familiar to anyone who knows their local CVS; support to build and run your organisation, space to connect with a network of other organisations, some practical back-office support (insurance, conference … Continue reading Structuring, supporting and shaping the field: nonprofit infrastructure (part 1)

American Fields: Housing Radicals

Portland Tenants United (PTU) describes itself as a ‘democratic self-organized tenants’ union’, working to ‘establish tenants’ rights, including ending no-cause evictions and establishing rent control’. It is at the grassroots end of the organisations I’ve met so far; it is entirely volunteer-run, it engages in direct action, is explicitly anti-capitalist and is dogmatically committed to … Continue reading American Fields: Housing Radicals