Nannette Bowie, Production Manager for Old Window Workshop, was recently a featured speaker on a panel discussion at the Annual Meeting of Wellspring Cooperative. The organization is creating an engine for new, community-based, worker-owned companies in inner-city Springfield, Massachusetts based on the purchasing power of area anchor institutions — the colleges, universities, and hospitals — that purchase more than $1.5 billion worth of goods and services a year.
Every year, I am grateful that Martin Luther King’s birthday is in January because it provides new resolve for our essential cause of social justice. This year we need to start with his inspiration more than most other Januarys:
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. “ ~ Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. August, 1963
With the unassured future of our democracy everything we do in our own communities is important now. In poor neighborhoods, we have a greater urgency for sources of strength to rebuild hope. Women and people of color must stand up now and not sit back down again until we know that our children will not be molested or shot at, our water will always be drinkable and we are truly free to be dignified. We must find the thing that hurts the person standing next to us and ask them, “How can I ease your pain?”
We must fight for each other’s dignity as well as our own. Injustice prescribes women’s roles to labor in the “service sector” only. We must open the windows of light from all directions so that school girls who imagine themselves flying planes or running countries can take a hand up from women before them.
This year demands a goal beyond the complacency of living wage jobs “granted” by stock holders in company boardrooms. We must strive to bring more women into our vision of owning the businesses that produce our jobs. The women’s cooperative of the Old Window Workshop welcomes you to join us!
Just as women from all over the world took the survival of democracy into our own hands on Saturday, the 21st, we will ORGANIZE and MARCH ON!
Old Window Workshop has been selected to replace 68 windows in the historic "Old Lenox High School", located in Lenox, MA. The work begins in February, 2017 in collaboration with NEI Construction. Historic tax credits have been secured.
We are also in the proposal stages for other projects in Western Mass including the Goshen Congregational Church, replacing 16 windows on the south and east side and 1691 Main St., Springfield, where 120 windows would be replaced in this grand building.
Pam Howland, Founder, Old Window Workshop.