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Business Ethics Speaker Series: Caroline Shenaz Hossein

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Ted Rogers School of Management

575 Bay Street

Room: TRS 3-109

Toronto, ON M5G 2C5

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Caroline Shenaz Hossein:


"The Black Social Economy: Understanding Self-Help Groups and Cooperatives among the African Diaspora"

Abstract: Banking cooperatives are ancient African traditions that speak to the functionality of getting things done by a historically oppressed group of people. The analysis for this study is based on more than 500 interviews in five Caribbean countries: Haiti, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana as well as in Toronto and Montreal in Canada. African traditions of cooperatives and mutual aid reveal that Black people have had a long history of collective organizing in banking, including during enslavement and colonization. This research argues that throughout the Americas, indigenous African banking systems— with localized names such as susu, partner, meeting-turn, box-hand, and sol—are long-standing traditions that historically and currently are taking a moral stand against exclusionary finance. African and Caribbean people have an important legacy on the social economy through cooperatives, and the very ways in which African people organize in the social economy is vital to unravelling the market fundamentalist in society.

Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein is Associate Professor of Business & Society and Coordinator of the BUSO programme in the Department of Social Science at York University in Toronto, Canada.

She is the author of Politicized Microfinance: Money, power and violence in the Black Americas (University of Toronto Press, 2016); co-editor of Business & Society: A Critical Introduction (Zed, 2017) and editor of The Black Social Economy in the Americas: Exploring Diverse Community-Based Alternative Markets (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2018). In 2017, she received the Helen Potter Award for best journal article from the Association of Social Economics. Dr. Hossein’s project “African origins in the Social Economy” is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant (2017-19), which examines the social economy in racialized communities in Toronto and Montreal. First in her family to attend university, Dr. Hossein holds a PhD in Political Science (University of Toronto), an MPA (Cornell University), an LL.B (University of Kent at Canterbury) and BA (Saint Mary's University, Halifax). More recently, she was a Fellow at the Polanyi Institute for Political Economy, Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, U.S Fulbright at the University of West Indies/Mona, Jamaica and a holds a Visiting Professorship at Bahar Dar University, Ethiopia where she will spend her 2018-19 sabbatical. She is an executive member on the board of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diaspora and the Centre for Feminist Research at York University. For a decade, Dr. Hossein has worked in global non-profits, including managing a community bank in Niger, West Africa rendering it financially sustainable within a year. See more at: www.Caroline-Shenaz-Hossein.com




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Ted Rogers School of Management

575 Bay Street

Room: TRS 3-109

Toronto, ON M5G 2C5

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