REAP is working hard on a number of issues related to food justice and economic justice for marginalized populations. First and foremost, REAP champions those in stressful situations who are in need of reentering the world of work, and therefore, dignity.
Insisting on tackling heavy duty issues related to the dignity of work, REAP presented ideas about worker owned cooperatives to the Arizona legislature in 2015. This resulted in passage of a bill and was signed into action in March of 2016. Worker owned cooperatives are owned and self-managed by their workers.
I remember when three of us first met with Carol and Greg in a local coffee house on University. We had a lot of questions that first meeting but after coming out all three of us had a combination of fear, dread and excitement on our faces. It was a double-edged sword; the cool thing was that this project was going to be big, the bad thing was that project was going to be big. If we succeeded then it would give a huge boost to our self-esteem, networking and future careers. Not only would the exact opposite be true if we fail but we could potentially mess up relations between Carol and the Navajo Nation; something that she had spent the last half decade on just getting to this point. To put this on college students, that were primarily freshmen at the time, made the task even more daunting. This invariably has given me the push to wake up in the morning and say to myself, “Don’t screw up!”. A few weeks later, we then did a site visit to Tolani Lake Enterprises, met with the people and made a technical memorandum of our initial findings. To everyone in the team, we had our problem statement nailed and all we had to do was start designing towards prototypes and finalizing the numbers. Labor intensive, but manageable enough.