Caroline Shenaz Hossein


BOARD MEMBER, 2021-2024

Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein is Associate Professor of Global Development at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is Founder of Diverse Solidarity Economies (DiSE) Collective and she holds an Ontario Early Researcher Award (2018-2023) and her project “African origins in the Social Economy” was funded by the SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2017-20). One of her most significant contributions is an epistemological framework called the Black Social Economy, which builds on our understanding of the  Black political economy to show how politicized collectivity can advance the social justice aims of a solidarity economy (see her open access paper in Review of Black Political Economy), https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0034644619865266).

Black diaspora women who organize banking coops, are known as 'Banker Ladies' and these women lead solidarity economics through a form of mutual aid called Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs). She is committed to advancing grass-roots solutions for dealing with economic inclusion, and she has uncovered the centuries-old ROSCA banking coop systems, the topic of her recent documentary film, directed by Haitian-Canadian Esery Mondesir,  https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the-banker-ladies/. Drawing on ancient African traditions, this financial coop system holds the key to making economies serve the needs of everyone. Her work on Black women cooperators has garnered international attention and reached 3.96M people in the National Post https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/banking-co-ops-run-by-black-women-have-a-longtime-legacy-of-helping-people  On 9th March 2021, she delivered the Big Thinking Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences lecture to the country’s political elite, “Canada’s hidden cooperative system: The legacy of the Black Banker Ladies” (see here: https://www.ideas-idees.ca/events/big-thinking).

Dr. Hossein is the first Black Canadian elected to the global Board of the International Association of Feminist Economics and the editorial board to U.N. Task Force for the Social and Solidarity Economy to create an encyclopedia on solidarities. Her work is in the public domain and questions leaders on their role to end racism in banking institutions: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-black-canadians-use-alternative-banks-to-manage-systemic-racism-its/  Dr. Hossein is the author of Politicized microfinance (2016), co-author to Critical Introduction to Business and Society (2017) and editor of The Black Social Economy (2018), as well as numerous book chapters and articles, and her forthcoming co-edited book Community Economies in the Global South by Oxford University Press will be out next year in 2022. More information can be found at www.caroline-shenaz-hossein.com

-- July 2021.