The Community Wealth Action Group, a coalition of St. Louis, MO, and East St. Louis, IL community members seeks to reimagine STL’s economy through a radically inclusive design process that will lead to a Community Wealth Building (CWB) Playbook reflecting a diverse set of solutions from policies to programs and resource allocations to narrative shifts. The design process and CWB Playbook aim to build on existing efforts and plans while prioritizing a community wealth-building framework.

Solutions Team Member Role

Are you interested in diving into a specific driver of the economy and can commit to four Design Days, in February-May? Stipends available. Complete the interest form by Thursday, January 25th, 2024, at midnight.

We especially are looking for community members with the interest and capacity to engage in community-based visioning, are clear about why they want to reimagine the economy, have an unwavering commitment to racial equity, have an interest in learning more about the field of community wealth building, and want to co-create a diverse set of solutions tied to a specific topic that drives our economy. As a Solutions Team Member, you will:

  • Be a public ambassador of the work - constantly celebrating and spreading the word about the process, inviting folks to participate, and then building awareness about the CWB Playbook that will be released.
  • Support community visioning - Activate your network to share their vision and values for a reimagined economy.
  • Attend the four Design Days.

A stipend will be provided for your time. Childcare and meals will continuously be available at no cost. Time commitment includes:

  • Friday, January 25th - Submit the interest form clarifying which Solution Teams you most want to participate in.
  • Saturday, February 3rd - 8-hr Design Day #1.
  • Saturday, March 2nd - 8-hr Design Day #2.
  • Saturday, April 6th - 8-hr Design Day #3.
  • Saturday, May 4th - 8-hr Design Day #4.
  • June - CWB Playbook finalization session(s) and convo(s)


    The racial wealth gap is on track to lead to a day where the majority of Black and Latinx households are projected to have $0 in wealth. Generations of wealth stripping from and exploitation of marginalized communities – from slavery to redlining – can’t be solved with a single program, policy, or commitment to “inclusion.” The economy is deeply flawed, from its origin story to the way it operates today. We need to understand our history, and root causes of continued racial and economic disparities and also think about what new theories can drive new outcomes, and what new policies, programs, and mental models can advance us to a day where more communities are well and wealthy.


    The process especially seeks to define problems and develop solutions that address the following five drivers of our economy: business, capital, labor, land and property, ecosystem development, and coordination.

    • Phase Zero:
    • Phase One: Design Day #1: Define the problem(s) | Feb. 3rd
    • Phase Two: Design Day #2: Draft theory and solutions | Mar. 2nd
    • Phase Three: Design Day #3: Develop Outcomes & Begin To Prioritize Solutions | Apr. 6th
    • Phase Four: Design Day #4: Seek Broader Feedback To Help Finalize Details of Reimagined System | May 4th
    • Phase Five: Community Wealth Building Playbook Release | June

    There will be consistent learning, landscape analysis, partnership with researchers, engagement of national subject matter experts, thought partnership with an advisory board, and feedback loops to ensure the CWB Playbook reflects a responsive, complementary, and impactful set of recommendations.

    Solutions Teams

    You have the opportunity to engage in one of the five Solutions Teams listed below. Attendance at all four Design Days is critical.

    • Business: We know businesses can be an important tool for meeting community needs and creating economic opportunities. But, today, most businesses help a few people build wealth, often at the expense of others and our environment and well-being. How can we reimagine the way we support businesses and do business to support collective well-being and shared prosperity?
    • Capital: How money flows across, into, and out of St Louis shapes our local economy. However, the current approaches to how money is invested benefit some while excluding others. How can we reimagine private investment, government subsidy, and the use of tax money to create broader opportunities, shared prosperity, and well-being?
    • Labor: We know that our lives are shaped in important ways by our work – how we’re paid, the benefits we do (or don’t) get, the conditions we work in, and the influence and power we have over our workplaces. Today, workers often receive inadequate wages, no share in the profits they/we help generate, and little control over their/our work lives. How can we reimagine labor policy and practices to promote shared prosperity and well-being?
    • Land & Property: Land and property are valuable community assets that can strengthen our communities and build shared prosperity. But current approaches to land, property, and development often harm communities and exacerbate inequality. How can we reimagine our approach to land and property, including residential and commercial spaces, to strengthen communities, build shared wealth, and promote collective well-being?
    • Ecosystem Development: Our efforts to build community wealth will require ongoing coordination, collaboration, and support to be successful and thrive. How might we ensure everyone in our community doing this work is communicating, collaborating, and getting the support needed for these efforts to be successful?

    What The Heck Is Community Wealth Building (CWB)?

    At the core, community wealth-building is about shifting our economy. An approach to creating collective well-being by building locally owned and controlled wealth and power.



    pulls wealth away from communities and concentrates it in the hands of a small group of individuals ->

    builds and keeps wealth in local communities of ordinary people, especially communities that have historically been stripped of wealth

    racially unjust and socially inequitable ->

    racially just and socially equitable

    environmentally unsustainable ->

    environmentally sustainable -- (i.e. meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of those in the future to meet their needs)

    CWB example solutions include worker-owned companies, democratic ownership of land, community-governed investment funds, and much more.