Sassafras was founded in 2013 with the goal of joining the worker cooperative movement and exploring how tech research, design, and development could be done in an organization with anti-oppressive values. We are indebted to Design Action Collective, AORTA, USFWC, Allied Media Projects, the Tech Coop Network, and Black cooperatives who have come before us and inspired us to take the leap. We are also indebted to our clients who have made our collective work possible.
We are working to create an organization and workplace that embeds the values of how we believe tech work should be done, also known as prefiguration (Asad, 2019). We believe that when the working conditions are more just, we also design and develop more just technology. We are working to create the future that we believe should exist now. Sassafras is a member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Tech Coop Peer Network, and Design Justice Network.
Over the past six years we have learned so much working together and we are excited to start sharing out that knowledge. We take inspiration from Mia Mingus to “leave evidence” (Leaving Evidence, Mia Mingus) of our collective work so that others can learn from our lessons and successes.
“We must leave evidence. Evidence that we were here, that we existed, that we survived and loved and ached. Evidence of the wholeness we never felt and the immense sense of fullness we gave to each other. Evidence of who we were, who we thought we were, who we never should have been. Evidence for each other that there are other ways to live–past survival; past isolation.”
Sassafras Tech Collective
Devney, Elizabeth, Jill, Kevin, Melody, & Tom