who we are

southpaw café and community space is the main project of the future economy collective, a community-based volunteer-run 501c3 based in southwest virginia

a short history

the idea to start this nonprofit was born out of years of wanting to have a space in town that was accessible, collaborative, and accountable – a space that can be collaborative and fulfill needs that this area has long needed. after working in a space that operated similarly in late 2016, one of our founders saw that there was a need for a space in the new river valley that could be used to strengthen community ties. they started to hold open community meetings in october 2017 under the name “blacksburg community co-op initiative” -- these meetings amassed a group of people that were interested in molding this idea, sharing ideas of what this collective space could look like. in late january of 2018, the other two founders joined the drive to make this place a reality and through their motivation and determination, the future economy collective was finally incorporated in july 2018. the future economy collective received our 501c3 status later that year. in early 2020, the future economy collective founded southpaw cafe at 204 draper rd nw, surviving almost entirely off of grassroots donations alone.

none of this vision or survival would have ever happened without the community support of the new river valley. well being for all is not a dream!


our values

in our experience, the best way to foster liberation is through creating and maintaining connections that allow the struggle against oppression to feel less driven by fear and more out of love for each other. best stated by adrienne maree brown, “do you understand that your quality of life and your survival are tied to how authentic and generous the connections are between you and the people and place you live with and in? are you actively practicing generosity and vulnerability in order to make the connections between you and others clear, open, available, durable?” we firmly believe that community building is the cornerstone to a sustainable future.

the intention of this collective is to be a place where we model the world we want to build. we want our culture and structure to reflect our shared goal of liberation for all people. in all our work, we embrace the full humanity of one another through the recognition of our intrinsic rights such as housing, food, healthcare, bodily autonomy, belonging, pleasure, rest, clean drinking water, a healthy ecosystem, and more.