Boards of directors want to know that co-op staff are fairly treated and that the co-op has a good reputation as an employer. General managers need the authority to carry out board policy, and that authority includes holding staff accountable for performance and making decisions that may not be popular with all staff. These goals are not mutually exclusive. Fairness, accountability, and unpopularity can [...]
In this latest installment from Dave Olson, Development Director for National Co+op Grocers, he lays out the overarching mission for NCG for the next couple years. On the operations side, Olson delves into the Customer Experience (CX) that co-ps offer, and how to really start thinking about all customers, not just member-owners, as the "heart of the co-op".
Contemporary food co-ops have begun important discussions in their organizations around equity and inclusion. As part of that process, they’ve had to accept and deal with some painful truths that their co-ops have not always been perceived as inclusive, especially through the shopping experience.
Jade Barker, Governance Consultant with Columinate and co-author of "Everyone Welcome?", shares some of the wisdom that she gained in working on the "Everyone Welcome?" project. In this video Jade shares some of her personal experience as a person of color in the predominantly white food co-op sector and what it has been like on her 15 years journey so far with food co-ops.
The Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op (TPSS) in Takoma Park, Maryland is a cooperative that is known for its diversity and inclusion among staff and customers. Currently, 48 employees from 20 countries work at the food co-op. Creating an atmosphere of welcome and exchange is something that they continually work on.
Using the Cooperative Principles as her guideposts, Jamila Medley, Executive Director for the Philadelphia-Area Cooperative Alliance as well as a consultant with CDS Consulting Co-op, asks listeners "What are you doing?" Are we doing everything we can be doing to grow our social justice missions? Medley asks many powerful questions that would no doubt stir many long conversations in board and staff meetings. Feel [...]
People's Food Co-op in Portland, OR has been doing the hard work of examining the implications of expanding into a more diverse, and rapidly-gentrifying, neighborhood. While fully acknowledging the difficulties and messiness of confronting racism, displacement, misogyny, and trans-phobia in the community, Sofie Sherman-Burton, Marketing & Membership Manager, still manages to lay out an optimistic vision for the future of food co-ops.
The founding vision for Outpost was to be a "safe-haven for people who felt like they weren't included" and Mehnert contends that that mission is truer today than ever. Drawing comparisons to the social rebellions of the 60s and 70s that birthed many of our modern Co-ops, Pam Mehnert General Manager at Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee, WI, examines the conditions that our co-ops [...]
In his role as Executive Director of a Non-Profit Young Kim, Board President at Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee, WI explores implicit biases that we may bring with us while reaching out to "aid" communities of various ethnic and class distinctions. His is a cautionary tale that warns against bringing in our own preconceptions and baggage while at the same time attempting to erode [...]
Discussing each principle and value through the lens of racial and economic equity will provide a starting point for promoting a more inclusive and effective movement. This is a resource for boards of directors, management teams, and study groups who especially want to explore the impact of dominate white culture on co-ops, and who want to find a way to create a dialogue to [...]