Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops

Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops

and   |  August 30, 2017

By Jade Barker and Patricia Cumbie

We believe that now is a critical time to engage our cooperative community in important conversations about racism and oppression. Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops presents a variety of perspectives on what can be done to make food co-ops more racially inclusive. Fifteen co-operators from a variety of backgrounds — class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation — talk about their introduction to co-ops and respond to two questions: how did food co-ops become so white and what can be done to make food co-ops more racially inclusive?  We think storytelling is an excellent medium for exploring these themes, and we invite you to use these narratives as a springboard for your own discussions about racial issues affecting your co-op and your community.

Transforming institutions takes everyone’s participation. Certainly one conversation, or even one project will not undo racism in our society, yet each one successively builds on the other to deepen understanding and support change. Our hope is that this project will support food co-ops that are willing to take leadership on a problem that affects not only food co-ops, but also society as a whole.

This project grew out of Columinate’s work exploring issues of racism and oppression. It was made possible by generous support from National Co+op Grocers, Columinate, and the Cooperative Development Foundation, as well as the following food co-ops:  Blue Hill Food Co-op, Brattleboro Food Co-op, BriarPatch Co-op, Co+opportunity Market & Deli, Eastside Food Co-op, Flatbush Food Co-op, French Broad Food Co-op, Friendly City Food Co-op, GreenStar Cooperative Market, Lexington Cooperative Market, Mississippi Market Natural Food Co-op, New Pioneer Food Co-op, City Market/Onion River Co-op, Outpost Natural Foods, Putney Food Co-op, Roanoke Co+op, River Valley Co-op, Seward Community Co-op, Syracuse Real Food Co-op, and Three Rivers Market


Resource Downloads

Everyone Welcome-Discussion Questions
Title: Everyone Welcome-Discussion Questions
Filename: everyone-welcome-discussion-questions-2.pdf
Size: 114 KB     |     Clicks: 233
Everyone Welcome-Study Guide
Title: Everyone Welcome-Study Guide
Filename: everyone-welcome-study-guide-2.pdf
Size: 103 KB     |     Clicks: 198
Title: Everyone-Welcome-Personal-Narratives-about-Race-and-Food-Co-ops
Filename: everyone-welcome-personal-narratives-about-race-and-food-co-ops.pdf
Size: 2 MB     |     Clicks: 568

About the Authors

Jade Barker

Governance & Leadership Development


Have more questions?

Get in touch with one of our consultants.

Support Your Co-op Leaders. Check out the Columinate GM Development Program. Learn more >>