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 [...]
By LaDonna Sanders–Redmond Seward Community Co-op (Minneapolis, Minn.) began its equity work in the fall of 2013. Seward’s second store, Friendship, and its first restaurant/commissary production facility, the Creamery Café, both opened in 2015. Building the Friendship Store in an historically African-American community required taking a closer look at the co-op’s commitment to equitable relationships as stated in the Seward ends statement. Taking a deep [...]
You can't have a conversation about inclusion without first expanding the circle and inviting everyone to the table. Prasanna Regmi, General Manager at Davis Food Co-op in Davis, CA talks about the work being done at Davis starting with the core of the co-op network, the store.
The board of directors at People's Food Co-op in Kalamazoo, MI have committed to developing their awareness around racial equity. Board President Hether Frayer tells the Kzoo board story about how they ensconced their social justice values into co-op policy and monitoring.
If you were to ask, most people would say that they are against racism and intolerance. Yet our society has imposed many powerful economic and social barriers to those from disenfranchised racial and economic backgrounds. Most people live in separate spheres and have limited interactions with different races and classes. For nearly a generation, food co-ops have attracted mostly white, educated and affluent people. [...]
Durham Co-op Market Durham, NC Year founded: 2015 Number of members: 4,000 Member investment: $100 Number of employees: 50 Retail square feet: 8,000 The startup vision for Durham Co-op Market in Durham, NC was to be a very inclusive organization, one that would be an integral part of the community in which it was located. It was important to the founding members that all [...]
By Patricia Cumbie, Jade Barker "The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others."—James A. Baldwin Part of our professional work is to support people acting together for a common purpose. We do this by working with co-ops to improve their relationships with all their stakeholders—owners, staff, board, managers, communities—to better [...]