diversity

Welcoming Improvement

Creating a store that reflects the community it serves AND occupies is a difficult endeavor. At Durham Co-op Market they are committing to the hard work of being welcoming to every shopper, in a way that each shopper will feel welcomed. In this video, Leila Wolfrum, General Manager at Durham Co-op Market, describes their ongoing process of continuous improvement in doing the important work [...]

Principles of ‘Openness’

Co-op Principle #1: Open & Voluntary Membership; in this installment filmed for the 2019 Cooperative Cafe series, LaDonna challenges us to deeply examine 'Openness' and 'Voluntary' at our own co-ops. Can we see ourselves in the Co-ops' story? Can our neighbors? Even when we struggle to compete to be seen or heard in the crowded marketplace, cooperative have a competitive advantage when it comes [...]

Expanding the Boundaries of Retailing in Local Communities

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. Food co-op customers in particular are often skewed toward a certain demographic—white, educated, affluent people. Outreach to those who are [...]

Nurturing Inclusion and Diversity on Staff

Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op Silver Spring, MD Year founded: 1981 Number of members: 10,000 Member investment: $100 Number of employees: 48 Retail square feet: 4,600 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. Amongst [...]

Deepening the Work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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 [...]

Starting the Conversation: What Does It Take to Achieve Organizational Racial Equity

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. [...]

Everyone Welcome? Examining Race and Food Co-ops

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 [...]

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

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, [...]

Everyone Welcome? Considering Race and Food Co-ops

  Three years ago, we were participants in a workshop designed to raise awareness of racial bias, particularly in progressive organizations.  As part of that Training for Change session in Minneapolis in 2014, everyone was asked what we would like to do as next steps.  Part of our professional work as consultants is to bring a variety of people together in co-ops to better [...]

POP Report: Hiring For Diversity and Creating an Inclusive Staff Culture

Key Insights The major takeaways from interviews with three co-ops on their initiatives to improve diversity in hiring and increase cultural awareness on their staff teams are make staff diversity and cultural awareness a priority to your team (and budget) create goals and make the measurables visible to your team aim to be reflective of your community use community engagement as a hiring tool [...]