Jade Barker, Governance Consultant with CDS Consulting Co-op 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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 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, [...]
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 [...]