RiseBoro’s mission is to unleash the potential of communities to thrive, no matter the odds. We believe that through our unique model of holistic community revitalization, we can create a new economy that works for all people and the planet too. The cooperative movement offers not only the opportunity to create increased wealth for all working members of society, but also for communities to self-determine the types of businesses that will shape their community. While a history of redlining, followed by rapid gentrification has contributed to unhealthy, poor, ghettoized neighborhoods, we believe that by bringing a food and economic justice lens to our work, we can contribute to greater health, wealth, and empowerment in historically marginalized and oppressed communities.
The Central Brooklyn Food Democracy Project
The Brooklyn Movement Center and RiseBoro have teamed up to lead a project to imagine a neighborhood-based food system powered by a new generation of consumer- and worker-owned cooperative food enterprises. They together, incubate the consumer-owned grocery coop (The Central Brooklyn Food Coop), organize and support new cooperatively owned food business, and implementcommunity culinary education programs.
The 2019-2023 goals of the Central Brooklyn Food Democracy Project (CBFDP)related to worker-coops include:
- In collaboration with the Working World, start 6 new worker-owned, democratically-run cooperative food businesses, and support the existing 2 worker-owned coops, employing at least 36 people.
- Complete the Development of a Community Chef worker-cooperative that will lead a food education institute within the food coop. The Chefs will teach culinary courses and conduct cooking demonstrations among the food coop community of families.
- Create a project leadership team that will ensure coordination and create a Central Brooklyn Food Democracy support network.
The Worker-Coop Developer builds on the RiseBoro Food Justice Team’s years of field experience in Bushwick and Central Brooklyn to:support current worker-owned coops and coops in formation, including: a Community Chef coop and the Brooklyn Packers; develop new worker-coops all along the food supply chain, with the support of the Food Justice Program Manager.
Near-term Duties and Responsibilities
Strategy and Process Development
We are in a new phase of our worker-coop development and are currently focused on defining our strategy and process. The Worker Coop Developer will lead our team through a process of defining roles both on our team and within our network, they will further develop an incubation process for the coops, as well as curricular materials.
Community Chef Coop
The Community Chefs are already in the early stages of a development process. The Developer will continue this process and support the chefs to launch the coop in 2020.
In the field
- Together with the Food Justice Program Manager, create, plan, and deliver workshops with community members to deepen analysis of food and economic justice issues.
- Conduct outreach and respond to opportunities to reach community members and leaders to awaken and deepen public consciousness about economic democracy and activate participation in our work.
- Seek out new opportunities, partnerships, and initiatives through networking and research and by attending conferences, trainings, events, and meetings with stakeholders, strategic local and city-wide partners, government agencies and other support organizations.
- Work with other leaders in the CBFDP team to integrate our work, build the network, and ensure success of the project whole.
- Together with Food Justice Program Manager, participate in process design for all coops.
- Conduct Feasibility and/or Marketing Studies with new coops.
- Canvas local business landscape to identify opportunities for coop conversion.
- Along with TA providers, coordinate process of legal incorporation and governance of coops.
- Develop, review and assist in implementing marketing strategy with coop members.
- Support the development/strengthening of the back office for the business.
- Assist in maintaining customer contact database/member information.
- Work with members to develop sales promotions and communications tools.
- Outreach to media.
- Organize and attend regular coop meetings in the evenings and weekends.
- Coordinate with the CBFDP evaluation team, implement tools, and maintain system for data management.
While this work is led by the Food Justice Program Director, the worker-coop developer will contribute in the following ways:
- Provide narrative and quantitative content for grant proposals and marketing materials.
- Once funding is obtained for the program
- Track and report on relevant programming.
- Keep expenditures in line withprogram budget.
- Once funding is obtained for the program
- Business/entrepreneurship development
- Coaching and mentoring
- Sales and marketing support
- Leadership development, Consensus decision-making
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to manage multiple projects at once
- Mediation, conflict management, and troubleshooting
- Experience starting a business
- Able to work both independently and as part of a team
- Ability to speak and write fluently in Spanish preferred
- Knowledge of, and experience with, worker cooperatives or socially responsible businesses
Bachelor’s degree from accredited college or universitypreferred.Candidates with a Master’s in Business, Economics, Worker Organizing, or related fields are strongly encouraged to apply.
Part-time 20 hours/week
December 4, 2019. Expected start date: January 6, 2020.
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