This month the Community and Worker Ownership Project presented at the National Cooperative Business Association annual Impact Conference. https://ncbaclusa.coop/
We are dedicated to promoting, through education and engagement a deepening awareness of cooperative models that raise workers’ collective power, knowledge and voice. We were delighted to be part of this conference to deepen the framework of diversity, inclusion and equity in worker education.
The NCBA is over 100 years old and has been advocating for cooperative entities and related legislation all these years. This year’s conference had the theme of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. CWOP facilitated a workshop on the diverse ways education is used to build and strengthen cooperatives. We featured several New Yorkers from the coop movement here; Omar Friella with Green Worker Co-ops and Félix E. Gardón Rivera, from the NYC Network of Worker Coops. Other speakers came come from universities, unions and the cooperative ecosystem, all sharing how they work for Cooperative Principle #5; education, training and information. Erin Hancock from St. Mary’s University; Stacy Sutton from University of Illinois, Chicago; Neil Gladstein from International Association of Machinists; Rebecca Bauen from Democracy at Work Institute and its School of Democratic Management.
Our own, Rebecca Lurie, framed the discussion to elucidate the many ways people learn, from on-the-job-training to professional development to university settings. Most important to realize as the take-away is this: There is no wrong venue to teach cooperation, but many. Learning to strengthen cooperative businesses can happen in so many ways. We need to approach with awareness of best practices of adult education with principles of engagement and inclusion. You can see the full 75 minute workshop here: NCBA workshop on Principle #5 And you can find the link to presenters’ resources here It is worth noting that this spring semester at SLU we will run a course intended to further the competencies explored in the workshop in a Special Topics course, “Cooperative Management for Changing World”. If you have interest please reach out the your student advisor or Rebecca Lurie for more information.
Also at the NCBA conference:
CUNY Law’s own, Carmen Heurtas-Noble was inducted into the Coop Hall of Fame for 2020. You can see the video here! This was a great honor as the movement expands to recognize and better serve people of color and Carmen has been a champion for POC in the coop movement for nearly 20 years. This follows another CUNY professor, Jessica Gordon Nemhard, who was inducted in 2016 in recognition of her important book, “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice”.
The School of Labor and Urban Studies was pleased to join the voices for worker education and power at this Cooperative Impact Conference.