A year after George Floyd’s murder, NCBA CLUSA members share their reflections


Artwork in Phelps Park in Minneapolis over the weekend as part of an exhibition to observe, heal and reinforce the city’s commitment to creating a more just world. [photo: Seward Community Co-op]
Last year, in the June 2, 2020 issue of Co-op Weekly, we amplified many of our members’ voices in response to the murder of George Floyd. A year later, we invited our members to consider how the cooperative community has processed this tragedy and reflect on its impact. The messages and statements you submitted are published below. Once again, this is not an exhaustive list, and we encourage you to share your co-op’s reflections.

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Capital Impact Partners

“For those of us at Capital Impact Partners, these incidents serve as a reminder of why racial justice is so central to our mission. As a mission-driven organization focused on building equity and power for our communities, these moments reaffirm our resolve and commitment to stand against racism in all its forms, and work with our neighbors to create a reality in which everyone can thrive. As the quest for justice continues, we continue our journey toward becoming an anti-racist multicultural organization and embodying that way of being in every community that we serve.” – excerpt from “Capital Impact Partners’ Response to Recent Violence Against Black Lives

Cooperative Development Institute

“Let’s be clear: racism, exploitation and environmental degradation are not dictated by the laws of physics. They are chosen by society as a way to conduct our affairs. Each one of us, on our own, can’t do much to stem the tide of destruction. But together, we can do a lot. Cooperatives allow us to meet our needs and live our values.” – excerpt from “Unbearable

Credit Union National Association

“The death of George Floyd ignited a nationwide flame that shined a bright light on the inequities facing members of the Black community. Cooperatives are uniquely positioned to be a catalyst for change and advocates against social disparities. Now more than ever, our communities need leaders who embody the values of equality, equity and solidarity. We can and should do more to listen, learn and take action to help advance a more equitable and inclusive society.” – Jim Nussle, President and CEO, Credit Union National Association

CUNA Mutual Group

“The anniversary of George Floyd’s murder is a time of reflection and a call for healing. We must continue our efforts to create a more just and equitable culture and financial system to ensure a brighter financial future is accessible to all. Today and every day, we focus on the well-being of those around us with continued commitment to our inclusive values and our founding principle of people helping people.” – Robert N. Trunzo, President and CEO, CUNA Mutual Group

“The videoed murder of George Floyd opened the wound of systemic racism for all to see. It put up a mirror to each of us across the country and demanded that we ask ourselves, is this just? Have we fully acknowledged the systemic nature of racism in our country? And if not, what are we willing to do? The wound of systemic racism is open. It is up to each one of us, in our homes, our neighborhoods, and organizations to acknowledge and grieve the continued injustices of racism. Simultaneously, we must work together to see the beauty and value of diversity and create spaces, workplaces, and communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Together, we can end the continued legacy of racism and create a brighter future for all.” – Angela Russell, VP of Diversity and Inclusion, CUNA Mutual Group

Federation of Southern Cooperatives

“The conviction of Derek Chauvin in the George Floyd trial represents the accountability that can transpire amongst those who have a responsibility to protect and serve our communities. But the excitement of this conviction should be coupled with the reality that much of our nation, and especially the South, still face challenges of economic distress presented by systems that are not equitable. There is hope in this conviction as well as other recent measures such as the American Recovery Plan, which includes funding for farmers of color who’ve suffered historic injustices at the hands of federal agencies like USDA—an agency referred to as the people’s department and established to serve farmers and rural communities. We have to continue to focus on the goal of reform and progress in laws and systems that impact people of color and socially disadvantaged citizens of this country, which includes black farmers and landowners. When there is equity in ALL of our systems, there will be true justice. Until we see true justice, there is always more to do! ” – excerpt from “Cornelius Blanding’s Response to the Chauvin Conviction

National Co+op Grocers

Food co-ops have an important role in building a more just, equitable and inclusive society. Over the past year, NCG and our member co-ops have prioritized racial equity in our work together, collaborating to both measure the diversity in the food cooperative system and identify ways that we can improve… We endorsed the Justice for Black Farmers Act that would reform discriminatory practices at USDA and create opportunity for a new generation of Black farmers. We made strategic investments to support racial justice, contributing to Agricultural Justice Project, Campaign Zero, Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund and Black Visions Collective. We also recently launched a supplier diversity program to identify and increase the number of products in food co-ops that bear certifications as companies owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other underrepresented groups.” – excerpts from “NCG’s Statement for the Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death

National Credit Union Foundation

“As we look to change the world, we start with ourselves and within our own walls and communities. Let’s create a new paradigm to fight inequity and injustice by lifting up the voices and spirits of those who need it most. Let’s take a stand, together, and act boldly in ways that remind us of why we exist.” – excerpt from “What Do We Stand For?

Neighboring Food Co-op Association

“We stand firmly with people calling for positive change in our society.  We join with other movements and organizations working to overcome the legacy of racism and inequality in our nation and its institutions.  And we challenge ourselves as co-operators to live up to the values that guide us, including democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.  We recognize that this is no easy task and involves listening, challenging our own privileges and prejudices, and constantly working to address our shortcomings as we work together to transform ourselves, our co-operatives, and our communities.” – excerpt from “In Solidarity with Black Lives

North American Students of Cooperation

“As we reflect on this past year, we are called to center Black leadership, community care, and mutual aid. We are called upon to loudly proclaim that Black Lives Matter, that Black voices matter, and that a cooperative must be both accessible to Black members and support its Black members and community members in this time to call itself a cooperative. Our principles of Open Membership and Concern for Community compel us to do so. We call on cooperative members, staff, leaders, and supporters to join us in that work as we stand in allyship with social and economic justice movements across the globe and continue to shape the cooperative movement together.” – excerpt from “Reflecting on One Year Since George Floyd’s Murder

U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives

“On this anniversary, let us assess where this year has taken us in each community, organization, and place of influence that we touch–not through a lens of critique but through one of collective liberation and accountability. Let us dig deeper than the fears and insecurities that lead us to performance, and find a place where we can show up with honesty, vulnerability, and transparency. Let us dig deeper than our anxieties around doing or being “enough” to find true strategy, sustainability, and integrity. Let us dig deeper than our exhaustion, frustration, or feelings of scarcity to lean on each other in partnership, compassion, and support.” – excerpt from “Collective Liberation, Accountability and Our Work to Support Black Communities

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