Tune in to WOL 1450 AM, 95.9 FM and WOL Live Stream May 26, 2022, 10:30 am EDT, for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Ajoke Williams, Program Manager of Guilded, a freelancer co-op. Vernon and Ajoke will discuss how Guilded brings the power of pooled benefits, collective purchasing, and collective advocacy to freelance and gig economy workers.
Ajoke Williams is the Program Manager for Guilded: A Freelancer co-op, and an initiative of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. She joins the team with skills in tech development, fundraising, communications, project management, and consulting for artist and activist organizations. Originally from New Orleans, she has lived in several cities throughout the US and now resides in Silver Spring, MD. Although relatively new to the cooperative scene, she has been working on means to bring equitable financing and access to capital to cooperative businesses throughout the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, or DMV.
Previously, Ajoke worked with the DC Stakeholders Coop Association where she helped design and establish an online asset base to enhance cooperation within their network. She also established a digital online platform for lending pools between members of the Movement for Black Lives DC coalition and provided logistical and development support for a number of BLM campaigns during her time there. Ajoke is passionate about bridging the promise of cooperative business with the urgent social needs of black and brown people. As an aspiring credit union founder, she currently serves on the board of Appeal’s Credit Union, and is a founder of Social Conscience PBC, a lending & tech consulting firm.
Guilded is a freelancer cooperative that focuses on the agency, decision making and economic power of the freelancer. Our vision is deeply informed by the work of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC). Since 2004, the USFWC has leveraged the collective bargaining, scale, and organizing power of a national membership structure to pool benefits and build political and social influence for its members. Now, through Guilded, the USFWC is using its expertise to bring the power of pooled benefits, collective purchasing, and collective advocacy to freelance and gig economy workers. Guilded provides contract management, invoicing, guaranteed payments, tax preparation and access to supplementary health care – so that its members can focus on their businesses, instead of the process for doing business.