Everything Co-op kicks off Women’s History Month with Hall of Fame hero Melbah McAfee Smith


Tune in to WOL 1450 AM, 95.9 FM and WOL Live Stream on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 10:30 am EST for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. Join Everything Co-op as it kicks off its recognition of Women’s History Month, with a focus on this year’s theme of “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” This week Vernon interviews Melbah McAfee Smith, retired Executive Director of the Mississippi Center for Cooperative Development, and a 2009 inductee to the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Vernon and Ms. McAfee Smith will discuss how women have used cooperatives to provide healing and promote health.

Melbah McAfee Smith worked for nearly 40 years as a trusted co-op developer in some of the most impoverished areas of the country. She started her career with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, returning to her home state to lead the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and the Mississippi Cooperative Development Center. Her visionary leadership and hands-on, grassroots approach to building communities have helped bring health care, economic development and social justice to people in need through the cooperative model.

Our host, Vernon Oakes, is a consummate advocate for cooperatives. He is a Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and he’s served on several boards and committees to advance the interests of cooperatives. Recently, he served on the Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force, established by Anita Bonds, At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Vernon is an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community, by promoting the added value of the cooperative business model.

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