This week on Everything Co-op, Erin Dale McClellan and Jamila Medley discuss building independent community power

From left: Collective Courage Moderator Jamila Medley and Executive Director Erin Dale McClellan lead the Partnership Action Fund. 

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM, 95.9 FM, and WOL Livestream on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 10:30 am EDT for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon is hosting Erin Dale McClellan and Jamila Medley, who respectively hold the positions of¬†Executive Director and Collective Courage Moderator at the Partnership Action Fund. During this discussion, they will delve into the organization’s role in supporting independent power-building organizations within the cooperative movement and share insights from their cooperative journey.

Erin Dale Mcclellan is the executive director of The Partnership and Partnership Action Fund, a c3/c4 funder collaborative that has defined the practice of grantmaking to advance community and independent political power in 11 states. She is the former Executive Director of Blueprint NC‚ÄĒa collaborative of 58 progressive organizations working for a fairer, more just North Carolina. She is a founding member and the President of the Fertile Ground Food Cooperative in Southeast Raleigh and a community-driven effort to start a community-owned cooperative grocery store and gathering space. She has been awarded the SiStars Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, Local Hero Citizen of the Year in 2015 from Indy Week magazine, the Community Leader of the Year award from the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute and most recently the Cooperative Champion Award from Up and Coming and the Indiana Cooperative Development Center.

Jamila Medley leverages experience working within the economic and racial justice movements to support organizations committed to transformational change. With a background in organizational development, she brings facilitation expertise and thought partnership to highly participatory processes related to governance, strategic planning, and leadership development. Inspired by trust-based philanthropic principles, Jamila stewards The Partnership Fund’s Collective Courage Fund, is board chair of the Independence Public Media Foundation, and a co-lead within Securing Roots. Her solidarity economy-building efforts include being a collaborator in projects like Solidarity Resource, the Solidarity Economy Principles Project, and Columinate’s Co-op Cafe and she serves on the board of directors of the Food Co-op Initiative. From 2012-2021, Jamila served in governance roles and then as executive director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA).

 The Partnership Fund exists to support powerful organizations rooted in, and accountable to, multi-racial and multi-class bases within states. These organizations work towards independent political power and are building critical movement ecosystems for change.  


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