Bringing the Cooperative Model to Equitable Scale


If this last year has taught us anything, it is that we are stronger together. Our systems are broken and inequality has seeped into all of them. As a result, our systems are failing working families and communities across our country. People want change. They want to see their governments, institutions and the private sector commit to helping us create an economy that is resilient in the face of an economic depression, natural disaster or a global pandemic. They want an economy where equity, resilience and inclusion are rooted in the workforce. Whether it is in response to the hollowing out of a manufacturing base in England in 1844, or Lewiston, Maine in the 2000s, preserving our agricultural economy during and after the Great Depression, or providing electricity to rural America, the cooperative model has proven time and again to be the economic model that is both deliberative and flexible in responding to community needs and underserved populations. The time is now to take the model to scale. What will it take? This panel will highlight how the focused combination of federal, state and private support can create place-based, multi-sector cooperative ecosystems, building a more equitable economy addressing the needs of underserved communities. This session will feature panelists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, private philanthropy, state government and cooperative developers who are harnessing these resources and coordinating targeted cooperative development projects to meet the community needs of underserved communities.

Moderator: Alex Stone, Executive Director, CooperationWorks!
Panelist: Arthur Sabiti, Cooperative Developer, Cooperative Development Institute
Panelist: Lauress Lawrence, Community and Equity Learning Partner, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
Panelist: Jason Weiner, Principal, Jason Weiner | p.c.

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