Snapshot: Rachel Isreeli

Worker Cooperative Developer at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park Cooperative Development Program How did you first get into this work? I came into the world of cooperativism having worked primarily at the intersection of gender, labor and sexuality. Every aspect of our lives here, in the context where most of us reading this live, is controlled by gender. We are controlled by race. There are historical and creative constructions of extractive patterns, binaries, expectations, narratives that very efficiently serve the ruling class. Unlearning is a critical struggle. Through cooperative work, I hope we can unlearn the limiting stories we’ve been told about ourselves in the effort to create cultures both internal and external to the organization that challenge the sexist racist status quo. It is very hard to avoid replicating deeply embedded oppressive systems. It doesn’t always happen, but we continue learning and growing in our effort to try. What does ‘Solidarity Economy’ mean to you? A solidarity economy recognizes everyone’s humanity in the struggle to build community. On an interpersonal level, solidarity requires recognizing everyone’s needs, […]

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Welcoming New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives!

We are pleased to announce that as part of a new partnership with New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives (NYC NoWC), all NYC NoWC cooperatives are now members (at no additional cost) of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City! As an alliance of worker cooperatives, food cooperatives, community land trusts, housing cooperatives/HDFCs, community development credit unions, community gardens, CSAs, and assisting organizations, we are excited to welcome more worker-owners! With over two thousand groups coming from a range of sectors, NYC’s solidarity and cooperative economy is one of the biggest in the United States. CEANYC brings us together to purchase from each other, learn new skills, and speak with one voice for economic development that benefits, instead of exploits, our communities. NYC NoWC members are encouraged to be active in helping us realize our vision for a truly cooperative city, where we work meet our needs by cooperating together, across all different kinds of co-ops and solidarity enterprises. Here are a few ways NYC NoWC members can make the most of a free CEANYC membership: Cooperative Leadership […]

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Snapshot: Joe Rivera and Carlos Martinez

Founding members of Sunset Scholars Tutoring Cooperative How did you first get into this work? I was actually the youngest member in Sunset Scholars. What motivated me the most was my drive to help others and I guess one of the big causes was when  Jia Lin was telling us about the actual education problems within Sunset Park and how some kids are falling behind. While she talked about the Asian community, I already had some input about what the expectation was of Hispanics in this kind of environment. I heard a lot of kids say that they weren’t really motivated to go to college or college wasn’t really an option for them. – Carlos My friend’s grandmother was a social worker at Center for Family Life and knew I was in education, so she suggested I go in. I liked the idea of unity and being my own boss and I am really into this old/new method of collaborative working. I just really liked it. – Joe What does ‘Solidarity Economy’ mean to you? Solidarity means all people working […]

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Take Back the Fight

Content Warning: Sexual Violence Interference Archive’s most recent exhibit, “Take Back the Fight: Resisting Sexual Violence from the Ground Up,” casts a much needed spotlight on the anti-sexual violence organizing that has occurred throughout history and in different parts of the world. So much of the conversation and rhetoric around anti-sexual violence work posits rape and other acts of sexual violence as isolated and interpersonal exchanges or interactions. However, this exhibit emphasizes the ways in which womxn and allies have collectively worked to resist patriarchy in ways that undermine root causes of violence rather than retroactively respond to its specific iterations. This exhibit was done in collaboration with the Lesbian Herstory Archives and presents the work and documentation of groups advocating for transformative justice, radical self-defense education, a Black feminist response to sexual violence, queer and transgender/gender nonconforming justice, a strong critique of White Feminist responses to sexual violence,and holding universities accountable to violence that occurs on campus. The exhibit closes with a discussion of social media’s role in anti-sexual violence organizing, giving visitors the opportunity to write in relevant hashtags, which included #stopneoliberalsexeducation, #SurvivedandPunished, and #niunamenos. […]

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Board of Directors Training

On July 15th, people from different cooperatives in different sectors—Bushwick Food Cooperative, the New York Network of Worker Cooperatives, Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative, the Real Estate Investment Cooperative, and Westchester Food Cooperative (in Pennsylvania)—came out to Brooklyn Commons to learn about how to better serve as a cooperative Board member. Facilitators Jim Johnson and Lauryl Berger Chun—both seasoned cooperators and certified facilitators—went over a range of topics with participants, including but not limited to: fiduciary responsibility, cooperative principles, job descriptions, and fundraising. Participants were given time to break out and workshop issues they are facing in their particular cooperative while troubleshooting with other folks with different perspectives. This training, intended as an introductory survey workshop on being a Board member of a cooperative, served as a great entry point for those new to either cooperatives or Board seats. We are looking forward to developing this assistance further and continuing to utilize popular education methods and peer-to-peer learning in order to facilitate stronger conversation across cooperatives and across sectors. Thank you so much to Brooklyn Commons for offering the space and Bed Stuy Fresh […]

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