Event Recording – Racial Equity in Co-ops: Where do we go from here?

BCCA and ACCA were honored to host co-operators across the country at last Thursday’s panel, entitled “Racial Equity in Co-ops: Where do we go from here?” – the first event in our online Co-op Innovation Series of 2021. Special thanks to Michelle Cooper-Iversen, Chief Operating Officer at CHFBC and BCCA Board member, for facilitating an engaging and constructive discussion. Much gratitude also goes out to our four insightful panelists – Tara Williams (Terminal City Glass Co-op), Ayesha Howitt (Vancity Credit Union), Patrick Nangle (Modo Co-operative), and Tom Hodgson (Many Nations Financial Services Co-operative) – who shared their co-operative’s journey around building racial equity in co-operatives at the membership, board, employee, and leadership levels. We were joined by a diverse and widespread audience of co-operative leaders and learners, all of whom contributed thoughtful questions, comments, resources, and reflections to the conversation. Our collective takeaway for building greater racial equity in co-operatives? Just start!

If you missed the session and are keen to take the first steps in your co-operative’s journey, you may view the session recording, reflection questions, and list of resources and recommendations shared during the session below.

Reflection Questions

  1. What does racial equity mean to you / your co-operative and what does it look like?
  2. How would you evaluate your co-op’s level of diversity:
    1. across your membership?
    2. among your employees and staff?
    3. among your leadership team?
    4. at the board level?
    5. among customers and community?
  3. Have you undertaken any direct action to further understand, evaluate, or increase diversity at your co-op? Why or why not?
  4. What kind of challenges did you / do you face in your journey towards greater racial equity, diversity, and inclusivity at your co-operatives? What, if anything, is holding you back?
  5. What have you learned so far in this process?
  6. What kind of supports would be helpful? How can associations like BCCA and ACCA play a role in supporting this work?


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