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.
- What does racial equity mean to you / your co-operative and what does it look like?
- How would you evaluate your co-op’s level of diversity:
- across your membership?
- among your employees and staff?
- among your leadership team?
- at the board level?
- among customers and community?
- Have you undertaken any direct action to further understand, evaluate, or increase diversity at your co-op? Why or why not?
- 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?
- What have you learned so far in this process?
- What kind of supports would be helpful? How can associations like BCCA and ACCA play a role in supporting this work?
Read, Watch, Listen:
- Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, Jessica Gordon Nembhard (Book)
- The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business, Erin Meyer (Book)
- What If I Say the Wrong Thing?: 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People, Vernā Myers (Book)
- International Center for Co-operative Management Webinars on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Co-ops (Video Recordings)
- White Supremacy Culture, Tema Okun (PDF)
Consultants and Consulting Groups: