2020 Annual Owner Meeting
Join us on Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 27 for the Annual Co-op Owner Meeting, 6–8 p.m. At this year’s meeting, we will build on our equity foundation and begin to discuss what liberation looks like in community and how Seward Co-op and its owners can play a role.
As thousands in our community have marched in protest against police brutality, there is a heightened sense of urgency around the need for racial justice. We are aware of systemic changes that are needed immediately in our community. At the same time, we understand that the type of individual and community healing work needed to truly build an equitable system takes years, perhaps even lifetimes.
Seward Co-op’s diversity, equity and inclusion journey began seven years ago when we announced our intention to build the Friendship store in the Bryant neighborhood, a historically Black community. One way our co-op has continued to demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion is by inviting community members into conversations around equity and the food system at our annual meetings. These conversations are just one way of understanding how our community-owned cooperative can become antiracist.
Last year’s Annual Owner Meeting was the third installment in an intentional exploration of equity in the food system. Pakou Hang and Yia Vang shared challenges and successes of Hmong American farmers and chefs, as they organize to access land and markets in our local food system. In 2018, Sean Sherman and The Sioux Chef offered teachings on Indigenous food sovereignty and the impact of white supremacy on Indigenous people. At the 2017 Annual Meeting, Seward Co-op hosted Tunde Wey, a Nigerian chef who led owners and community members through a discussion about Blackness, immigration and labor in America. We are grateful for these learnings from Tunde Wey, Sean Sherman, Pakou Hang and Yia Vang. It’s critical to build a shared understanding of United States’ history that weaves together different perspectives, while exploring equity in the food system.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 is the first time in Seward Co-op’s 48 years that we won’t host an in-person Annual Owner Meeting. Our board of directors has partnered with co-op staff and Pollen to design an engaging, worthwhile experience. We look forward to the opportunity to connect virtually; please RSVP to receive meeting information.
The 2020 annual meeting will feature Resmaa Menakem, the New York Times bestselling author and leading voice in today’s national conversation on racialized trauma. Resmaa will join local activists Mankwe Ndosi, and Sophia Benrud with panel facilitation by LaDonna Sanders Redmond in a discussion around the co-op’s role in the movement for abolition, racial justice and liberation in our communities. Our lens will be focused on the centuries-old cooperative and abolition movements.
Minneapolis-based vocal artist Van Nixon will perform. We will also share the results of the board of directors’ election and announce SEED recipients for 2021, including the Community Choice SEED results.
Interpreting and Accessibility
Interpreting services will be available during the Annual Owner Meeting for American Sign Language, Spanish, Oromo, Amharic, Hmong, and Somali. Closed captioning will be made available on Zoom during the meeting. Request any accommodations including interpreting services using the request form available while you RSVP.
Annual Meeting Whistling Well Farm Apple Recipes
While we will not be able to enjoy a meal together in person this year, our community engagement specialists Addie and Maiv Mos have two tasty two recipes using Whistling Well Farm apples to enjoy together at our annual meeting. Watch the recipe video here.
To help you plan your shopping trip to make these meals, we made a printable shopping list for you.
About the Panelists
Resmaa Menakem is the New York Times bestselling author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, and a leading voice in today’s national conversation on racialized trauma. As a licensed therapist and trauma specialist, Resmaa created Cultural Somatics, which utilizes the body and resilience as mechanisms for growth. Resmaa dedicates his expertise to coach people through civil unrest, organizational change, and community building. He helps communities examine and begin to heal the trauma of racialization, and coaches them on how to do the embodied work to lead and build community within themselves and within movements.
Mankwe Ndosi is a music-maker, performer, educator and culture weaver focused on sound, story, and expanding the vocabulary of singing. She seeks to infuse creative practice back into the worlds of healing, sustainable economic development, education, and new village community building.
Sophia Benrud is a Black multiracial queer community organizer, postpartum doula, and chef. Sophia is the environmental justice organizer and cofounder of Black Visions Collective, a Black-led, Queer- and Trans-centering non-profit organization committed to Black liberation. Sophia is a co-founder of Divine Natural Ancestry, a project that supports community through tools, supplies and knowledge for growing food in BIPOC communities. Sophia is committed to transforming the current movement by centering communities directly impacted by climate and environmental, food, and healing justice, while building stronger movements to break down systemic violence.
Van Nixon is a talented vocalist and musician with experience performing solo and in multiple bands, specializing in Reggae genre. Van Nixon’s performance style is one that welcomes the listening audience to feel a special part of his musical experience. His friendly and playful spirit provide for a fun and entertaining event every time.