2021 Annual Co-op Owner Meeting
Join us on Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 26 for the Annual Co-op Owner Meeting, 6:30–8 p.m. As we begin a year of celebrating our 50th anniversary as a co-op, we’ll reflect on who we are as part of a broader cooperative movement working for justice and the abolition of oppressive systems.
Our 2020 annual meeting featured a dynamic panel of artists and activists, and as a co-op, we expressed our shared intention to articulate a vision of a community that is free from white supremacy. Through conversation, song, and movement, the panel centered on the co-op’s role in the movement for racial justice and liberation in our communities—a movement that holds parallel values of abolition with cooperative history and principles.
This year’s virtual meeting will feature Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard (she/her), Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, City University of New York, and author of “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.” Jessica will join Seward Co-op owners, board members, and local co-op innovators in a conversation led by Board of Directors president, LaDonna Sanders Redmond (she/they/iya) about how co-ops can be a manifestation of abolition.
Dr. Gordon Nembhard’s book highlights a little-known and often forgotten history that cooperation and cooperative economics are principles and survival tactics of African American communities. She begins by expanding the definition of cooperatives to include the development of mutual aid societies. Mutual aid societies share contemporary co-op principles such as voluntary ownership, organization and leadership by owners, and participatory democracy. The book also uncovers numerous examples of cooperative economics throughout the history of social justice movements in the United States. Many pioneers in the Civil Rights Movement have their feet rooted in cooperative economics. From Frederick Douglass to the Black Panther Party, the human rights movement is filled with examples of economic self-help.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are once again holding the annual meeting virtually. Our board of directors has partnered with co-op staff to design an engaging, worthwhile experience. Live interpretation in coordination with National Cooperative Business Association will ensure the meeting is inclusive to all Seward Co-op owners. We look forward to the opportunity to connect virtually; please RSVP to receive meeting information.
Minneapolis-based vocal artist Van Nixon (he/him) will perform. We will also share the results of the board of directors’ election and all 2022 SEED, Seward Community Fund, and People Powered Perks grant recipients.