LaDonna Sanders Redmond

Organizational Development Consultant

I am motivated to run for Seward Co-op’s board because I am convinced we need cooperatives more than ever. In a world that has rapidly devolved into polarization, it is imperative that cooperatives like Seward light a path toward cooperation. Seward is supported by owners and customers who shop at the stores and are prepared to serve the cooperative. I have served on the board for the past three years. My experience has only sharpened my focus on doing my part to ensure that Seward is an excellent cooperative by being a great place to work, a fantastic place to shop, and a strong community partner.

Being a bridge builder is essential to cooperation. The task of bridge building is easy to accomplish when folks agree. However, we live in a time where people agree less and less with each other. As we have seen, these disagreements can become violent. We must hold cooperation and collaboration closer to deliberately find pathways to be together rather than separate even when we disagree. Working collaboratively means maintaining the energy of integrity, transparency, and desire to hold the best intentions for all concerned.

In Seward’s case, when we cooperate, we work towards the Ends – a healthy community with equitable economics, positive environmental impacts, and inclusive socially responsible practices. The Ends challenge us to address the next 50 years of today: climate change, ecological degradation, historical and structural inequity. Anger and hatred are not sustainable. Therefore, we work with compassion and joy.

Seward is doing some of this work now, and more is needed. The job in front of us is to continue expanding our cooperative work in fiscally sound, environmentally sustainable, and socially just ways. Seward Community Cooperative must be stable enough so future cooperators can meet the unforeseen challenges of the next 50 years. They will make it if they cooperate, and they must learn from us who joyfully support and believe in Seward.