I am currently a Produce Re-Buyer at the Franklin store, and my roots in the cooperative economy are deep. I believe that we must disrupt white supremacy, settler colonialism, and transphobia, and position ourselves to support those most impacted by systems of oppression in our communities.
I see the importance that duality plays at Seward. We need to be financially sustainable in order to pay vendors and employees and to continue serving our communities. With my extensive leadership experience in retail settings and strategic planning for cooperatives, I am deeply aware of the relationship between costs, profits, and long-term sustainability as an organization.
At the same time, I believe we need to be relevant to the people in our neighborhoods—relevant to our Native members, our Black members, our members of color, our working class members, our housing-insecure members, our employees and producers—and continue leading the way in what a grocery cooperative can be. We need to seriously think about what it means to fight for abolition, to decolonize our neighborhoods, and to create the world we want to see.
I envision a co-op where members are a meaningful part of decision-making at Seward—through more active involvement in the board, creation of spaces for discussion between members, and by addressing systems of oppression that make it harder for many of us to participate. I’ve found that communities themselves have the best insight into how to meet their own needs and how to thrive, and I will seek out the creativity and experience that you all have as members.
In my spare time, I host events in the LGBTQ+ community, create intentional space for addressing interpersonal violence and personal healing, and eat a whole lot of local produce. I live by the idea that “Nobody can do everything, but together we can do a lot!”