Dean Spade has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He’s the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, the director of the documentary “Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!,” and the creator of the mutual aid toolkit at BigDoorBrigade.com. His latest book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next), was published by Verso Press in October 2020.
Co-op Development Track
With the cost of living constantly on the rise alongside the added economic stressors created by COVID-19, the demand for affordable housing solutions is greater than ever. NASCO has pulled together a team of experts to take future co-op founders through the process of starting a new housing co-op, from clarifying the initial concept to drafting your business plan. Workshops in this weekend-long series provide comprehensive training on the development process.
Caucuses are spaces for participants from similar identities to co-create, share experiences, strategize, and build power.
Hall of Fame
This year we will celebrate the Hall of fame inductees with a formal zoom call. We invite attendees to dress up in their best looks to welcome new members to the movement and, the newest additions to the Hall of Fame, recognize individuals who have shown outstanding commitment to the cooperative movement through their hard work and tireless enthusiasm for cooperation.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is where NASCO members can voice their opinions and engage in NASCO’s governance. It is also the forum for active members to nominate and elect an Active Member Representative, who serves a one-year term on the NASCO board of directors. AGM delegates will receive a reduction in their registration fees (1 per co-op). This year’s AGM will be free and open to attend for any member of an Active Member Co-op.
We ask that conference attendees use the following agreements as ground rules throughout the Institute. These are offered as tools for participants to hold themselves and each other accountable as we engage in a respectful and challenging educational process.
One Diva, One Mic
Please, in both large and small groups, one person speaks at a time. It can also be useful to ask people to leave space between speakers, for those who need more time to process words or are less comfortable fighting for airtime in a conversation.
No One Knows Everything; Together We Know A Lot
This means we all get to practice being humble because we have something to learn from everyone in the room. It also means we all have a responsibility to share what we know, as well as our questions, so that others may learn from us.
Move Up, Move Up
If you’re someone who tends to not speak a lot, please move up into a role of speaking more. If you tend to speak a lot, please move up into a role of listening more. Listening is often seen as a passive skillset and is often less valued - when you choose to prioritize your listening skills, you help the whole group. This is a twist on the on the more commonly heard “step up, step back.” The “up/up” confirms that in both experiences, growth is happening. (You don’t go “back” by learning to be a better listener.) Saying “move” instead of “step” recognizes that not everyone can step.
Recognize Intent But Prioritize Addressing Impact
We recognize people’s best intentions when unintentionally causing harm. The impact of someone's actions may not have been intended but nonetheless should be addressed.
What’s Said Here Stays Here; What’s Learned Here Leaves Here
Respect confidentiality. Don’t share people’s personal stories outside of a workshop, but do share the lessons that you learn. Also, don’t use what you’ve heard to shape your full conception of a person or an organization.
We Can’t All Be Articulate All of the Time
As much as we’d like, we just can’t. Often, people feel hesitant to participate in a workshop or meeting for fear of “messing up” or stumbling over their words. We want everyone to feel comfortable participating, even if you can’t be as articulate as you’d like, and create a space of learning and dialogue. This helps us move past the barriers of language, class, and institutional education access.
We make better decisions when we approach our problems and challenges with questions (“What if we…?”) and curiosity. Allow space for play, curiosity, and creative thinking.
Expect and Accept a Lack of Closure
The goal of this conference is to be learning new concepts, developing questions, making connections, and beginning ideas. With such a short amount of time and such diverse content, it is an unrealistic goal to expect closure on every topic. Move beyond a ‘fear of missing out’ and embrace the process.
The framing and language for these community agreements were created in partnership with AORTA: Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance. Most of these agreements were not created directly by AORTA and are borrowed from various people’s movements for justice. Get in touch: www.aorta.coop.