Cooperativism and mutual aid go hand in hand as practices rooted in social solidarity and collective care. Mutual aid has blossomed over the past year to address many of the challenges brought on by the pandemic and has provided a pathway for communities to become more resilient in times of crisis. Many co-op organizations and co-op members, acting under shared cooperative principles and utilizing the skill sets they’ve developed through cooperative work, have taken proactive steps to support co-op members and the communities they are embedded within during the pandemic.
Through this year’s theme, we will spotlight examples of mutual aid networks, inter-cooperative mutual aid organizing, skillshare, and explore how you and your co-op can build and support mutual aid networks near you.
Who are we?
Since 1968, North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) has been working with housing co-ops, students, worker-owners, activists, and community members who are interested in applying cooperative principles to meet their needs and fulfill their missions. We are the network that facilitates mutual aid and support amongst co-ops.
Call for Artists
We are searching for a creative co-oper to design the artwork for NASCO Institute this fall! The chosen artist's work will be featured on our website, posters, stickers, and other promotional materials. The artists will be provided a $300 stipend and will be expected to work through concepts and designs with the NASCO team and deliver on a specific timeline.
To apply, email email@example.com with the following:
- Your relationship to NASCO and/or the cooperative movement
- Info about yourself
- Examples of your previous work (links to your portfolio, website, etc.)
The deadline to apply is June 30, 2021.
This year Institute will be held virtually. Due to the unsafe travel conditions and limitations on in-person meetings that we anticipate this fall. As an online space, we will be offering workshops and informal networking spaces for co-ops to connect as you would in the halls or over meals at Institute regularly. NASCO Institute this year also has lower registration and we want to encourage co-ops everywhere to consider sending a representative. Travel is no longer a barrier and together we will learn a lot! We look forward to meeting you online! Registration opens September 1st.
“We found the conference to be very beneficial for our small community-based co-op, especially from a financial perspective. We learned so much about strategies for being a smaller worker co-op, with a focus on membership and trust-building.”
“I can't put into words how valuable the educational experience is at NASCO Institute. You get to learn about things that you know you want to know for your co-op and then there are other, newer ideas presented to you. And the networking is priceless.”
“NASCO Institute gave me skills and concrete actions plans for anti-oppression work in my own community, as well as ideas/skills/contacts for creating new worker-owned co-ops and housing co-ops."
Co-op Video Compilation
NASCO is putting together a video compilation of co-ops across the US and Canada and we'd love to feature your co-op! The video compilation will be shared as a virtual screening at NASCO Institute this November and will be posted to our YouTube channel and shared with our wider networks. The goal is to show the diversity amongst our network of cooperatives in all their forms. Can you recruit a member to take a >5 min video of your co-op(s), featuring:
- What is the best thing about your co-op?
- What makes cooperative living better than apartments/solo living?
We are collecting videos up to October 15, 2021; the sooner the better! Send your video submissions to bronwyn@NASCO.coop