NASCO Properties (NP) finalized the purchase of four co-op properties in Illinois last week, bringing our collective ownership portfolio to 20 total buildings. NP welcomes these properties into its unique structure as a “co-op of co-ops,” which leverages equity from the buildings it owns to provide purchasing collateral to new or existing groups.
NASCO Properties, which has operated as a property holding and management non-profit since 1988, is organized under a shared ownership model and is governed by a board representing each co-op in its membership. Rather than serving as a typical property management corporation, NASCO Properties promotes member ownership and management within its co-ops and supports local systems through consistent training and recommendations, direct consultation, and by sharing technical resources from similar co-ops.
Please join us in welcoming Dahlia Bekong, Trisha Qualy, Nicole Wires, Shelby Bohannon, Sophia Penney, Taliesin Ramos, and Jason Tompkins to the NASCO Board of Directors.
(Pictured in order from left to right, top to bottom Nicole Wires, Shelby Bohannon, Trisha Quay, and Taliesin Ramos)
Nicole (she/her) was born and raised on Hinono'eino and Nuntzi land in the Rocky Mountains. She lived in various housing coops in college on Ohlone land, and has continued to live cooperatively in one form or another ever since. Nicole loves mountains, dancing, poetry, gardening, and revolutionary politics. Nicole serves as the director of the Nonprofit Democracy Network, a community of practice for worker self-directed non-profits, cooperatives, and collaborative projects in the solidarity economy.
Please join us in welcoming our newest Cooperative Leadership Cohort! Our cohort will be spending the upcoming year developing cooperative leadership skills, designing and implementing leadership initiatives in their home communities, and supporting each other through shared challenges. Learn more about our leaders below (pictured in order):
I am Aaron Woods, use (he/they) pronouns. I began my co-op journey in Madison, Wisconsin and Minneapolis, where I came to realize the importance of community care. In 2021, I joined the ICC Austin housing cooperative, Helios, where I served as the board chair during an important time for the organization. I currently reside in Pink Palace, a co-op that provides a home and community for black and brown creatives. I am also pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, using technology to explore the brain. I play the ukulele, guitar, and other instruments. Science and Art to me are just avenues to make life meaningful through love and awareness. I believe that cooperatives are an effective way to push against the hyper-individualistic nature of our society. I am excited to be part of the cooperative movement and see where it leads me.
NASCO is looking for a facilitator or a group of facilitators for a strategic planning retreat upcoming in-person in July 2023. We are looking for experience in the following areas:
- facilitating strategic planning processes with an anti-oppressive lens
- facilitating large groups in person (we expect 30-40)
- helping a group navigate conflict/facilitating contentious conversations
- facilitation in movement spaces and/or membership organizations
- understanding the role of governance in organizations (our organizations are cooperatives, so an understanding of cooperative structure would help)
We are asking our facilitator(s) to design a full strategic planning process and compile the input gathered into a strategic plan document for institutional use and reference. Facilitator(s) must be able to attend our 2 full-day in-person event and a remote 3-hour orientation session prior to the retreat to introduce yourself and answer facilitation questions. Our anticipated facilitation budget is around $3,000, plus travel and food costs. Please send proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day Sunday, April 2nd, 2023, and answer the following questions:
Four new board directors were recently elected in NASCO's general election. Please join us in welcoming Vincent Mao, and welcoming back Bob Cook, Lee Pepper, and Maggie O'Connor.
(Pictured from left to right)
Lee Pepper (he/they) is delighted to be elected for a second term on NASCO’s Board. Lee works as Communications Co-ordinator at the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. He is a guest on unceded Algonquin land in so-called Ottawa, Canada, and is passionate about non-market housing and other issues of justice and equity in their community and beyond. They look forward to continuing to foster co-operation among co-operatives internationally.
Vincent is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and has been involved in the cooperative world for the past three years. Recognizing how cooperative living affords a sense of belonging and ownership to individuals from all walks of life, Vincent hopes to continue strengthening and expanding upon those values through NASCO. Vincent is currently the director of the Halstead Cooperative in Austin, Texas as well as the chairman of the College Houses, Inc. board of directors.
On Friday, November 12, 2021 at NASCO Institute online, three cooperators were honored as inductees in the NASCO Cooperative Hall of Fame. The NASCO Hall of Fame, created in 1989, provides broader recognition to individuals who have made a truly significant impact within the cooperative movement. NASCO is proud to honor the 2021 inductees (pictured from left to right):
Ron Nelson currently serves as the Director of Housing Services at the Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Michigan, a non-profit cooperative student housing organization that serves 550 members in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also an alumnus of ICC Ann Arbor, having lived in Luther Buchele and Coretta Scott King Houses from 2002-2008. Ron has committed most of his adult life to cooperative community building, policy development, team building, technological developments, food access and affordability (including serving on the Board of Student Buyers Association, a non-profit purchasing cooperative, as a member, President and Vice-President), and more - all for the benefit of student cooperative members to live, learn, and grow in housing cooperatives.
David "Rosebud" Sparer
NASCO is accepting applications for the position of Director of Operations. The application deadline has been extended to Friday, November 12, please forward this posting to your networks.
Our current Director of Operations, Katherine Jennings, will be staying with NASCO in a newly created position as our Director of Leadership Development. In this new role, Katherine will support and cultivate cooperative leadership within the NASCO Staff, Boards, and membership. You can learn more about both positions below.
Director of Operations (Now Accepting Applications - Learn more here)
The Director of Operations coordinates with the NASCO staff team to maintain the stability and continuity of NASCO operations. The Director of Operations supports and systematizes efforts across finance, administrative, and human resources in order to ensure efficient use of resources. The Director of Operations oversees routine administrative and HR functions and is responsible for designing and implementing any changes to administrative processes.
Group-equity housing cooperatives across the US and Canada have been working together to build solidarity, create financial support networks, and provide alternative housing solutions for most of the past century. Throughout the years, housing co-ops of this model -- where all property equity stays in the co-op to support long-term community sustainability -- have proven their ability to respond to economic crises. Although the current housing crisis and the compounded effects of COVID-19 offer a new set of challenges, group-equity housing co-ops have risen to meet that set of challenges through several direct responses.
The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) is the bi-national federation that links group-equity housing co-ops across the US and Canada. As the entity that both links these co-ops and provides direct support through property leasing, development support, education, and crisis response, NASCO has witnessed the unique way that group-equity co-ops have held to their values of mutual aid and solidarity throughout the pandemic.
NASCO surveyed its network of co-ops in March 2020 and again in July 2021. The most recent survey gathered 31 responses from housing co-ops across the US and Canada, ranging from 3 members to 1,100 members.
Today co-ops around the world celebrate International #Coopsday. This year’s theme is #RebuildBetterTogether and is a welcome invitation to celebrate how our co-ops are meeting the pandemic crisis with solidarity and resilience and offering a people-centered recovery.
Last week at our Staff & Member Leadership Convening, NASCO co-op leaders shared some of the radical tools and tactics that they’re using to support their members:
We are searching for a creative co-oper to design the artwork for NASCO Institute this fall!
The theme for NASCO Institute this year is Mutual Aid, and the artist will be asked to create artwork that reflects the theme. 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 on mutual aid initiatives to support co-op members and the communities they are embedded within during this past year.
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.
How to Apply
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.