This year’s Cooperative Education and Training Institute will be held November 7-9, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We’ll be sending out a request for workshop proposals in the coming weeks. For now, get excited by reading the conference theme statement below and watch our website for updates.
Co-ops for life: Owning our Future
How do you imagine yourself ten years from now? You could be living in a cooperative housing community, shopping at a cooperative grocery, banking with a credit union, volunteering as a board member of your local cooperative school, and working as co-owner of a cooperative business. You could be an integral part of a multifaceted, international push to return ownership to the hands of the people. The skills you’re building now can be the building blocks for a lifetime of cooperation.
What will your current cooperative look like in ten years? It could be growing and thriving, serving more members every year. Other co-ops could look to your co-op for best practices in education, governance, financial stewardship, employee management, and leadership development. What you do today to ensure the stability, democracy, and overall health of your co-op’s future will determine your co-op’s place in our movement’s history.
The Sixth Cooperative Principle states: "Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national, and international structures."
The USA Cooperative Youth Council, with support from the Ralph K. Morris Foundation Cooperative Leadership Fund, is providing scholarships for cooperative youth to attend the 2014 Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE) Institute in Texas next month. Please see their announcement below and apply promptly.
Greetings USACYC Community & Supporters,
We are pleased to announce we are fully sponsoring a Cohort of 20 cooperative youth (under 30 years) to attend the Association of Cooperative Educators' Annual Institute in Austin, Texas this July! Please let others in your networks know. :)
If selected to the cohort, folks will get the opportunity to connect with the rest of the group before, during, & after the Institute to learn from each other, as well as do some planning & brainstorming around youth involvement, cooperative education, & the role of coops in building the new economy. We encourage people with all levels of cooperative knowledge, from all sectors, & across all the regions of the country to apply. People of Color, Women, Trans* folks, & Working Class peoples are encouraged to apply. Applications will remain open until the Cohort is filled, though we recommend you apply during the month of May.
CoFED, the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, is hiring 4 new staff. Please see the announcement below:
Like many college students with the approach of summer, CoFED is also preparing to graduate! Through Strategic Planning, we are making the important transition to an organization that provides longer term job security to its workers, and more consistent support to the student teams that make up the CoFED network. At CoFED, we put a lot into this work, and want to be able to grow into an organization that can harvest the fruits of our labor more sustainably - from annuals to perennials.
If you are interested in applying for the new open positions, please see these exciting job descriptions posted on our website and apply by June 15th.
Field Organizer Positions: Will work directly with student teams to enact their dreams. Can work remotely, but will have frequent travel.
NASCO Properties is excited to announce that we are looking to expand! NASCO Properties acts as a "coop of coops" across the United States, with each local coop making their own decisions on how to operate their cooperative. NASCO Properties also offers financial support, trainings, resources, and collaboration between NASCO Properties cooperatives. If you have a great idea for a new cooperative and need help to make your project happen, please check out our Request for Proposals and consider sending us your proposal!
We have completed tallying the results for the 2014 NASCO Board Elections. The following candidates have been elected to the NASCO Board:
Nick Harvey (re-elected)
Thank you to all the candidates and all the voting members for participating!
This month, NASCO staff finalized 10 placements through the Cooperative Internship Network; supported local Davis, CA organizers in preparation for WestCo; closed NASCO board elections (results will be posted by Friday, May 02, 2014); refined the theme for Institute 2014; developed programming for Staff and Managers Conference 2014; and prepared for the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year (May 01, 2014). The NASCO board has been busy preparing for its upcoming meeting in Chicago, June 20-22.
Within the past month, my worker cooperative, The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), launched a series of online courses on cooperative subjects, including “Intro to Co-ops,” “Worker Co-ops 101,” and “Creating a Cooperative Food Economy.” Already, we've led courses with people from all different backgrounds, experiences, and geographic locations: a labor lawyer in Washington DC, a student in Chicago, a retired surgeon in Virginia, a worker co-op start-up in Madison, a professor in California, a community organizer in North Carolina, and so many more. It has been inspiring to see these people from such rich backgrounds, and who are on opposite sides of the country, come together to learn about cooperatives.
NASCO member cooperatives are looking for innovative ways to fund their new and existing projects - many are turning to grant funding as a potentially viable option. In support of this shifting interest, NASCO staff invited Lincoln Miller (Boulder Housing Coalition) and Matt Lechel (Kalamazoo Collective Housing) to present at Institute 2013 on “Securing Grant Funding for Your Co-op.” Since the workshop was a major success, we intend on offering a similar course at next year’s Institute and will be continuing to share relevant information on grant funding opportunities with our members.
In this article, we’ve included a list of foundations and organizations that support cooperatives, affordable housing, social justice education, and other youth/student projects. This list is by no means exhaustive, however we hope that you’ll find it to be a useful springboard as you investigate whether there are grants that fit your needs.