At this year’s annual meeting—which took place virtually, via Zoom—we played with one of staff’s new favorite tools and made a cooperative jamboard. Folks from existing and start-up co-ops shared what their enterprises are up to and how they’ve adapted in the pandemic. We also love the visions and ideas from co-op supporters on page three of the jamboard, like this one: “Promoting cooperation on all levels can transform society.” Check it out!
We also heard about what PACA’s been up to this year. Here are a few highlights:
- Staff have shown up to share about co-ops and offer cooperative education with a number of partners—such as Stir to Action, Repaired Nations, Sustainable Business Network, Up and Coming Food Co-op Conference, and much more.
- We’ve held our own events, too—such as the “mutual aid and cooperative economics” series in May, and a couple late-October events on housing justice, organizing, and the practice of democracy in our daily lives.
- Our Policy and Advocacy Committee has been reborn with 11 incredible volunteers, and accordingly, we’ve deepened our work within the Alliance for a Just Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Public Banking Coalition.
- We welcomed four paid BIPOC Co-op Development Fellows, who are engaging in learning and practice around the creation of cooperative enterprises.
- We kicked off the Cohort Intensive, the signature program of our Cooperative Leadership Institute, with 21 cooperators of color representing 11 different cooperative enterprises.
- On the co-op development side, as a lending member of the Seed Commons Community Wealth Cooperative, we’ve continued our work supporting loan recipient and PACA member Bonfire Media Collective, began to work with a potential conversion project, supported Making Worlds Bookstore, and are now working with the Black and Brown Workers Co-op.
- We are building relationships with other institutions providing support for immigrant-led co-op development. Organizations like Finanta, The Food Trust, and Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha are reaching out to PACA in order to build capacity within their organizations to support their constituencies in building community wealth.
- We continue to hold intake meetings for all interested in cooperatives (more this year than ever!) and are working on improving operational efficiencies for folks seeking support from PACA.
- Three PACA board and staff members attended the CooperationWorks! training.
Of course, that’s just a quick taste. We invite you to take a peek at the meeting’s slides here.
Finally (and critically!), the following folks were were elected to serve on PACA’s board:
- Charlyn Griffith-Oro, representing Wholistic.Art (re-elected for a 3-year term)
- Komal Vaidya, representing Mariposa Food Co-op (elected for a 3-year term)
- Divya Desai, representing The Energy Co-op (elected for a 3-year term)
- Christina Gosnell, representing Catalyst Co-op (elected for a 2-year term)
We say “farewell” and extend our deep gratitude to long-time board member Margaret Lenzi, whose term has now expired, for her years of service to and support of PACA.
Thank you, and take care!