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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Be one of 300+ engaged, spirited people at this extraordinary teach-in designed to cultivate economic justice in the Philadelphia area.

You'll meet community organizers, cooperators, activists, artists, farmers, bookkeepers, construction workers and more — all of them building economic control block by block as they start cooperative businesses. Learn, connect, network, and share your ideas at this cross-class, multi-racial, intergenerational gathering.


Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard

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Schedule at a glance

9:30 am

Registration and refreshments

10:00 am

Intention Setting with Philly Black Healers Collective
Honoring 20 Book Clubs → 20 Cooperative Businesses members

11:00 am Panel: Learning from our past to cultivate economic justice for the future
11:45 am Keynote: Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard
12:30 pm Lunch and roundtable conversations
2:00 pm Workshops (7 concurrent)
3:45 pm Closing

Panel: Learning from our past to cultivate economic justice for our future

Members of 20 Book Clubs → 20 Cooperative Businesses reflect on six months of studying co-ops and what it means to build new businesses while resisting oppression.

Jamila Medley, executive director of PACA

Kirtrina Baxter, Soil Generation
Lan Dinh, VietLead
Annette Griffin, A & Associates
Ricardo Nolasco Ceron, Cooperativa PWA

Lunchtime roundtable conversations

20 Book Clubs → 20 Cooperative Businesses members and other allies will host conversations on specific topics over a long lunch.

Workshops on how to pool resources to gain power

Click on the + sign at right to see more information about a particular workshop.

Introduction to cooperatives

Presenters: Michaela Holmes, PACA staff, and Jasmine Hamilton, PACA board

Join in a discussion on the basic principles of cooperative ownership. You will learn what co-ops entail and how they work as well as an overview of different cooperative models, such as worker, consumer, and housing co-ops.

You will hear stories of how cooperatives have been used historically and are currently being used to build an economy that works for people and the planet. Whether you are interested in learning how to meet your basic needs through cooperation, co-ops for economic justice and liberation, or creating your own job for yourself and your neighbors, this workshop will give you the building blocks.

Getting it together: business formation strategies for co-ops

Presenters: Crystal González from CultureWorks and Kate Strathmann from Elysian Fields Philadelphia

Learn the basics of the different business entities (non-profit, co-operative, and not-just-for-profit) and hear strategies for choosing the type of entity that's best for you. We'll discuss how the money works, how the people relate, and what you will need and need to know before taking this essential step for your business. There will be plenty of time for questions and some one-on-one time with facilitators from Elysian Fields and CultureWorks. 

Social media and shoestring marketing

Presenters: Alonzo Goodman from Institute for Hip Hop Entrepreneurship and Rachel Greenberg from Little Giant Creative

Cooperatives as a tool for Black liberation

Presenters: Shani Akilah and Abdul-Aliy Muhammad from Black and Brown Workers Collective

The Black and Brown Workers Collective will be discussing their 2017 platform issues--anti-gentrification, HIV/AIDS funding cuts, organizing against the state, and cooperatives as freedom zones. They will discuss how becoming a cooperative supports our work on the ground and allows for Liberational movement.

How to fund a co-op (when you don't have a lot of money)

Presenters: Mo Manklang from PACA's board and Peter Frank from PACA's staff

Do you need to raise money to start your co-op? This workshop will cover many of the different ways that co-ops raise money to open their businesses. You can raise money from bake sales, crowdfunding campaigns, loans from banks or other financial institutions, investments from co-op members, investments from family and friends, grants from foundations or the government.

Co-ops piece together money from lots of different sources, making it possible for people without a lot of personal wealth to open a business together. We’ll look at specific case studies and do some power mapping so you can discover ways that you can finance your co-op.

Community control of neighborhood land

Rapheal Randall, Youth United for Change
Chris Bolden-Newsome, The Farm at Bartram’s Garden
Nora Lichtash, Women’s Community Revitalization Project
David Freed, Community Equity Solutions
Chris Rogers, Teacher Action Group Philadelphia

This interactive workshop will explore strategies for and stories of fostering and amplifying community control in the face of gentrification and displacement. Topics include cooperative housing, community land trusts, food sovereignty, coalition organizing, collective governance, and self-determination.

Divest/Invest: What change is your money making?

Presenters: kiran nigam and Jenna Peters-Golden from AORTA Collective

What does our money do while it is sitting in banks, credit unions, and investments, and why should we care? What's the difference between a bank and a credit union? This workshop will cover the foundations of the divest/invest movement. Cooperatives have the chance to build an integrated economic model that centers the co-op principle “concern for community,” and be examples for the bigger institutions we are calling on to divest, including the city of Philadelphia. From the #nodapl movement to privatized prisons, we will draw connections between big picture divestment campaigns and how to be engaging as individuals and cooperatives.

Share your co-op story

Staff from the Commonsplace podcast will have a sound booth where everyone is invited to come record audio stories about their experiences and dreams around economic cooperation.

Universal Audenried Charter High School

3301 Tasker Street, Philadelphia

  • Ample free parking is available in lots immediately adjacent to the building.
  • The space is fully wheelchair accessible.


Sliding scale entry $5-65 includes:

  • Childcare
  • Cooperative activities for kids
  • Delicious lunch from South Philly Barbacoa
  • Spanish interpretation


For host committee, solidarity sponsorship, registration questions:

Caitlin Quigley,

For sponsorship:

Peter Frank,

For planning committee and food:

Kristin Schwab,