PACA emphasizes promoting cooperative economics, the co-op business model and its benefits to individuals, communities, business entrepreneurs, elected officials and government staffers, as well as potential Community of Practice members.
We partner with existing co-ops, colleges and universities, grassroots organizations, as well as the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department to offer co-op education workshops and training. PACA staff and board members are also invited locally and nationally to serve as featured speakers, panelists, facilitators, and discussants to educate people, institutions, and municipalities about cooperatives.
Equity and Inclusion Through the Co-op Business Model
Cooperatives are a tool for repairing centuries of economic and racial harm to communities. However, our co-op businesses exist and operate within a broader system of structural oppression that often manifests as racism, classism, and xenophobia. In PACA’s work we center seeking justice and dismantling systems of oppression by grounding our work in an equity lens and inclusionary practices as means of our collective liberation.
Food Systems and Food Justice Initiative: PACA convenes co-ops in the food system to share strategies and resources on operations and values toward becoming more inclusive and equitable community institutions. PACA also teaches and does outreach on this topic.
Shared Equity in Economic Development (SEED) Fellowship: PACA partners with the City of Philadelphia on a strategy to close the racial wealth gap by preserving minority-owned legacy businesses. We support outreach to priority commercial corridors via its corridor manager system, to share information about succession planning and employee ownership options with longstanding local businesses.