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What happened at CO-UP?

Our collaborative art project, spearheaded by planning committee member Lisa Barkley. [Photo by Hanbit Kwon]

Did you attend CO-UP?
Please give your feedback in this quick evaluation:

Our keynote speaker was Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard


To get Dr. Nembhard's amazing book, Collective Courage, we suggest ordering from a local book store like Hakim's, Black and Nobel, Tree House, Wooden Shoe, or Bindlestiff.

Explore Collective Courage resources online, including videos, articles, podcasts, and more at Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) Collective.

We heard from a panel on how to learn from our past to cultivate economic justice for our future

Members of 20 Book Clubs → 20 Cooperative Businesses reflected 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, members of PACA, and other allies hosted conversations on specific topics over a long lunch.

Resources from workshops

Introduction to Cooperatives

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

Download the slides here:
Intro to Co-ops Slides.


Getting it together: business formation strategies for co-ops

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

Download the slides here:
Getting it together Slides

View a video clip of the workshop here:
Getting it together video clip

Social media and shoestring marketing

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


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

Presenters: Mo Manklang, PACA board and Peter Frank, PACA staff

View handouts here:
Funding Resources
Business Model Canvas

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

View a chart from this workshop:
Community control chart


Divest/Invest: What change is your money making?

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

View an illustrated diagram from this workshop:
Divest Invest diagram

We shared our co-op stories

Folks from the Commonsplace podcast recorded audio stories about attendees' experiences and dreams around economic cooperation.

Make sure you hear the podcast when it comes out by subscribing on iTunes, following on SoundCloud, or following on Twitter.

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Download the CO-UP program book

Click on the image above to download the program book, which includes stories about the 20 Book Clubs.

Suggestions for how to keep the momentum going

  • Start a study circle with friends, neighbors or colleagues to answer questions you have about economic cooperation
  • Read Collective Courage (see top of page for purchasing suggestions) or explore resources online
  • Read the Movement for Black Lives policy platform, especially the sections on economic justice and community control
  • Interview your family members and community elders about how they've pooled resources throughout their lives; if they permit it, document their stories and publish them
  • Attend a free webinar on how to start a worker co-op on April 7 at 6pm or mark your calendar for coming months
  • Learn about converting existing businesses to cooperatives at
  • Join PACA's Principle Six Club
  • Get in touch with PACA executive director Jamila Medley at or (732) 328-8970 to find out how you can volunteer with PACA

CO-UP Reflections

NCBA CLUSA's Doug O'Brien attended CO-UP and wrote a blog post about his experience.

Our photographer Hanbit Kwon captured so many beautiful photos of the day!

Thank you to all of the participants, sponsors, members, donors, volunteers, childcare providers, interpreters, presenters, panelists, facility personnel, photographers and videographers, board, and staff for making our 2017 CO-UP such a wonderful success.

All photos on this page were taken by Hanbit Kwon.