Reflections on 2018: A Year of Struggle, Lessons and Progress


“If it was easy, it would have been done already.”

2018 has been a year of growth and growing pains for Cooperation Jackson. We’ve experienced some significant advances and some setbacks. Over the last four years of our organization, we have learned a lot that we aim to build upon to improve our practice and advance our work in 2019 and beyond.

When launching Cooperation Jackson in 2014, we knew we were taking on an ambitious project. In the effort to establish an economic foundation to realize the Jackson-Kush Plan we knew we had a lot to both learn and unlearn. To this end, we are attempting to learn from successful solidarity economy systems from around the world and apply them here in Jackson, along with innovating new methods of sustainable production in order to make a concrete contribution towards a just transition and social transformation.


After several years of trial and error, our Lawn Care Cooperative (The Green Team) is becoming a fully self-sustaining entity. The coop, which is currently comprised of two worker owners and one employee, has secured several contracts and is earning a profit. The Green Team is looking to expand its overall operations in 2019 by returning to the composting operation that was not sustainable in its first iteration due to lack of facilities, sufficient staffing, and distributed knowledge.

Freedom Farms Cooperative faced a major set back in early 2018 due to a record winter freeze, challenges with capacity, experience and staff turnover. This past Spring and Summer, Freedom Farms made substantial progress with an increase in production. Produce has been sold to our membership, the neighboring West Jackson community, the Mississippi Farmers Market, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Cash and Carry Grocery, and several restaurants in town. This summer’s neighborhood outreach included produce giveaways and the start of an herb garden and Black healing space. Although limited, in 2018 we experimented with time-banking in exchange for produce. 2019 will see the farm primarily exploring permaculture-based designs and growing methods, establishing a fruit orchard as part of the Ewing Street Eco-Village, experimenting with high-yield specialty crops and added-value products by farming on the additional, previously uncultivated plots of our Community Land Trust.

The Community Production Center faced several delays in finalizing the Center purchase and renovations. We are excited to announce the Center is opening in January 2019 and the Community Production Cooperative will start a second round of Fabrication Laboratory training. To create an immediate revenue source, the Coop will start producing t-shirts, memorabilia and signs while it builds its capacity to produce space-efficient furniture and affordable housing for our Community Land Trust.

Our Fannie Lou Hamer Community Land Trust (CLT) presently has over 40 parcels of land. Land that otherwise would either be vacant or up for speculation. This includes the Kuwasi Balagoon Center, the new Community Production Center, a small apartment building we will soon be renovating, two houses presently being rented to members, and one house that will be available for rent. In 2019 our goal is to rehab two additional houses we presently have for further housing. We will expand our CLT with more property in 2019 as resources permit.

We are extremely proud of our hard won accomplishments. But, we can always do better. And do better we shall. Check out “2018 Year in Review” to learn more about our work and view our photo slideshow.

...we aim to transform the economy of Jackson and the region as a whole to create the material base needed to support and build the autonomous politics we are pursuing. But, we see that Solidarity Economy, if developed to its own logical conclusions, represents the limit of economic reform possible within a capitalist framework of social production governed by a bourgeois social order. We are clear that in order to build socialism that something more than just the principles and institutions of economic and social solidarity will be needed. What we believe will be needed are new political and social identities crafted on the transformation of consciousness produced in part by engaging in the practices associated with Solidarity Economy and radical participatory and horizontal democracy. Solidarity Economy when pushed to its limits as a means of heightening contradictions within the capitalist system we believe is a transitional strategy and praxis to build 21st century socialism and advance the abolition of capitalism and the oppressive social relations that it fosters.
— From the "Jackson-Kush Plan" 2012, section on "Solidarity Economy"


“This isn’t heaven, and we aren’t angels.”

2018 was also a year of transition for Cooperation Jackson. Many of these transitions were intentional and explicitly designed to strengthen our organization and improve its overall practice. However, some of the transitions we experienced were not intentional, but the outcome of divisions within our organization, our movement network, and the local and national social movements we have been and/or are a part of.

Some of the intentional transitions made include:

Realigning and restructuring our organization to correct the undisciplined, inefficient and unaccountable practices that emerged as a result of differences regarding how to implement and uphold our mission and vision

  • Severing our organizational relationship with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and the New Afrikan People’s Organization (NAPO)

  • Disassociating ourselves from the Administration of Chokwe Antar Lumumba and its policies and orientation to governance

  • Structuring a new board that did not include members of the groups mentioned above

Some of the unintentional transitions we experienced included:

  • The resignation of a founding member and former co-director Iya’Ifalola Omobola

  • Severing our relationship with the cafe and catering business we helped to start and finance

To be clear, both the intentional and unintentional transitions we have experienced and are moving through are reflections of the growing pains that all organizations and social movements aiming at social transformation experience. As the saying goes, “you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs”. And in our efforts to create a transformative organization, we have ruffled a few feathers in and beyond our community in the effort to upend unequal power relations and transform various problematic views and behaviors, including our own. Despite our best efforts to move forward with all the forces that started this transformative journey with us, we have now arrived at some forks in the road that make this no longer possible. As a result of the transitions that have occurred we now have our fair share of detractors and supporters, enemies and allies. This comes with the territory. In our view this indicates that we are in fact doing some things right - and there is always room for improvement.

We have learned a great deal in 2018, about ourselves, our commitments, our principles, our politics, our limits, and the strengths and weaknesses of our plans and strategies. We remain determined to utilize these learnings to correct the many errors we have made in the past four years. We fully understand that many don’t and won’t agree with some or any of the conclusions and resolutions we arrive at. We respect everyone’s democratic right to their opinion. We have the obligation to uphold and realize the vision we were constructed to fulfill to the best of our ability, and that is what we aim to do.

Organizational realignment and restructuring

In the effort to build a culture of radical participatory democracy and stimulate and encourage worker self-organization and self-management we intentionally decided not to “over structure” the organization at its founding. This experiment produced mixed results over the course of our first four years, with various discipline (attendance, punctuality, preparedness, substance abuse, etc.) and underperformance (not completing tasks, not meeting deadlines, not studying, not communicating with fellow cooperators, etc.) challenges. In the effort to correct many of our shortcomings and improve our overall practice, our Executive Committee, which serves as the vision holder and coordinating body of the organization, outlined a program to reorganize and realign the organization starting in the spring of 2017 to address the undisciplined and unaccountable culture that our initial experiment enabled.

Now, in hindsight, many of our early errors were rather inevitable. Although our organization started with a remarkable assemblage of volunteers, it did not start with the full complement of the thinkers, planners and resource persons who envisioned it and the Jackson-Kush Plan overall. Unfortunately, many of these leaders either left the city of Jackson and/or the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement before Cooperation Jackson was officially launched in 2014. We therefore started with some critical gaps, particularly in terms of background knowledge, political alignment, and various skills and competencies that these individuals would have been in position to help the organization more adequately address.

Over time, these gaps and insufficiencies caught up with us. Where they have expressed themselves most significantly has been in the inconsistent orientation and onboarding of new staff and members, whom received varying degrees of grounding in our history, politics, principles, aims, objectives, commitments, strategies, plans, structures and theory of change as a result of our inadequate capacity in this regard. In addition to this shortcoming, we often spread ourselves too thin the first three years of our development, trying to serve as an incubator, a school, a network and a radical community organization (in the effort to fill in various social movements gaps left open by the then grieving and depleted Jackson Chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in the wake of Chokwe Lumumba’s sudden passing in 2014).

We also struggled with how to balance the demands of our trying work with building quality interpersonal relationships, how to deal with the level of self-exploitation that we strategically adopted, how to balance our various health needs with our over extended workloads, how to build trust and resolve conflicts, how to establish a collective definition and practice of restorative justice, and how to build the collective knowledge, skill, and capacity to operate horizontally.

In the effort to prioritize this critical interpersonal work, the Executive Committee elicited the help of various advanced practitioners in the fields of restorative justice, effective communication, and somatics drawn from our movement networks to help us deal with challenges of accountability, and help us reevaluate our structures, create collective tools for building a healthy and sustainable culture, surface tensions and resolve conflict. Several committees, were formed to address these challenges and create new systems and practices to strengthen our work. In addition to committee work, we also held two retreats over the past two years towards this end that had mixed results. We are continuing this core work and giving it high priority in our development over the course of the next two years.

To be clear, not all of our shortcomings were due to structural issues. A considerable portion of our failings were due to the lack of sufficient political alignment and the struggles to attain it. Several of the staff who have left the organization did so either directly or indirectly because they did not agree with the explicit commitments of our organization towards a just transition and the construction of ecosocialism, to the study of critical anarchist and marxist thinkers and practitioners, to internationalism and the need for multinational/multiracial alliances, and to the construction of a genderless society. Many do not agree that these principles, ideas and commitments align with the struggle for Black self-determination and liberation. We do! And further our organization was explicitly founded to extend these principles, ideas, and practices, and make them applicable in the here and now in our specific time, space, and context. We respect that not everyone holds these views, this is their democratic right. But, it is our obligation to uphold these ideas, principles and practices to advance the mission of the organization, and we fully intend to do so to the best of our ability.

We are fully committed to learning from our shortcomings over the past four and half years, and to apply the lessons learned to improve our practice. This is particularly true in the area of cooperative development. Since our founding we have pursued the development of a number of cooperatives that did not pan out for various reasons. Some of these projects include a Gas Station and Convenience Store Cooperative, a Recycling Cooperative, an industrial scale Composting Cooperative, and an Arts and Culture Cooperative.

The Gas Station and Convenience Store experiment was challenged by the various restrictions the US government placed on CITGO, which is owned by the Venezuelan government, that hampered the ability of this initiative to move forward. However, we ultimately made the decision to jettison it because it was not compatible with our commitment towards a just transition away from fossil fuels. The Recycling Cooperative suffered from trying to grow too large too fast. We initially envisioned it working on a small neighborhood scale, then tried to seize upon a major opportunity that presented itself when we started to pursue a merger with an existing Black-owned recycling company to pursue the municipal recycling contract. This initiative was undercut by the maneuvers of the powerful corporate magnet, Waste Management, and how it manipulated the city’s waste hauling contract under the administration of Mayor Tony Yarber. Unfortunately, our recycling working group has been unable to fully regroup and recover from this blockage (which included the Black owned recycling firm sadly going out of business in 2017, due to the world-scale recycling glut). The industrial scale Composting Cooperative we pursued was not able to find a suitable, properly zoned facility from which to operate. It was further hampered by the indiscipline of its anchors and uneven skill development and knowledge between and amongst them. Despite these challenges, we attempted to maintain a composting operation in a paired down fashion through 2017. The Arts and Culture Cooperative was challenged with finding a viable product and business focus However, it should be noted, that other than the Gas Station, we remain committed to trying to develop cooperatives to address these strategic needs in the years to come.

Without question, we remain a work in progress. We still have some major work ahead regarding how to better onboard new staff and general members to better ensure alignment, to better balance the distributions of power and responsibility, and to address the systemic dynamics of heteropatriarchy and how they manifest in our thinking and practice. But, we have strengthened the foundations of our organizing model over the course of the past year through the realignment and reorganization efforts that we have made. We are reassured by our level of increased productivity over the last six months that our particular organizing model is sound. Per our model: we remain committed to building a network of interconnected and interdependent solidarity economy institutions and practices that includes, but is not limited to, a federation of multi-stakeholder cooperatives, a cooperative incubator, a cooperative education and training center, a community land trust, cooperative financial systems, and a range of solidarity practices like time banking, mutual aid provisioning, local currencies, etc. We are further reaffirmed in our development model, which seeks to use the collective resources either secured or procured by the organization to provide our various start-up’s with deeply affordable (often rent free) facilities from which to operate and conduct business that are provided through our community land trust holdings. These are bolstered with the no-interest capital investments our non-profit makes to enable our cooperatives to start as debt free as possible, along with providing stipends to their anchors to enable them to have dedicated quality time for study, training, experimentation, and business development. Given the overall hostility to Black entrepreneurs and businesses by the financial institutions in our area, we believe the small gains we have made over a very short period of time demonstrate the efficacy of our organizing strategy and development model.

On severing key relationships

After years of internal struggle with and within formerly fraternal organizations, several relationships originally meant to be strategically interconnected became impossible to maintain due to the emergence of a number of irreconcilable political differences and mounting antagonistic actions towards our organization by key figures within these organizations. The irreconcilable differences sadly emerged over varying interpretations of the Jackson-Kush Plan and how to implement and advance it. After years of intense deliberation and struggle, we decided to formally separate ourselves from the New Afrikan People’s Organization, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the Administration of Chokwe Antar Lumumba in the winter of 2017 - 2018.

These were not easy or lighthearted decisions. Several of us invested decades of our lives fostering, building and supporting these organizations, and wanted nothing short of seeing them accomplish their historic missions. The same goes with our various individual and collective efforts as social justice organizers to help elect Chokwe Antar Lumumba. Without a doubt, we want his administration to succeed and to serve as a strategic instrument to advance the Jackson-Kush Plan. We still hold out hope that the administration and the aforementioned organizations will pursue an independent course relative to electoral politics, transcend the limitations of social-democratic thinking, turn away from neoliberal compromises and prescriptions of governance, and play a historic role in executing the Jackson-Kush Plan to the fulfillment of its radical potential in a manner that we can fully unite with.

We also knew that these decisions would not come without consequence. We knew that they would confuse many in the community and within our membership. We calculated that this confusion would create degrees of distance and isolation from some forces in town who would take a partisan position against us, either because they don’t know us (as many of us are not “native” to Jackson, but organizers who intentionally moved here to serve the Jackson-Kush Plan), haven’t heard our story, or don’t agree with our politics and positions. And, without a doubt we have experienced varying degrees of distance and isolation from various forces. However, we have not and will not ask anyone to take a partisan position on our behalf to counter the intentional efforts to isolate us. Our aim is to encourage people to think critically for themselves and to analyze the politics, policies and actions of all the social actors in our community to determine whether they align with your own principles, values and interests and act on that basis. Beyond that, we are primarily concentrating our energy on “showing and proving” in 2019 and beyond.

What also complicated the serving of these relationships, was the fact that a majority of our second board, which was installed in 2016, was deliberately constituted by individuals from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and/or the New Afrikan People’s Organization. This was done intentionally to cement the relationship between Cooperation Jackson and these organizations, based on our presumed alignment around the execution of the Jackson-Kush Plan. Unfortunately, these board members conflated the business of Cooperation Jackson with that of the Lumumba administration. These forces wanted Cooperation Jackson to serve as an extension of the Lumumba administration, therefore elevating political struggle in the electoral arena over political struggle in the economic arena. This is a critical juxtaposition of priorities in the struggle to implement the Jackson-Kush Plan in our view - although we do not deny that they should be related in certain strategic ways. However, in trying to make Cooperation Jackson a programmatic arm of the Lumumba administration they were jeopardizing our 501(c)3 status in key ways by having it become a partisan instrument of the Democratic Party, whom they are aligned with. After an intense and deeply regrettable period of struggle over the later half of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, we gradually had to come to terms with how counterproductive the relationship between Cooperation Jackson and MXGM, NAPO and the Lumumba administration had become and assumed responsibility for changing these dynamics.

This entailed making several deliberate attempts to find common ground, develop some shared understanding, and ways to work together despite our deepening differences. Unfortunately, our differences by this point were too great to overcome. In short, our differences centered on: a) the centrality of the Jackson-Kush Plan towards the governance of the City of Jackson, b) how to promote and raise awareness of the Jackson-Kush Plan within the Black working-class and poor majority of Jackson, c) their advocacy and promotion of capitalist oriented solutions, including efforts to recruit ruthless transnationals like Amazon to the city, d) their negation of the social and solidarity economy as a primary means to transform and transition the local economy towards the construction of ecosocialism, and e) our contrasting views on the question of governance, with our insistence on a protagonistic methodology to governance that intentionally favors advancing the interests of the working class and the oppressed, versus their insistence on a more liberal methodology of governance that favors class collaboration and incremental alterations to the status-quo.

As part of the effort to resolve some of these differences with the Lumumba family and the Lumumba administration, our Executive Committee came to a mutual agreement with Rukia Kai Lumumba and Chokwe Antar Lumumba to disassociate Cooperation Jackson from both in early January. This agreement also included Rukia stepping down from the board and the board chair position of her own accord, the removal of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s name from our center and his likeness from the next printing of our “Jackson Rising” book, as well as the removal of Nubia Lumumba’s name from our cafe and catering cooperative (which we are no longer aligned with or connected to as you will read).

Following this meeting, our Executive Committee, then including brandon king, Iya’Ifalola Omobola, Kali Akuno and Sacajawea Hall, sadly came into open conflict with the MXGM and NAPO representatives on the board. Our collective efforts to create clear lines of distinction between these organizations, which Sacajawea and brandon were still a part of at this time, and respect their protocols regarding group security and public disclosure, were not respected, and in many ways manipulated in the course of this struggle. After several failed attempts to de escalate tensions, avoid repeating highly unproductive interpersonal exchanges, and enable various parties to fully express themselves without conflict or interruption, our ability to engage this board in a productive manner ceased in early February. This occurred after the board threatened the funding of the organization if it did not comport itself to the dictates of the Lumumba administration and submit to its program. And further, as it tried to silence and censure Kali Akuno, then our co-director, from making public statements in an individual capacity that offered constructive criticism to the Lumumba administration, MXGM, and NAPO regarding their execution of the Jackson-Kush Plan. Following this our Executive Committee called for the resignation of this board. Our objective was to protect the organization from their course deviations and to ensure that it remained true to its mission and purpose. The full board resigned on Thursday, February 8th. Following this, we then seated an interim board of directors in April that was and is aligned with our organization’s mission and vision relative to the execution of the Jackson-Kush Plan and the implementation of our unique organizing strategy and development model.

To honor our agreement with the Lumumba family, we removed Mayor Lumumba’s name from our primary operating facility in March. We proudly renamed our primary operating center in July 2018. The new name of our center is the Kuwasi Balagoon Center for Economic Democracy and Sustainable Development. Kuwasi Balagoon was a queer revolutionary New Afrikan anarchist freedom fighter, who passed away from AIDs related causes while in prison custody in 1987. Kuwasi was also ahead of his time in his opposition to environmental racism and his concern for the ecology and the overall well-being of our planet and its life giving systems. We take inspiration from Kuwasi’s unflinching political commitment, his vision, and his courage.

Sadly, in the course of these struggles, it became painfully clear that our former co-director, Iya’Ifalola Omobola, was deeply conflicted about the politics of Cooperation Jackson and our separation from the Lumumba family and administration (to be clear Iya was the only member of our Executive Committee who was not a member of MXGM or NAPO). In the effort to remain “neutral” as she defined it, she resigned her position this past March and left the organization. Unfortunately, her actions since that time have demonstrated anything but neutrality in our view. But, she has a right to her positions and her alignments, as do all of the individuals that have left the organization for similar reasons over the past two years, and we respect that.

The last critical transition, as briefly noted above, was Cooperation Jackson severing its relationship with and financial support of the cafe and catering cooperative start up we had been working to build for several years. This officially occurred in September, after two years of struggle with it’s anchors over alignment and accountability. Despite our differences, we wish them well as they continue to pursue their development independently.

Despite all of these transitions, our organization has become more aligned, focused, and strengthened. To this end, our interim board is working diligently to help us realize two critical, but as of yet unfulfilled, structural commitments to advance our work and practice as a critical part of our realignment and reorganization to strengthen the organization. The first item is expanding our new board, which will be seated in 2019, to include representatives from all of our emerging cooperatives, our community land trust, and our general membership. The second item is laying the groundwork to have our first general member assembly in early 2020. The interim board is also helping the organization revise and strengthen our by-laws and think through how to create new structures that will help us transcend the many limitations of the non-profit or 501(c)3 form we currently employ to conduct most of our business.


Where We Stand, Where We Are Going, and How We’re Going to Get There

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it.”

It is safe to say that the social movement forces that relate or related to the Jackson-Kush Plan, either now or in the past, are at a crossroads. Sadly, the social movements in Jackson have been in retreat since 2014, despite many efforts to revitalize them. We argue that this retreat was prompted by the many unresolved social issues that crystallized into immediate crisis during the short administration of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, which lasted from July 2013 through February 2014. Some of the major crisis included how to deal with projected revenue shortfalls for the city, the budget deficits these shortfalls created, the threat of furloughs offor city employees that emerged as a result, in addition to how to address the Consent Decree the EPA placed on the city to address its long-standing water quality issues. We have also encountered, numerous threats to the autonomies of the municipal government from the neo-confederate dominated state government, and major capital advances by developers and transnational corporations in the city accelerating the threats of gentrification and displacement of Black working class communities. With the wane of movement institutions like the People’s Assembly to address these issues in a comprehensive and coordinated fashion, many of the key organizations in the radical social movement in Jackson fractured, pursued their own individual courses of action, and reformulated their alliances and allegiances. The political conflicts underscoring the transitions mentioned herein have helped to foster some of confusion in the community that has lead to degrees of disengagement and apathy amongst many, but particularly amongst the radical social forces in Jackson, which we are still grappling with.

In the midst of this social dynamic, the founding and guiding forces driving the development of Cooperation Jackson played a vital role in keeping the Jackson-Kush Plan alive after Mayor Lumumba’s untimely transition in February 2014. Since January 2014, and the hosting of our first community education session about the solidarity economy, Cooperation Jackson played the leading role in propagating the Jackson-Kush Plan, both in word and programmatic deed. However, over the years, our disagreements with many of our former partners over strategy, alignments, priorities, tactics, platform development, and policy orientation has led us on a different path, one centered on maintaining the integrity of the Jackson-Kush Plan as envisioned as a radical program of social transformation, centering the self-emancipation of the Black working class and the construction of ecosocialism. We reject the stated and implied notions by many of our former allies that the Black working class in Jackson can’t be organized, or that its interests must be subordinate to those of the Black professional classes and the dominant white business interests in the region. We similarly reject the notion that we should not be engaged in protagonistic politics that explicitly advocate and advance the interests of the Black working class. The Black working class is the primary protagonist of the Jackson-Kush Plan, and its interests must be elevated and fought for without compromise in our view. Upholding this position has created several rifts and distinctions on the ground in Jackson, particularly over the last two years. All sides have suffered declines in community participation and engagement, and we are no exception.

We agree with some of the detractors of our work that have come forward of late, in noting that we don’t have an adequate base at present to fully implement and advance our “Build and Fight” program. We don’t shy away from this criticism in the least. The forces that launched the Jackson-Kush Plan were never sufficient to see it fully implemented to its conclusion on their own. That these forces, when combined, were strong enough to win a few elections and start an initiative like Cooperation Jackson over the past 10 years does not mean that any of them should be overly glorified. Being able to touch, move, and mobilize 20% of the city’s population, as exhibited through the electoral campaigns that have been carried out in the name of the Jackson-Kush Plan, is significant, but not sufficient.

What we have learned the hard way over these last two years is that we are going to have to build our own base. We cannot rely on the old alliances and the social forces that accompanied them, because of the confusion, political differences and disengagement noted above. To achieve our aims and objectives we have to become a majoritarian movement, which in our context means that we have to go further and deeper into organizing the Black working class in order to fulfill the promises and potential of the Jackson-Kush Plan. We have to do the long, hard, patient and often inglorious work of building our own base in the Black working class communities of Jackson. As a relatively young organization, with a heavy concentration of “out of towners” who moved to Jackson to work explicitly on advancing the Jackson-Kush Plan, and who live and work in some of the most economically depressed communities in the city, we know this is going to be a major, long-term task and challenge. A challenge we are game for.

What follows are some of the adjustments we have and are making to our program in order to meet this challenge over the course of the next several years:

  1. We are reducing our field of action. This means restricting the number of cooperatives and solidarity institutions we strive to build. It also means limiting the core of our work to West Jackson over the next several years to address the concrete needs in this community and sufficiently organize within it.

  2. Limiting our business development activities to concentrate on expanding the operations of Freedom Farms Cooperative and The Green Team Lawn Care Cooperative (including the effort to reestablish a small scale industrial composting operation) and launching the Community Production Center and gradually building the Community Production Cooperative.

  3. Consolidating the operations of our Community Land Trust. We are going to expand the board of the CLT, renovate our current housing stock, fix several of the abandoned homes we presently own to make them habitable cooperative housing units for more of our members, and host an education series on CLT’s and Cooperative Housing. We will continue to expand the CLT as noted, to the extent our fundraising efforts and resource mobilization enables it. We are currently looking to make one major expansion in 2019, and that is the acquisition of the West Park Shopping Center, and turn it into the Ida B. Wells Plaza.

  4. We are deepening the interconnection and inter-reliance of our institutions and activities. In order to meet our primary objectives, we are going to ensure that all of our activities reinforce each other more coherently, with the intent being to create our own supply and value chains and be more efficient with the time and energy of our members.

  5. Concentrating on the development of our first model Eco-Village Pilot on our Ewing Street properties to fortify and enhance the joint work of our four core entities: our emerging Community Production Cooperative, Freedom Farms Cooperative, the Green Team and our Community Land Trust.

  6. We are going to concentrate more heavily on “capacity” raising amongst our members. In reducing the size and scope of our operations, we are restructuring our time to do more structured education amongst our staff, members and community around the concrete skills needed to create and facilitate democratic institutions.

  7. Conducting a new orientation and training program for all of our members. This will be structured around our new membership manual (which we are still in the process of completing as of this statements release) and the new “Worker-Owner Workbook” produced by the Cincinnati Union Co-Op Initiative.

Like all young social justice organizations, particularly those attempting to transcend the logic of capitalism, we have confronted a number of critical challenges and taken some lumps in the process. But, we continue to learn, grow, and advance and we hope that all those interested and committed to constructing ecosocialism through a just transition and the development of a regenerative economy will join us in this effort.

“We make the road by walking”.