The Chokwe Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development
Brief Overview and Description
The Lumumba Center will serve as the coordinating center, or base, for Cooperation Jackson and its overall operations. The primary function of the Lumumba Center will be to host the various cooperative development activities of the organization including: community orientation meetings, general membership meetings, working group meetings, and various trainings and skill shares. In addition to hosting the development activities of the organization, the Lumumba Center will also serve as the administrative offices of Cooperation Jackson.
The Lumumba Center will serve as the organizing base for Cooperation Jackson’s Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI). The Sustainable Communities Initiative is a drive of Cooperation Jackson to establish a comprehensive “Eco-Village”. The Eco-Village will be situated on Cooperation Jackson’s Community Land Trust (CLT), developed and operated by Cooperation Jackson’s Community Development Corporation (CDC), and anchored around our Housing Cooperative and a network of our Cooperative enterprises, particularly our Child Care, Urban Farming, Worker Center, and Recycling Cooperatives. One of the primary objectives of our Sustainable Communities Initiative is to provide long-term affordable housing to counter the displacement and gentrification of the Black working class community in Jackson.
The Lumumba Center will serve as the base of operations for the Nubia Lumumba Arts and Culture Cooperative of Cooperation Jackson. The Arts and Culture Cooperative will conduct regular programming out of the Lumumba Center, including cultural events (public lectures, hip hop, spoken word, and art exhibits), production sessions (films, music, and visual arts), and art and wellness trainings (production classes, art trainings, physical fitness, martial arts, yoga). The Arts and Cultural Cooperative will also operate a café and lounge space, called Nubia’s Place, out of the Center to generate revenue for the Lumumba Center, the Arts and Culture Cooperative, and Cooperation Jackson overall.
The Lumumba Center will serve as the base camp for Freedom Farms Cooperative, the Urban Farming Cooperative of Cooperation Jackson. Freedom Farms will produce organic produce that will be utilized in Nubia’s Place and sold in local grocery stores and farmers markets.
The Lumumba Center will also serve as the operating base for the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), the Jackson People’s Assembly, the People’s Task Force, the coordinating committee of the Assembly, to administer their business affairs and conduct regular meetings and programming.
The Lumumba Center will also rent out office space to small business owners and rent its hall space to community groups for various events.
As part of our commitment to developing “new and sustainable” forms of economic activity and social living that will enable and support a just transition from the extractive and exploitative economy, Cooperation Jackson is committed to ensuring that the Lumumba Center will be one of the “greenest” operations in Jackson, MS. Per our sustainable vision, we will utilize as much of the surface area of the building as possible for the production of solar energy. We will also gradually work to weatherize and to retrofit the Center to reduce energy usage and minimize water consumption. We are also committed to making the building a living “agro-complex”, wherein we will engage in various types of indoor farming to produce food crops, create a calming and wholesome environment, and teach our members and the general public about the importance of sustainability and climate justice.
The Lumumba Center is anticipated to start operations in January 2015. We anticipate the first major event of the Lumumba Center being the one-year commemoration of the passing of the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba in February 2015.
How You Can Help
The Lumumba Center is located at 939 W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39203. For more than 20 years, the Center was the home of Carrie’s Learning Day Care Center, which was long-time cultural anchor in West Jackson. Cooperation Jackson is proud to make their home our home and to continue the essential work of serving the people of West Jackson and beyond.
Cooperation Jackson is seeking to raise $200,000 by February 2015 to make the following improvements and additions to the Lumumba Center to make it fully functional:
1. Capital improvements that will enable the Lumumba Center to fully function as an office, cultural center, and community meeting space.
2. Capital improvements that will enable Nubia’s Place café and lounge to be fully functional as a business.
3. Solar panels, energy conversion, and in-door farming systems that will enable the Lumumba Center to function as an energy efficient and sustainable facility.
4. Entertainment system, including a sound system, projector, screen, etc., that will enable the Center to hold various arts, entertainment, and community events.
5. Office equipment and furniture for the Lumumba Center that will make it fully functional for the conduction of Cooperation Jacksons operations.
You can help lay a firm foundation for the Lumumba Center by contributing in the following ways:
1. Make a generous tax-deductible donation to Cooperation Jackson for the purchase and operational foundations of the Lumumba Center. All contributions over a $1,000 will be noted on a placard that will be posted at the entrance of the Lumumba Center. You can donate online here, or send a check/money order to P.O. Box 1932, Jackson, MS 39215.
2. Become an ongoing Sustainer of the Lumumba Center by making monthly or yearly contributions for the ongoing programming and maintenance of the Center. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set this up.
3. Donate books, films (preferably DVD’s), music, and art to the Lumumba Center for its ongoing programming and educational activities (we are particularly looking for books and films focusing on Black history, culture, and social conditions; Cooperative history, development, organization, and practice; and Economic theory, history, and practice). Books, Films, Music and Art can be mailed to Cooperation Jackson at P.O. Box 1932, Jackson, MS 39215.
4. Donate quality furniture and equipment to the Lumumba Center for its operations (including café equipment, bookshelves, tables, etc.). *If you are seeking to donate furniture and/or equipment, please contact a member of Cooperation Jackson first to ensure that it is something we have a need for, can use, and can make adequate transfer and shipping arrangements. Please contact us at CooperationJackson@gmail.com or call 601.208.0090.