Building a Cooperative Future
In honor of Black History Month and in the spirit of cooperation, we want to take this opportunity to share the visionary and necessary work being done by the Sonoma-based Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED). CoFED is a, “QBPOC-led organization that partners with young folks of color from poor and working-class backgrounds to meet our communities’ needs through food and land co-ops.”
Since 2011, CoFED has developed 12 cooperative projects, trained more than 600 emerging cooperative leaders, and grew a community of nearly 4,000 supporters across North America. Through cooperative values, economics, and strategies, young BIPOC folks develop leadership skills for collective liberation and a more cooperative future.
In addition to food justice programs offered by CoFED, the team has made an extensive archive of free resources. These include guides for Starting a Student Food Co-op, Guide for Scaling Your Co-op, and a Guide for Creating a Pilot Project. CoFED also provides an extensive list of “Co-op Resources 101” which includes information about co-ops in general, starting a co-op, our food system, business advice, links to loan and grant programs, land and farming education, multilingual resources, and more.
Build, Unlearn, Decolonize – The Build, Unlearn, Decolonize (BUD) learning series is a 5-week virtual education intensive designed with love for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander youth who are working in co-ops and collectives to grow community health and wealth through food and land. The 2020 BUD Cohort is pictured above.
Racial Justice Fellowship – CoFED’s Racial Justice Fellowship is a 6-month opportunity for young cooperators of color working to close the racial wealth gap by advancing community ownership of land and the food system.
MyceliYUM – MyceliYUM is new national network of cooperators of color advancing food and land justice where young people can organize to shift policy. MyceliYUM members also benefit from CoFED’s membership in the HEAL Food Alliance (HEAL), Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership Network, and New Economy Coalition.
Support CoFED’s Vision for a Cooperative Future
Much of CoFED’s work is funded through grassroots donations. If you’ve found your way to this blog post, chances are you believe in cooperation and the role it will play in our collective future. Supporting CoFED’s work with a monetary donation is one way to help ensure that future, while also giving tangible support to young QBIPOC folks fighting for food and land justice and our collective food system.
In February 2021, the Davis Food Co-op was able to support CoFED’s work with a $500 dollar donation. Click below to join your Co-op and CoFED in building a collective future.
The blog post was published with permission from CoFED.