Co-ops Gain Ground in Communities of Color -- Rooflines
Since 2010, 60 percent of new cooperative worker-owners are people of color and more than two thirds of total worker-owners are women.
Fri Jul 8 20:21:10 2016 - permalink -
This represents a remarkable change. Democracy at Work Institute data found that for the 100-plus worker co-ops founded nationally between the mid-90s through 2010, fewer than 3 in 10 members were people of color.
Overall worker co-op numbers, to be sure, remain modest. At present, Hoover and Abell estimate that there are 7,000 worker co-op member-owners. Yet it is clear that cooperatives, once largely overlooked in the community development field, are now an important part of the community wealth building discussion.
For example, five years ago, an article by a leading food co-op developer noted that food co-ops had the “greatest appeal to people who are better educated (college or graduate school), with incomes that are slightly above average, with occupation types that are more white-collar and professional in nature, and in age groups that run from the 30s through the 50s.” Yet today, we are starting to see food co-ops and worker co-opsnestablished in much more diverse communities, with an appropriate focus on meeting resident needs (i.e., making sure healthy, affordable food is on the shelves)