Cooperation for Liberation
What is a Cooperative?
Cooperatives come from the Black and Indigenous practice of collective work to meet collective needs. Cooperation can look like community childcare, feeding one another, pooling together our resources to meet our needs, practicing mutual aid in our daily lives or in the face of a disaster, owning our own work through a cooperative business, and so on. We engage in cooperative practices in our daily lives.
As workers, we are continuously at risk of being taken advantage of by our current capitalist system, which values the product of our labor over our humanity as workers, community members, family members, and culture bearers.
Cooperative businesses and projects use practices that our communities have been using for centuries, along with the
7 Cooperative Principles to allow workers to have ownership of their work, and ultimately care for themselves and others.
Cooperation New Orleans seeks to support the creation and ongoing support of worker-owned cooperatives.
A worker-owned cooperative is a business in which the people who work for the business are the owners of the business. Unlike a non-cooperative business, there is not a single boss making all the decisions. Instead, a group of worker-owners work together to make decisions and run the business.
Click below for more information and resources put together by Cooperation New Orleans.
What We Do
Cooperation New Orleans is a movement working together to create programs, resources, and start conversations about the cooperative future of our city. Some of the resources within our movement include:
BLCA is our program for New Orleans’ Black workers, organizers, community leaders, entrepreneurs and families to explore cooperative economics as a path toward black liberation in New Orleans and beyond.
We provide technical assistance, business development, and non-extractive capital to worker-owned cooperatives. Instead of traditional financing based on personal credit history and collateral, our loan fund is based on deep community relationships and our mutual interest in resourcing worker-owned businesses that meet community needs
Cooperation Gumbo is an artistic intervention to lift up cooperative histories and practices in New Orleans neighborhoods through walking tours, community discussions, and artwork. The program is a collaboration between Cooperation New Orleans and Civic Studios, a design cooperative based in the New Orleans neighborhood of Central City, an area known for its role in the Civil Rights movement as well as the central meeting ground for much of Black culture in the city. Through story circles, walking tours, community events, and exhibitions, the intention is to ground people in this history and exemplify the ways in which cooperating is inherent to our communities on a cultural, familial, and historical level.
Events, open membership meetings, and workshops
We uplift events and educational opportunities led by members of our team and larger movement. Subscribe to our newsletter or stay tuned to our instagram to receive updates.
"Black cooperatives are actually not a new strategy, it was in cooperation that formerly enslaved people built community, and so it is no surprise that many Black communities continue to create cooperative enterprises as a means to own the development that is taking place in their neighborhoods. "
Tamah Yisrael, Founder and Steering Committee Member
Co-ops and Community
Our ecosystem is comprised of various individuals, cooperative businesses and mutual aid projects working to meet people's needs. Below is a list of some of our cooperators, and where you can find them in New Orleans.
BanchaLenguas is a worker-owned collective based in New Orleans (also named Bulbancha by the original native peoples of this land and its descendants) that partners with communities to create multilingual spaces through high-quality and responsible in-person and virtual interpretation, translation, consulting and language justice training.
We co-create bold ideas and solutions through storytelling, art, design, and community-based planning with diverse partners across sectors and issue areas.
Worker-owned cooperative providing affordable craft & costume materials to the culture bearer community of New Orleans.
Studio Lalala is an independent film production cooperative that works with QTBIPOC self taught artists to tell our stories, resource and teach our community, and gain financial autonomy from our work.
Birthmark Doula Collective is a birth justice organization dedicated to supporting, informing and advocating for pregnant and parenting people and their families in New Orleans.
A food truck serving real and vegan chicken goods New Orleans, Louisiana.
Project Hustle is a Black, queer, hood feminist-led transformative organizing project in Southeast Louisiana. We center Black working class hustlers through people-power building, popular education, and storytelling projects that capture our creativity and ingenuity as Black women, Black femmes, and Black queer workers.
Our commitment is to help businesses succeed by performing the critical accounting and bookkeeping functions needed to remain financially solvent and compliant with financial regulations.
We are committed to equip families with the keys to success in life. Through our own moral actions we are leading the path from a poverty condition. We introduce change by providing resources and information causing people to take a different approach in life.
We are a worker owned cafe with breakfast tacos, homemade pastries, & sandwiches. We offer a large drink menu with locally roasted coffee.
Round Sky Solutions is a worker-owned coop that delivers the capacity to rapidly metabolize complexity into effective action for mission-driven organizations and individuals through trainings and individualized coaching.
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