Collective Courage: Diversity, Collaborative Economics and the Law
Many black leaders were actually talking about and creating co-ops, though that's not what they were famous for. W.E.B Du Bois, A. Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey, Ella Jo Baker, and others all spoke or wrote about, and were involved in black cooperatives and democratic ownership. African American cooperatives grew side by side with the European American cooperative movement, and grew side by side with the long civil rights movement.
Worker cooperatives and other cooperative enterprises can spur neighborhood revitalization and equitable, sustainable growth. That's because they create meaningful jobs and build community wealth while grooming local leaders and inspiring democratic participation. So argues scholar, activist, and Cooperative Hall-of-Famer, Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, author of “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.” Her book reveals the rich, hidden history of African American cooperatives. The 30,000 co-ops in the United States today have helped create 2.1 million jobs and contributed more than $150 billion to our total income.
The groundbreaking work chronicles African American cooperative business ownership and its place in the movements for Black civil rights and economic equality. Through her research, Gordon Nembhard finds that African Americans, as well as other people of color and low-income people, have benefited greatly from cooperative ownership and democratic economic participation throughout the nation’s history.
Dr. Nembhard is Associate Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, City University of New York.
Join her for a discussion of the history of African American cooperative economics and what role the cooperative model can play today. She will be joined in a panel discussion with Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, and UofL Law professor Ariana Levinson.
Lunch will be provided. Free and open to the public, but registration is required for the March 6th event at the Law School.
- In addition to her free, public lecture in the Law School, she will be speaking on Sunday, March 5th at 2:00pm in the Main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. This program is free, but tickets are required - register here for the March 5th lecture at the Public Library.
Co-sponsors include: UofL's Brandeis School of Law, Louisville Free Public Library, UofL's Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, Louisville Food Co-op, Louisville Urban League, Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace & Justice, Sowers of Justice Network, and UofL's Office of the VP for Diversity & International Affairs.