Monday, March 17, 2014

A Day in Maine to Get Organized and Energized to Sustain Local Economies

Our friends at Cooperative Maine are helping put together an inspiring one-day conference, "Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies in Maine" on March 22 (this Saturday), 9 AM-4 PM, Randall Student Center, Augusta. We like the goals for the day!

Goals for the Day

(1) What are Vibrant Local Economies in Maine now (find out what’s being done);
(2) What would vibrant local economies in Maine look like in the future (vision);
(3) Why is it important to have strong local economies?
(4) Learn the benefits of vibrant local economies;
(5) People leave at the end with action ideas/steps and energy to carry them out.

CDI staffperson Jessica Pooley will be in attendance to let people know about the work CDI is doing in Maine to strengthen local economies.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cooperative Pedalers Wanted in Providence

The Sol Chariots Pedicab worker co-op in Providence, RI is hiring. Sounds like a fun way to stay in shape, learn some skills, see the city, and earn money. See

Maine's Newest Food Co-op is Opening in September in Portland

The Portland Food Co-op plans to open its doors this September. They currently have 1147 member-owners and need to reach 1400 to open, so are well on their way. They've had 100 new member-owners join in the past 10 days! Check out their new video: CDI Board member and CFNE Outreach Officer Gloria LaBrecque gets the last word, talking about how the co-op is a way to strengthen the local economy.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Chance for Youth To Make A Big Splash in the New Economy Movement

Our friends at the New Economy Coalition have launched an important initiative: A Youth and Student Grant program, of up to $5,000 per project. What's even more exciting is that the grants are on a rolling basis. That's right, there's no deadline. When you think of your idea and get it fleshed out, that's when you can apply for the opportunity. NEC explains:

There are infinite possibilities. Map the solidarity economy in your community; plan a convening on your campus about community reinvestment; develop curriculum or bring in trainers to help with starting cooperatives, time banks or land trusts in your community; envision together what it would look like for your hometown to adopt policies to support an economy based on solidarity rather than extraction.
The cooperative and new economy movements have really been exploding in youth communities and on campuses across the country, which have launched a wide range of inspiring and transformational efforts. One example is our friends at Co-Cycle, a youth-led, cross country, bike tour for the purpose of co-op promotion and education.
Are you a youth or a student with a big idea for building the new economy? Hop on this opportunity! Know any one who would be a great fit? Pass this along! For anyone interested, NEC says you should start by submitting a letter of interest.

Click here to read the entire NEC newsletter and get to know their team.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Last two episodes of My So-Called Housing Cooperative released--heart-breaking and heart-warming

This is it!  The Season Finale of My So-Called Housing Cooperative!

I decided to release episodes 5 and 6 together, and once you watch them, you will probably understand why.  Thanks for watching and please forward to anyone you think would enjoy it.

Episode 5: No Chainsaws at Group Meetings (11 minutes) Annie's axe goes missing as she begins to uncover the true secret behind the supernatural occurrences in the building.

Episode 6: Returning the Favor (9 minutes) Crushing secrets are revealed and the new members must make their most difficult decision yet.

My So-Called Housing Cooperative is the story of young adults trying to live a life of cooperation and compassion... without losing their minds. Each month's webisode features a scripted parody based upon real life at the Faire Bande à Part Housing Cooperative (Faire-Op), a 3 story apartment building in Lewiston, ME.

You can see it on the WebsiteFacebookYoutube, and on The Entertainment Experiment, a web site for Maine Made web series.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 8: AORTA Conflict Resolution Workshop in Providence, RI

save the date!

March 8: AORTA Conflict Resolution Workshop in Providence

Dear Providence & Boston-Area friends,
We're excited to offer a public workshop facilitated by AORTA trainer Jenna Peters-Golden on March 8 in Providence!

Here are the details:


Resolutions not Ruins: Conflict Resolution in Your Organization and Collective

As in all communities, conflict in organizations is unavoidable. It is also uncomfortable. In working through conflict, the question shouldn’t be, “How do we prevent conflict?” but rather “How do we address conflict in ways that are healthy and build a stronger organization?”

This workshop will map out how systemic power is one of the main roots in conflict, while we build skills to recognize and address how systemic oppression moves through conflict. In the process we’ll share AORTA’s conflict resolution practices and methods in order to get a jump start in developing tools and processes tailored to your own organization and lives whether you are mediating conflict or a participant in it. 


Date | Time

March 8, 2014 | 1 pm - 4 pm


186 Carpenter St., Providence RI


Sliding scale $10-$30; no one turned away for lack of funds.


The space has two small concrete steps leading up to it, but wide doors -- we will be able to do some wheelchair lifts into the space [you can see a picture of the steps here]. The space has an ADA bathroom. In order to create a space where folks with chemical sensitivities can participate, please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products (including essential oils) and smoke far away from the entrance to the space. Visit this site for info on how to support folks with multiple chemical sensitivities.


Join the event on facebook, or just show up!


AORTA is a collective of educators devoted to strengthening movements for social justice and a solidarity economy. We work as consultants and facilitators to expand the capacity of cooperative, collective, and community based projects through education, training and planning. We base our work on an intersectional approach to liberation because we believe that true change requires uprooting all systems of oppression.

Feel free to pass this email along to others. Contact for more information.


Support "Jackson Rising" Cooperative Conference in May

On Tuesday February 25th, 2014 Mayor Chokwe Lumumba unexpectedly passed away. The Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference (May 2-4, 2014 at Jackson State University) was intended to be one of the primary initiatives and vehicles of the Lumumba administration to build a more equitable and democratic economy in Jackson, MS. The organizers intend to fulfill this mission. On February 26, 2014 (after Mayor Lumumba's death) they were successful in having the Jackson City Council pass a resolution endorsing the conference.

Help make Jackson, Mississippi, a center of economic democracy where strong cooperatives along with other forms of worker owned enterprises and financial institutions will create jobs with dignity, stability, living wages, and quality benefits.

The Indiegogo campaign has been launched! They are seeking to raise $10,000 by March 15th. Please check out the link below and distribute it far and wide. 

Lets help them achieve or even surpass their goal. - Jessica Gordon Nembhard

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New publication: Cooperative Farming by Faith Gilbert, CDI contributing author

The Greenhorns, an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting young farmers, has published a guidebook for Cooperative Farming: Frameworks for Farming Together by Faith Gilbert. CDI's Lynda Brushett was a contributing author. "Compiled from 42 interviews with farmers and professionals, this is a how-to handbook on structuring and operating a group venture."
There is plenty of good information and insights here, so we're anticipating that it will be widely read. We were pleased to work on it and are happy that this resource will be available!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Job posting: New England tech worker co-op seeks Android developer

We (At-Hand Apps) are/is a one of very few workers co-op based on intellectual property.  Our iPhone/iPad GPS-based travel apps have been well received with New England At-Hand being the top-user rated New England travel app.
We are seeking a additional member with Android Development skills to help expand the business. 
This successful iPhone/iPad app development team is creating it’s next business phase. We have an extraordinary new opportunity and partner. We will be shifting from paid apps to free advertising supported apps which is an enormous growth opportunity. Our new sales and marketing partner manages New England’s most successful ad-based travel web sites and we are their expansion into mobile. Our top-user-rated mobile guides will soon be generating much more revenue from their marketing and sales efforts.
This means we immediately have a new priority. Now it matters that our travel apps be migrated to the Android platform to double the “eye-balls” and ad revenue.
If you  have a track record in JAVA/Android development (or know someone who has the track record) and would like to, on an initially part-time basis, work as part of this integrated co-op team – with equity and a small cash bonus, then please contact us to learn more. 

At-Hand Apps, LLC - a workers co-op


Friday, February 14, 2014

Educational Opportunity 2: for Boston-area small businesses

Check out this SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative, if you're interested in accessing training and mentoring to build your co-op. They suggest applicants have revenue of at least $400K and 3 years of operations.

Educational Opportunity: Online Courses on Intro to Co-ops, Participatory Methods, and Worker Co-op 101

Did you know? The Toolbox for Education and Social Action is gearing up to offer some great online courses. They'll be starting soon: Intro to Cooperatives March 10-14,, Popular Education Methods and Practices Tuesday evenings starting on April 8th for four sessions,, and Worker Co-op 101 April 16 and 17, five hours total over two nights, Can't wait.

Job posting: Equal Exchange is hiring a full-time sales rep

Another chance to work at a worker co-op! Check it out:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Co-op 101, Thursday 2/20, 6-8 pm, Jamaica Plain, MA

Tell your friends,
Tell your neighbors,
and definitely tell your co-workers!

Workshop: Introduction to Cooperative Business
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014
6-8 pm
at the offices of Red Sun Press,
94 Green Street (2nd floor), Jamaica Plain MA.

Info and Registration here:

WORC'N members - if you'd like to host a Co-op 101 at your space, let
us know! Co-op 101 is on the third Thursday of most every month.

Please let Stacey know ahead of time if you will need interpretation!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Job posting: the Northwest Co-op Development Center is hiring a Cooperative Housing Specialist

REPORTS TO: Manufactured Housing Community Program Manager

POSITION SUMMARY: The Cooperative Housing Specialist will work with senior housing staff to facilitate the development of cooperatively owned manufactured housing, including affordable housing and community development projects, products, and programs, and will provide support to other NWCDC activities as assigned.

STATUS: Salaried, full time, permanent position

If you know of somebody good, get in touch!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Help Worker Co-op Moms Win $25,000!

Meet Ginger Moon, a graduate of Green Worker Cooperatives' Coop Academy. Ginger Moon is a mother-owned & run worker co-op based in the Bronx that is dedicated to providing healthy food to new moms and their families. 

They call themselves "the food doulas" because they see food as a key ingredient to ensure the health and vitality of a new mother and child. Ginger Moon provides personal chef services as well as food delivery and focuses on the dietary needs of new moms. 

GINGER MOON IS IN THE RUNNING TO WIN $25,000 in the FedEx: Small Business Big Grant challenge. AND THEY'RE THE ONLY WORKER CO-OP IN THE MIX.

VOTE FOR THEM NOW and help them win some much needed seed capital.

Vote every day (yes, its allowed) and tell your friends to do the same.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Worcester Printing Cooperative Project launches, seeks first worker-member

We're excited to see the launch of the Worcester Printing Cooperative Project, an offshoot of EthiX merchandising. This is a prime example of existing businesses being the seeds for new enterprises. EthiX has a solid client list with a steady flow of work to seed a new apparel decoration business, and they are ready to do it for a cooperative. The equipment and space are lined up as well. All the business needs is YOU, if you answer "yes" to these questions!
  • Are you committed to fair labor standards and passionate about social responsibility?
  • Have you dreamed of running your own organization – an organization with the mission of changing the world?
  • Are you enthusiastic and have experience in the apparel or print industries? 
See for more information on the position.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Northeast Cooperative Council Annual Meeting March 27, 2014

NECC 65th Annual Meeting and Leaders Forum, CoBank Customer Meeting
The 65th NECC Annual Meeting and Leaders Forum, "Strategic Decision Making Through Tactical Leadership" and the CoBank Northeast Customer Meeting will be held March 27-28, 2014 at the Albany Marriott, Albany, NY. Selected topics for the Cooperative Leaders Forum include risk evaluation in a global economy, succession planning for cooperative boards and management, messaging for members, and enhancing critical decision making skills. Learn more about the Leaders Forum and CoBank Customer meeting at and register through CoBank, here:

Training opportunities for worker co-ops coming up: finance & patronage webinars Jan 24, Jan 31, and Feb TBD

The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives is kicking off 2014 with a member webinar series on worker cooperative finances. Register today!
January 24, 2014 = Tutorial
January 31, 2014 = Worker Coop Finances 101
February 2014 = Patronage - Sharing & Comparing Models
Descriptions and registration information here:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Episode 4 of My So-Called Housing Cooperative now online -- hijinks continue!

Episode 4 of My-So Called Housing Cooperative is now online. 

You can view it on Youtube here:

Episode Summary: While Joey and Shanna are packing for their big move, Craig freaks out when he feels the entire building shake. He frantically questions his housemates to get to the bottom of the inexplicable tremors, fearing that the foundational stability of the Faire-Op may be threatened.

My So-Called Housing Cooperative is the story of young adults trying to live a life of cooperation and compassion... without losing their minds. Each month's webisode features a scripted parody based upon real life at the Faire Bande à Part Housing Cooperative (Faire-Op), a 3 story apartment building in Lewiston, ME.

You can see it on the WebsiteFacebookYoutube, and starting January 13th on The Entertainment Experiment, a web site for Maine Made web series.

I hope you enjoy it. More episodes to come.

This Saturday, 1/25, a screening of Shift Change documentary

Join us for the inaugural film in the Projections series, Word Up's winter series of film screenings with local filmmakers and neighborhood collaborators!

Ecomundo Cleaning & Word Up Community Bookshop Librería Comunitaria 


DATE: Saturday, January 25, 2014


LOCATION: 2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.

WHAT: A screening of SHIFT CHANGE (69 min.), an award-winning documentary that tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces. 
***PLUS, members of Ecomundo Cleaning—a cooperative business based in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx—will present their own experiences forming a worker coop. Worker cooperative developers will also be present to discuss the process of forming a worker coop. 

ADMISSION: $5. (Reduced to $3 if you sign up for the Word Up CSB program as a Continuing CSB Member—


Shift Change—a documentary film by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin—tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in  democratic workplaces.

With the long decline in US manufacturing and today’s economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. The usual economic solutions are not working, so some citizens and public officials are ready to think outside  of the box, to reinvent our failing economy in order to restore long-term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.

There is growing interest in firms that are owned and managed by their workers. Such firms tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.

Shift Change encourages support for employee ownership, and provides on-the-ground experience from a variety of enterprises and locations. 


ECOMUNDO CLEANING is a group of mostly women (and 2 men), from Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, who have formed a cooperative business in order to ensure ourselves decent wages and healthy work conditions. Ecomundo offers green cleaning services for homes, offices, and businesses in the New York Metropolitan area. 

WORD UP COMMUNITY BOOKSHOP / LIBRERíA COMUNITARIA is a multilingual, general-interest community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, committed to preserving and building a neighborhood in which all residents help each other to live better informed and more expressive lives, using books as an instrument of reciprocal education and exchange, empowering not only themselves, but their community. 

A program of Seven Stories Institute, Word Up is supported by the generosity of hundreds of community donors, as well as the funding for general operating support from the NoMAA Regrant Program, made possible by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation; the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund; and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Care Network.

Film website:
Ecomundo Cleaning:
Word Up Community Bookshop:

Watch "To The Moon" trailer -- documentary on Co-Cycle

Co-Cycle was a brave and beautiful project to bike the U.S. visiting and learning about co-ops along the way. To the Moon is the documentary. CDI is proud to have helped out in small ways with both projects and congratulates these Amherst grads on a ton of good work. It's not over, though -- funds are still needed to edit and promote the film, and the Co-Cycle continues with a tour planned along the West Coast in 2014. Enjoy the trailer and see how you can participate!

1st Annual NYC Worker Cooperative Conference: Economic Democracy and Economic Justice, April 19

Economic Democracy and Economic Justice: The Tale of a New City

The New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives will hold its first annual conference of presentations and discussions about economic democracy and the road to economic justice.  

The conference will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at CUNY Law School. The public is invited to a day of panels, group sessions, and lectures on workplace democracy, worker cooperative businesses, and the future of economic democracy in New York City.

Register at:
or in-person on Saturday, April 19.

Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Location: CUNY Law School, 2 Court Square, Queens, NY 11101
Directions: E/M/G/7 to Court Square
Admissions: $5 - 25

Please contact or 646.363.6311 with questions.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

CDI cited in article on cooperative solutions for senior living

See "Cooperative Living for Seniors (and others)" on The Little Old Lady Stays Put (or doesn't), by Jacqueline Herships.

Class on Community Energy Solutions at Greenfield Community College 1/11 and 1/18

Community Energy Solutions Class at GCC Saturdays 1/11 and 1/18 from 9 am to 5 pm
One of the most inspiring things I get to do is to teach a class at GCC on Community Energy Solutions. The next session is coming up the next two Saturdays and I thought you might like to know about it.
The class is participatory - full of field trips and discussions.  The students are always wonderful - a great cross-section of people of different ages and backgrounds, people who know a lot about the subject and people who are brand new to it all. The conversations are insightful.  We all come out with new ways of understanding the world and, even better, new ways to talk with other people about these important issues in a compassionate way.
It's a great way to get an overview of what you can do to make a difference in the world of energy and climate change.
We've also hooked up a lot of people who take this class with internships and jobs.
This semester we'll be studying Harvard Solar Gardens and Northeast Biodiesel as our case studies and we'll take a field trip to learn about the energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades three different families have done on their homes.
To Register:
Online for Continuing Education (Course Code: REW 385)
OR download this Registration Form and  send it in to the Admissions office to register for one credit (Course Code: SCI 110-1).
Phone: (413) 775-1801
Fax: (413) 775-1827
Office of Admission
Greenfield Community College
One College Drive
Greenfield, MA 01301
We'll meet in the Main Building on the Main Campus in Room N405 on Saturday, Jan 11 and then we'll meet at my house, 127 Main Street, in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, Jan 18 - both from 9 am to 5 pm.  
Lynn Benander

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Collegiate Conference on Cooperatives in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Calling Young Farmers: Conference on Co-operatives
Every February students attend the Collegiate Conference on Co-operatives. Sponsored in part by the CHS Foundation and CoBank, the event attracts participants from across the country to the hotbed of co-operation, Minneapolis/St. Paul. The annual conference features presentations by cooperative leaders from all across the spectrum, and it is beneficial to both beginning students and to those with some previous co-op education. This year it takes place on February 13-16.

"Our own history is so closely tied with the cooperative movement," said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. "Farmers Union has a strong commitment to providing co-operative education not only to our members, but also to the general public, and especially to young people."

New England Farmers Union will send four members to Minneapolis for this year's conference (expenses paid). If you, your child, or someone you know is a college student or is under 25 and interested in co-operatives in agriculture, please let us know.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My So-Called Housing Cooperative Episode 3: Rain of Mystery, now online

Happy New Year, everyone!

For your viewing pleasure, "Episode 3: Rain of Mystery" is now online! Thanks, Craig Saddlemire :)

You can view it on Youtube here:

Summary: In this episode, Joey becomes concerned as he begins to sense paranormal activities at the Faire-Op. Are these experiences real? Or maybe harboring his big secret is just slowly driving him crazy... Watch episode 3 and find out.

My So-Called Housing Cooperative is the story of young adults trying to live a life of cooperation and compassion... without losing their minds. Each month's webisode features a scripted parody based upon real life at the Faire Bande à Part Housing Cooperative (Faire-Op), a 3 story apartment building in Lewiston, ME.

You can see it on the Website, Facebook, and Youtube.

More episodes to come.