Ethnocultural co-operatives: Race, society and co-operative emergenceNovember 20th, 2013
This webinar opened the dialogue on ethnocultural co-operatives (specifically reflecting on examples across Canada and the US) and the place of these co-ops in the larger society. The two featured speakers are both undertaking research as part of the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network: Jo-Anne Lee of the University of Victoria and Jessica Gordon-Nembhard of John Jay College, affiliated with the City University of New York.
Jo-Anne Lee examined how researchers have written about cooperatives and the absences in our understandings of co-operatives in Canadian society using the Japanese Fishing Cooperatives on the West Coast as a case study. Co-operatives play many different roles in nation formation. As social entities, co-operatives are bound to reflect existing power relations in the larger society including those of race, gender, class and colonialism. In addition, Jo-Anne explored a couple of key questions:
- How can we understand the relative absence of knowledge about “ethnic” cooperatives?
- How has this lacunae affected our knowledge and understanding of cooperatives?
Jessica Gordon-Nembhard provided a description of co-ops emerging in African American contexts in the US. Through her discussion of the history and examples, you can better understand how co-operatives emerged in response to the social context, race relations and people living on the margins.
- Dr. Jo-Anne Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria. Trained as a sociologist, her research focuses on anti-racist, decolonizing feminist theory and practice. She has a background in adult education and community development. She is the Lead on the “Co-operative Inquiry: Co-operatives and Marginalized Community in British Columbia” project within the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network.
- Jessica Gordon Nembhard is an Associate Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, of the City University of New York (CUNY). Jessica completed a year as a visiting scholar in the Economics Department’s Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University, and was Master Teacher (July 2007 and 2009) at the Center’s Summer Institute for Research on Race and Wealth. Further, she is an affiliate scholar at the Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at the University of Saskatchewan as well as the Co-Lead of the Prairie Cluster of the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network. She holds a PhD in Economics.