Ethnocultural co-operatives: Race, society and co-operative emergence

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23 November, 2013

The Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network is pleased to offer this free public webinar:

This webinar will open 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.

Jessica Gordon-Nembhard will begin the webinar by providing a description of co-ops emerging in African American contexts in the US. Through her discussion of the history and examples, participants will better understand how co-operatives emerged in response to the social context, race relations and people living on the margins.

Jo-Anne Lee will examine 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 will explore 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? She will engage participants in a conversation that shifts from normative and descriptive discussions to critical thinking and reconceptualizing the role of cooperatives in larger social, cultural, political and economic contexts.

Speaker bios available here

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Event Contact: 
The Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network
by webinar  --