Brooklyn: Coop Development and Experimentation
Brooklyn has been a hotbed of new worker coops in the past 10 years. This exciting tour will explore a variety of coop projects in the works in Brooklyn. We will begin in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood at Interfaith Medical Center, where a coalition of workers and community partners helped save the hospital several years ago. Now they are working to make it an anchor institution for the development of worker owned cooperatives. Furthermore, they are working to create economic democracy zones in specific areas of Brooklyn and develop health enterprise zones.
From there we will walk to Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local, one of the three coops incubated in a partnership between The Working World and NEBHDCo’s Community for Health Food initiative. This initiative uses an holistic approach to better the food system in Bed-Stuy, while addressing economic justice and gentrification as well. Here we will have a chance to eat lunch, hear from worker owners from Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local as well as staff from NEBHDCo.
After exploring Bed-Stuy, we will share taxi’s to the Sunset Park neighborhood where we will visit Meerkat Media, a worker-cooperative production company and artist residency. Since it’s inception in 2005, Meerkat has been an ongoing experiment in collaborative filmmaking, participatory democracy and sustainable strategies to combine making art & making a living. We will conclude our tour at The Center for Family Life’s Cooperative Development Program, one of NYC’s oldest and biggest coop developers, where we will hear from both coop developers and the worker owners they support. In the past 10 years CFL has organized community members to create more than 10 worker-owned cooperative businesses with mostly immigrant women worker owners and trained numerous other community organizations throughout NYC with their model.
Tour begins: Interfaith Medical Center, 1545 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213 at 12:00pm. Tour concludes: Center for Family Life, 443 39th St., Brooklyn NY 11232 at 4:00pm.
Notes: This tour will require about 30 minutes of walking between locations. The tour will cost $15 and you should expect to pay another $20-$25 on food and transportation. This tour has capacity for 15 people.