Communities of colour contribute massively to the co-operative movement. Why aren’t they recognized for it?

Freedom Dreams Cooperative Education is redefining what the term co-operative means, in order to support the range of BIPOC-led co-operative models in Canada

Why It Matters

While co-ops led by people of colour have been on the rise in the U.S., the same cannot be said for Canada, where co-ops remain mostly white, according to the experiences of people of colour. But, inclusion in the co-operative sector is vital as marginalized groups work to build economic self-sufficiency in a post-pandemic world.

This journalism is made possible by the Future of Good editorial fellowship on community resilience, supported by Co-operators. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

Fannie Lou Hamer wanted to vote. 

While the civil rights movement was climbing to its height, sit-ins, rallies, and marches organized by Black folks were preaching to their communities — it was time for change. During this time, Hamer, along with some of her neighbours, registered to vote. In the end, however, Hamer was denied. And when her employer found out that she registered, he fired her. 

Growing up in poverty in Mississippi, Hamer worked as a sharecropper on a plantation, a system where landowners rented land to farmers in return for a percentage of their crops — an arrangement which benefitted whi

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