Cooperatives have long embodied self-help and mutual aid. This year’s theme, Cooperate Locally, will encourage us to take a look at how we have built cooperatives with and for our whole community. This theme will delve into the hard work of community organizing as well as the mindfulness it takes to co-create with existing communities when starting a new cooperative. Building community power is an intersectional act when working with local communities. All over North America, there are pockets of cooperation that collectively we recognize as the cooperative movement.
Spread the co-op love
Hi! I’m Charlotte, a third year design student in Toronto Canada. Over the past year, my student co op has not only been a place to call home, but also an integral part of adjusting to my new city. I have met some of my closed friends and learned the true merit of collaboration. So when NASCO put out a call for artists I could not have been more excited to share my love of illustration with a purpose driven organisation that does such meaningful work.
When I was first reflecting on the theme of “cooperate locally” I immediately thought back to one of the initial activities I participated in at my co op. It was a “First Nations cooking class” and the entire first hour was spent gathering the ingredients. The leader of the group brought us to community gardens all throughout our downtown campus to collect different herbs and veggies to complete our meal. It felt like my favourite childhood book “Stone Soup” were an entire village shares what little food they have to make stew. I wanted my drawing to mimic the layout of a street. The idea that even within a few blocks you can find people with incredibly varied skills and knowledge. None of my characters resemble each other, and yet the theme would quite literally be incoherent without them.
This year it will not be in Michigan it will be in Austin Texas
Housing support provided by ICC Austin & College Houses
Housing provided by ICC Austin & College Houses
Inter-Cooperative Council of Austin was incorporated in 1970, with roots dating back to the 1930’s, ICC Austin has a dynamic and rich history. Past members worked hard to build the organization we have now and we continue to cooperate on behalf of our future members. The purpose of ICC Austin, a Texas non-profit corporation, is to create a mutually beneficial, diverse, and inclusive community so as to promote the transformation of society toward cooperation, justice, and non-exploitation. To achieve this vision, ICC Austin provides housing to students, primarily those who might otherwise be unable to afford it, on a cooperative basis, in an environment that enhances member education, encourages the formation of long lasting communities, and fosters responsible citizenship.
College Houses was formed in 1964 as a UT student government project with funding from the Hogg Foundation. The original vision was to create a housing facility for students that was vibrant and intellectually stimulating. In 1973, a HUD grant allowed College Houses to purchase its first two buildings on Pearl Street and property to construct a third building W. 21st Street. College Houses transitioned from leasing to owning the buildings and adopted the cooperative housing model, which gives house members full democratic control over their living environment as well as the skills to manage the facilities. Since then College Houses has grown tremendously and serves 750 students each year in our seven co-ops located near the University of Texas campus.
TBD as this is a new process given it’s new location