(From Press Release) – The California Center for Cooperative Development is excited to convene their 10th annual co-op conference at the Masonic Rite Center in Sacramento on Sunday, April 28 and Monday, April 29. Entering its second decade, the conference continues to expand with community interest in more inclusive and sustainable business models. The event remains focused on participant opportunities, with the sessions centering on cooperatives’ roles in the creation of jobs, housing, and local ownership in our economies. Participants learn how to strengthen individual cooperatives and start new ones, with opportunities to share ideas, experiences and strategies.
The California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD) is a non-profit based in Davis, California and serves the state by providing education, technical and development assistance in starting cooperatives and converting other business structures to worker ownership. The conference is held in different areas of the state each year to encourage broad participation, with last year’s event in San Diego. CCCD Executive Director Kim Coontz says, “We look forward to hosting this year’s conference in Sacramento, to showcase the many ways that cooperatives are used to address community needs. This year we have a track on cooperative housing, another on worker cooperatives and a third on consumer food co-ops. And, as usual, we have workshops that offer continuing education credit to attorneys.”
Conference Highlights, Speakers and Community Social
Keynote speaker Nathan Schneider will draw from his most recent book: Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition that Is Shaping the Next Economy in his address, “The Hidden Consensus of Cooperative Business.” Mr. Schneider is a journalist and professor of media studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2015, he co-organized “Platform Cooperativism,” a pioneering conference on democratic online platforms at The New School, and co-edited the book, Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet.
During Sunday’s plenary session, Ed Moncrief and Horacio Amezquita will present Reclaiming Dignity. They will discuss how Farmworker Housing Cooperatives were born from the organized efforts of farmworkers and their advocates to address the living and working conditions of farmworkers in the 1970s in the Salinas Valley. Most of those cooperatives continue to provide housing communities for their members, and members will join the discussion. Ed Moncrief is the author of Raising the Blackbirds: A Story of an Immigrant Farmworker and His Community of Vision and Leadership.
The conference hosts experts from across California and the country. Workshops share the latest trends in cooperative development, covering governance, financials, communications, business conversions, with breakout areas for discussions and networking. Sessions cater to the needs and interests of attendees along a continuum of experience–from the novice to the co-op expert.
The Sunday sessions end with a fun social mixer and a silent auction, from 6-8 pm. The event, open to the public, promises to be a great evening of music, delicious local foods with the auction featuring area cooperatives and partners, to benefit the conference scholarship fund.
Registration for the conference is open, with reduced fees for CCCD members and students. There are a limited number of scholarships available, intended for co-ops, non-profits, community-based organizations, and low-income individuals. More information about the conference, including the schedule and workshops, and registration details can be found on the CCCD website at www.cccd.coop.