CCMA 2019 – Call for Proposals

The CCMA 2019 theme, Cooperative Tapestry: Fostering Democracy and Equity in Our Communities, recognizes the influence of the textile industry on North Carolina’s economy and on the modern cooperative movement. How do we weave our unique cooperative values and identities into community-led solutions that help us be more relevant and successful? 

Over the past 200 years, textiles have played a fundamental role in North Carolina’s economy, although sometimes with a fraught history concerning worker’s rights. Textiles were also instrumental in the founding of the modern cooperative movement. The Rochdale Pioneers, a group of weavers, codified the principles of a successful cooperative, which are the basis of the Seven Cooperative Principles. In the American South, the Freedom Quilting Bee, a handicraft cooperative born out of the Civil Rights Movement, demonstrated how collective action can address economic obstacles.

After nearly going extinct, North Carolina’s textile industry is experiencing a resurgence thanks to innovative practices, a commitment to customer service, and democratic ownership models. We have also seen renewed interest in leveraging the cooperative model to deliver quality food at fair prices and a new openness to critical conversations about equity and inclusion in the food system.

As we embark on another year of growth and discovery as a cooperative community, how can we use the threads of the cooperative tapestry to remain competitive and to foster democracy and equity in our communities? To do so effectively and with integrity, we must understand the power of the cooperative model and the competitive challenges that lie ahead. We must use our cooperative identity to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. And we must take a deep and honest look at our culture and our past so we can learn from our historical errors and move forward as a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive community. 

Call for Proposals

The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives (UWCC) is seeking proposals for break-out sessions through February 8, 2019. Please read the attached Call for Proposals document for information on track topics, submission guidelines, and selection criteria.

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