On May 25th, white supremacy took yet another black life. In the middle of a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities across the US, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a state apparatus sworn, but not designed, to protect and serve him serves as a stark reminder of the centuries-long violence that white supremacy has wrought against bodies and communities of color. His murder also serves as a call to unequivocally name and dismantle the racism and white supremacy that permeate the structures of our society and prevent the full expression of Black liberation, Black joy, and Black lives. Our liberation is bound up together.
George Floyd was murdered by white supremacy in all of its overt, subtle, insidious, and gross manifestations. So were:
Breonna Taylor • David McAtee • Tony McDade • Nina Pop • Sean Reed • Ahmaud Arbery • Trayvon Martin • Mike Brown • Eric Garner • Keith Childress • Atatiana Jefferson • Botham Jean • Alton Sterling • Freddie Gray • Oscar Grant • Philando Castile • Sandra Bland • Stephon Clark • Laquan McDonald • Tamir Rice • and so many more.
We hold their names on our tongue as we condemn the systemic injustices that killed them and stand with the protestors in demanding justice, divestment from police and investment in Black communities, community control, and an end to the War Against Black Lives. We stand against the escalating violence of a militarized police force. We stand in solidarity with all of the people and organizations asserting and demanding that Black Lives Matter.
And yet, we know that this is not enough.
We know that we as individuals and as an organization must examine the ways in which we benefit from white supremacy and the ways in which we, knowingly or unknowingly, have served to prop up the white supremacist values we seek to dismantle.
CooperationWorks strives toward a just and thriving society. While we envision cooperatives as the bridge to that society, the supports won’t hold until racism and white supremacy are confronted and rooted out. Cooperatives – with member control and democracy, autonomy, education, mutual aid, and concern for community baked into their values – are a valuable tool for economic and social justice. To realize the full potential of the cooperative model, we must listen to and support the Black and Brown people doing this critical work in our communities. Listed below are actions that CooperationWorks is taking to support the dismantling of oppressive systems and the creation of new systems that uplift all people.
- $1000 Match for BLM and Black-led Co-op Organizations: CW is dedicating $1000 in match toward Black Lives Matter, Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and Center for Community Based Enterprise.
- Amplifying Black Co-op Voices: We are committed to lifting up and listening to the experiences, needs, and wisdom of Black cooperators.
- Resources: We’re compiling resources on which organizations to support with your time and money, as well as antiracist resources for non-Black people seeking to educate themselves and support the movement.
During this time of grieving and pain, we hope you will join us in answering the call to build a just, equitable, and truly free society.
In Solidarity and Cooperation,
CooperationWorks Board and Staff