NCDF Members Gather in Minneapolis for

2015 Annual Meeting

More than seventy people came together on April 30 at Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis for the NCDF 2015 Annual Meeting.

The meeting included a business meeting presided over by Board President Tom Pierson and Executive Director Christina Jennings, and included presentation by outgoing Treasurer Sharon Barber and Vice President Dave Swanson and Loan Committee Chair, Alex Betzenheimer. They reported on the year's strong financial performance and lending and program activities.

The event featured a forum titled Cooperatives for Social Justice. Three speakers, all affiliated with NCDF member cooperatives, spoke about the roles of cooperative in advancing social justice, as well as about the work that remains to be done. Nikki Marin Baena from the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute talked about her experience organizing worker cooperatives owned by immigrant women. LaDonna Sanders Redmond, food-justice activist and Seward Community Co-op outreach coordinator, spoke about the work of food co-ops in advancing food justice, as well as social justice and racial equity. Alex Green from NASCO (North American Students for Cooperation) spoke of how student housing cooperatives create a space for personal growth and organizing for social justice.

Speakers challenged the audience to work toward building a diverse and inclusive movement rooted in racial and economic equity. NCDF's mission of economic democracy cannot be achieved when only a few have access. People of color as well as low-income people will need to be at the table too. Speakers urged the audience to work to build a diverse cooperative movement committed to equity and racial and economic justice.

The meeting was followed by a reception featuring local craft brews and hors d'oeuvres made possible by the annual meeting premier sponsors: Organic Valley Family of Farms and South Metro Federal Credit Union.

We are also grateful for our major sponsors: Lakewinds Food Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, National Co+op Grocers, Seward Community Co-op, and the Wedge Community Co-op. Our contributing sponsors include CDS Consulting, Eastside Food Co-op, Hampden Park Co-op, Mississippi Market, Replace Inc. and Spire Credit Union.

We thank everyone for their participation.