African American Cooperatives and Civil Rights: Jessica Gordon Nembhard


What role did economic cooperation play in the civil rights movement? As it turns out, a huge one. This forgotten history is the focus of Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard's book Collective Courage: A History of African-American Economic Thought and Practice.

In 2014, the LF Show was one of the first to report on Gordon Nembhard's work on Black cooperativism and civil rights. Gordon Nembhard has received wide acclaim for both her book and her cooperative work. In August 2016, she was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, standing along side cooperative movement heroes such as Shirley Sherrod (former LF guest) and Melbah Smith. Gordon Nembhard is Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Gordon Nembhard's research has had formidable impact on the worker co-op sector. She also co-founded the U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops and helped that organization build lasting ties with prominent civil rights and cooperative organizations.  She is also an active member of the Grassroots Economic Organizing Newsletter collective and recently joined the board of directors of Green Worker Cooperatives.

More info: The Democracy Collaborative, Black Food Justice, Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, Green Worker Cooperatives, One DC

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