Jackson, Mississippi, is a city that sits in the Black belt south in the poorest state in the United States. Jackson has also some of the richest history in resistance and self-determination in the country and in the world. The city has also key institutions such as two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (one private and one public), and organizations of struggle that have been around since the 1950s. There are long-established cooperative enterprises in Mississippi that are supported by the Federation of Southern Co-operatives/Land Assistance Fund and even cooperatives in Jackson that have been going on since the 1980s. Co-operation Jackson however is trying to accomplish what no institution or network of cooperative enterprises has done before which is to create an ecosystem of worker-owned cooperatives in an urban area of the Southern United States. This chapter sets the context for what Co-operation Jackson is aiming to do as well as laying out the challenges of building urban-based cooperatives in the South.
We will focus on four main areas of analysis. First, we use a loose definition of cooperatives that includes and incorporates worker owned enterprises that may or may not be legally incorporated. Secondly, we will focus primarily on Black or Afrikan led cooperatives. Thirdly, we view cooperative enterprises as political projects that live up to cooperative values. Finally, we will consider how ‘urban’ and ‘cities’ are to be defined.
There are many different ways of looking at urban centers in the South. The US South is made up of rural areas, small towns, mid-size urban centers and mega-cities. When we talk about cities or urban areas in the South, what comes to mind are places such as Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Nashville, Dallas and a few others. However, all of these cities are between two to five-times the size of Jackson, and if one includes the panhandle of Texas that balloons to 12 times the size of the population. For that reason, we are going to discuss primarily midsize urban centers of between 100,000-200,000 people, which are the category in which Jackson falls. In addition, here we will focus on cities and urban areas with populations of less than 200,000 people which are at least 30% Black. Jackson, MS, is over 80% Black. There are only four other cities in the US South that have majority Black populations with a total population of between 100,000-200,000 people: Mobile, Alabama; Savannah, Georgia; and Shreveport, Louisiana.
The vast majority of cooperatives in the South are rural cooperatives that have formed to provide public utilities, financial or agricultural services. Utility cooperatives, especially electrical cooperatives, were created in the Great Depression by the Tennessee Valley Authority and, with the exception of Santee Electric Co-operative in South Carolina, almost all of the leadership is white and these institutions are mostly ran undemocratically. Producer cooperatives in the south range in size from four to five small growers to large producer and marketing cooperatives such as Florida’s Natural Orange Juice. The latter began in the 1930s along with many other agricultural cooperatives in order to have greater control of the market and to compete effectively. Almost all of these cooperatives however did not allow Black and other people of color to become members. The only other cooperatives that have been around since in the 1930s are credit unions, which were also started by the Tennessee Valley Authority to support their workers in saving money. These rural cooperatives were started as initiatives to bring economic development to rural areas of the South and in many ways they worked hand in hand with the power elite. Most of the Black cooperatives started before 1965 were also rural, with only a small fraction being formed in urban centers with majority Black populations.
History of Urban Co-operatives in the South
While most of this article is about the current conditions and challenges of starting and sustaining urban cooperatives in the South, it is important to consider the history of cooperatives for two main reasons. First, the majority of cooperatives in the South that have survived have been in rural areas. Secondly, they were formed between the 1930s-1970s out of a political project that built economic power even if politics was not at the forefront. That has had an impact in terms of the politics and longevity of some of the cooperatives; however, many are still hanging on by a thread.
Co-operatives were needed originally for similar reasons as today: because people in urban areas needed ways to survive and be connected differently than working on a farm or sharecropping. Many families that left rural areas together went to the city to support one another. Support systems such as mutual aid societies grew out of this same need. Black urban cooperatives confronted multiple challenges from white businesses, which did not want Black businesses to succeed. As a result, most Black urban cooperatives remained strictly in the heart of the Black community. There were housing, consumer, producer, and other types of cooperatives such as the Black Co-operative Villages near Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1880s; Colored Farmer’s Alliance Co-operative Stores/Exchanges in Charleston, Mobile, New Orleans, and Houston; Citizens’ Co-operative Stores in Memphis, Tennessee; Colored Merchants Society in Montgomery, Alabama; and Young Negroes’ Co-operative League in Columbia, South Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana.
There have historically been cooperatives in Jackson, MS: two notable examples are the Poor Peoples Corporation (PPC) and the Brown-Tougaloo Exchange. The first was formed in 1965 by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activist Jesse Morris and other SNCC and Delta Ministry members. The corporation was based in Jackson and intended “to assist low-income groups to initiate and sustain self-help projects of a cooperative nature.” Membership was open to all poor people regardless of race. The PPC created a common fund and gave out seed money for new cooperatives and small businesses. Co-operative and small businesses training and marketing were provided as services. All members had to pay dues of 25 cents per year and members voted on decisions using a democratic process. The initial pot of money was $5,000 that was mostly donated by northern donors. The cooperatives and partners manufactured clothing, quilts and craft items. There were 16 PPC enterprises in 10 counties of Mississippi, and Liberty House stores in Jackson, New York, Boston and other cities that sold the goods.
The 1964 Brown-Tougaloo Co-operative Exchange was started to increase Tougaloo’s available academic and financial resources. Other colleges in the North and West started similar programs with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. These exchanges both supported funding but also laid the groundwork for students from the north and west coast to come south to support the civil rights movements of the day. The exchange paved the way for Title III, a federal funding program, which increased the amount of financial resources to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Title III is still the most important funding program for education, federally.
Black workers and communities creating and sustaining cooperatives face numerous challenges. Many of these challenges mirror the challenges that confront nearly all Black businesses. Historically, Black urban businesses confronted pressure institutional racism, intimidation from the white business community and by white mobs.
Further, every business and cooperative operating within the capitalist system has to operate as a profit-making enterprise. Access to capital is therefore a necessity, and most poor people do not have funds or collateral to spare. Southern banks refused to give loans to Blacks and most commercial suppliers refused to extend credit that was routinely granted to white-owned businesses. Even federal government agencies that were supposed to give financial support routinely did not and, when they did, they refused to extend credit to cooperatives, whether in rural or urban areas. The credit was extended to white cooperatives and so the only money that most of these cooperatives were able to receive came from movement supporters in the North.
A key challenge that cooperatives faced historically is probably the most important one for us today: the skills, discipline, and techniques that work for registering voters and mounting protests are different from those required by a commercial endeavour and business training is hard to come by. So is mutual trust and confidence among co-op members who have often been competitors for scarce jobs and resources. Nevertheless, some co-ops manage to survive for a time, but those successes only illustrate the depth of the problem because the few members they are able to help are but a tiny fraction of those being dispossessed from their homes and livelihoods. Over the long haul, some of the farm-based co-ops manage to find corporate customers for their crops and continue into the ’70s, ’80s or longer. But most of the co-ops dependent on federal assistance or northern liberals for capital and marketing ultimately fail as funding is diverted to the Vietnam War and shifting political winds redirect social consciences towards other causes.
It is important to note is that cooperatives in Jackson as well as in many other parts of the South could not survive without donors and support from the North, especially white people in the North. A similar model exists today in the form of grants or gift capital and this, oftentimes, is not a sustainable long-term practice.
Why cooperatives are needed now in urban areas
Creating cooperatives and building towards the Solidarity Economy is something we have to do because there is nowhere to go to the grocery store, to get a loan that doesn’t take advantage of you for generations to come, and no place to get health care. Our communities and families have a legacy of making do and trying to figure out how to survive in these circumstances. Co-operative businesses have been created as a response to the failure of existing institutions to adequately meet the needs of the people. This form of businesses also helps people get together, entrepreneurially, with their values at the center alongside creating solutions to the repressions we are under as well. The neoliberal capitalist and politically undemocratic system and world we are in requires a different way for our communities and enterprises to make it. This society is not set up for them to be successful.
Mississippi has the highest unemployment rate in the United States. Jackson’s “official” unemployment rate is over 5.6% and the underemployment rate is much higher. As a result, many people have opted out of the “mainstream” or formal economy. There is a tremendous amount of underground or Black people economies that happens out of necessity. Baba Chokwe Lumumba taught many comrades in Jackson that people are just waiting to be organized. People in Jackson are waiting for more cooperative models because there is this sense that “this is just how it is, this is just hopeless”. Thus many have opted out and continue to not participate except as consumers in this mainstream economy.
The ideas that Baba Chokwe Lumumba articulated and what he was trying to do represented what could be and how this could be different. Jackson, like so many southern towns, has been impacted by a sustained brain drain. Many of the people doing good work in Jackson who have chosen to believe in Jackson are originally from outside the city. Such models are important to help encourage young people who are from Jackson to return or stay home to help support the creation of a different economy and a different city. There is growing interest in the concepts behind the cooperative economy, but many do not yet have direct experience of it.
Successful Co-ops in Urban Areas now
There are some successful cooperatives currently in urban areas in the South. It is important to analyze what has helped them become successful. This helps to better understand why other cooperatives have been hard to take off. Determining what is keeping the cooperative movement and cooperative enterprises from developing in urban areas of the South and especially in majority Afrikan or Black cities is essential. We are going to look at successful cooperatives in three mega cities, three midsize cities, and ones currently operating in Jackson, MS.
The three-mega cities in the South we consider are: Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; and New Orleans, Louisiana. All of them have numerous credit unions and insurance companies but few that support low-income communities in these urban areas.
In Atlanta there are 11 cooperatives: Atlanta Homeschool Co-operative; Sevananda Natural Foods Market; a Housing co-op that was converted from traditional apartments; Southwest Atlanta Growers Co-operative; Partners Co-operative—hospital shared services cooperative; Sopo Bicycle co-op; Urban Recipe; Oakhurst Co-operative Preschool; and Us Lifting Us co-op marketplace and co-op network. Even though these co-ops were started in Atlanta, GA, white people started them all, except for Us Lifting Us. They are a mixture of producer cooperatives, housing cooperatives and consumer cooperatives. Us Lifting Us is the only one that is in the development stage and is working to develop a network of cooperatives.
Birmingham has a similar story: out of the ten cooperatives, there are only two Black-led cooperatives. The ten cooperatives are: Alabama Farmers Co-operative; Bici Co-op; Mannamarket organic food co-op; Central Alabama Electric Co-op; Alabama Homeschool Co-operative; Wandering Yoga Co-operative; Genius Co-op; National Housing Co-operative — solar powered home ownership; Artists Incorporated — an artists’ cooperative; Magic City Agricultural Project and Black Star Academy. All of the cooperatives, except for Artists Incorporated and Wandering Yoga Co-operative, are consumer, producer, or housing cooperatives. Artists Incorporated and Wandering Yoga are both worker cooperatives. Artists Incorporated has its own space, while Wandering Yoga members do not have a studio. Magic City Agricultural Project is the only one that is working on developing multiple cooperatives together with the Community Land Trust and others to support the Black community in Birmingham.
In New Orleans there are six readily accessible cooperatives and one cooperative development center that is in formation. These are: New Orleans Food Co-op; Veggie Farmers’ Co-operative—a mostly Vietnamese farmers co-op in East New Orleans; New Orleans Co-operative Development Project—cooperative start-up and development of worker-owned cooperative business; New Orleans Scooter cooperative; New Orleans Co-operative Housing for university students; and Our School at Blair Grocery working to end hunger and engage high school and college students in service learning. A similar story is evident in New Orleans with only consumer, producer and housing cooperatives. There is a worker development center that is forming but no worker cooperatives as such. The only cooperative that is majority people of color is Veggie Farmer’s Co-operative and although it is located in a city it is based on the bayou for fishermen and farmers.
There are only three other mid-size cities that are majority Black. All of these cities have credit unions whose primary focus is not in alignment with the development of the Black community.
- Mobile, Alabama, has two cooperatives: Alabama Farmers Co, and Evergreen Homeschooling Co-op.
- Savannah, Georgia, has four cooperatives: the Savannah Food Co-op, the Savannah Climbing Co-op, a Montessori Preschool, the Savannah Wedding Co-op, which is a worker cooperative unlike all the other cooperatives in Savannah.
- Shreveport, Louisiana, has two cooperatives and a community development credit union: a farmers cooperative; an electric cooperative and the Shreveport Federal Credit Union whose mission it is to support low income residents. It was started by the Black community to support the Black community.
Current day urban co-ops in Jackson
Currently in Jackson, MS, there are six cooperatives and one cooperative development center that support all of Mississippi.
The Mississippi Association of Co-operatives started out of the Federation of Southern Co-operatives and primarily supports the rural cooperatives of Mississippi but also helps the cooperatives in Jackson when necessary. The other cooperatives in Jackson were created after 1980. These are: the Rainbow Food Co-operative, Hope Credit Union, Stewpot, Computer Co-op, ACE Hardware Store, and Nationwide Insurance. All of these cooperatives are currently consumer or financial cooperatives although the Computer Co-op is currently in the process of shifting over to worker and investor ownership. The Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and Hope Credit Union are the only apex cooperative organization and coooperative, respectively, that were started by Black people to serve the mainly low-income Black communities of Jackson and Mississippi.
Reasons for Success
The success of urban cooperatives is to a large extent dependent on who is involved in starting them.
First, most cooperatives that are in these cities are producer, consumer, housing, and financial cooperatives. The producer and consumer cooperatives are focused on food either as restaurants or grocery cooperatives. The housing cooperatives are generally for college students or are focused on converting housing that are not for low-income communities. The financial cooperatives, whether they are insurance or credit unions, are generally larger credit unions or insurance companies. There are only a few Community Development Credit Unions that have been started to support low-income communities in the South.
Secondly, although there are cooperatives that support Black people there are only a few that have been designed and created by Black people for Black people or by communities of color as in New Orleans. White or majority white people who have easier access to credit through banks, investors, friends and government have established the majority of cooperatives that have survived. Many of these don’t have to deal with the pressures of police harassment, poor schooling and other problems that poorer Black communities have to face. And they are often not involved in trying to build large-scale cooperative networks and cooperative development centers at the same time.
For urban cooperatives that are relevant and realistic for low-income communities, and especially low-income Black communities, they have to be both a political project and an economic one at the same time. The cooperatives have to be willing to do education in terms of cooperative values, business skills and collective ways of operating. They also need to be based on need and analysis of the city and what people are willing to do and create. Even though the challenges are great, and what is at stake sometimes appears to be almost unreachable, it is important for cooperatives to be established and run by and for the community. A combination of local and outside support both financial and otherwise is necessary, but without creating dependence.
Challenges or Must-Haves
Urban cooperatives must first deal with the challenge or necessity of building community in cities where community does not exist or where community is not strong owing to people moving in an out, or because they have been weakened intentionally in order to enable gentrification, or where communal spirit is low.
Co-operatives have to figure out a way to support the members while building the cooperative. Often, members are struggling to figure out a way to survive because, unlike in rural areas, there is no robust family support, rent/mortgages tend to be high, and many face difficulties in being able to grow easily accessible food to reduce their living expenses.
Another challenge is that many would-be members do not have the skills and financing necessary to start the cooperatives. In urban areas, prices for space and equipment are much higher—which means that financing needs are at a premium. A critical question is how to draw on the skills that people in urban areas have to propel cooperatives and cooperative development.
Urban co-ops are hard to grow in many ways because it is harder to build community. You are pushing against a variety of challenges: individualism, access to resources to buy materials, pressures arising from needing to have an income to survive, pressures of gentrification of the neighborhoods, and so on. When people are saying ‘I don’t have a home’, ‘my school is terrible’, and ‘I don’t know where I am going to have enough to pay my bills and eat’, the challenge of building cooperatives can be immense. The decks are stacked against people in communities because everything is coming against people at the same time. In order to sow co-ops people have to be willing not to get paid for a period of time: you can’t make a large amount of money from the beginning even though people need money now. This is one reason that it is harder to start urban co-ops. In a rural space you can make money stretch farther because things are cheaper.
Jackson is a small to medium size city that for many people is economically depressed and so although money can go farther here, the challenges listed above are nevertheless substantial. These practical challenges as well as the need for strength, perseverance and imagination are all needed. This is mitigated if the urban community is smaller and everyone has lived there for much of their lives. However, most co-ops were built out of community struggle and the people who lived through these struggles don’t always share the stories and history that cemented the relationships of the cooperatives founders. So, many second-generation cooperators are left to put the pieces together in order to sustain community. Those pieces do not often tell of the struggle of young people and the economic struggle is often totally left out. That economic struggle in urban areas of the South today is not that different from what was going on in the 1930s or the 1960s; just some of the players have gone underground or have changed stripes.
In urban areas it is harder to know your neighbor. Gentrification has multiple impacts, breaking up community and dissolving long-term connections. Gentrification also skews the amount of wealth that impacts which cooperatives, especially consumer cooperatives, end up in the area. This is why there are debates currently in the consumer cooperative movement about the role of cooperatives in the gentrification process. Gentrification is just one problem that causes harm to urban cooperatives forming as it relates to community. Key to cooperatives working and especially urban cooperatives is that you must have true solidarity within the group. It is important for the cooperative to be agile and on its feet. And critically you need the trust of the people who are co-owners or workers with you.
Every business, especially urban ones, all need staffing in some way, volunteer and paid, and all need some sort of investment. Co-operative businesses are no different. In the urban areas of the South, especially in the poor majority Black cities, there is no paid or part time technical staff or capital investment initially, which is in large part needed for these cooperatives to grow. For poor urban communities, you almost need someone to be able to quit their day job to focus on it and we don’t have anyone with the technical know-how or freedom to do that. There is no technical assistance provider in our area and sometimes we are also are not linked up to the right people. Our communities need to see something tangible. Even for those people who are directly involved in cooperative building, most have not had previous experiences of cooperatives. It is important, therefore, to have a pilot co-op in our city, especially for community members who cannot leave the city.
Richard Rice in a personal interview said:
“That is why we at Magic City Co-operative are putting all of our efforts towards that and we need one to legitimize our efforts. Getting people to buy into the idea because we don’t have anything tangible on the ground. Farmer and consumer co-ops are the example and people have a hard time seeing how that translates to a worker cooperative.”
Creating a business that is sustainable is hard under any climate or situation even if you have technical assistance providers and the initial capital investment. One of the reasons why it is still hard to create urban co-ops is because they can be easily destroyed if the members and community are not vigilant. The leadership of the co-op can be distracted by petty arguments about financing and other issues. Prices can be increased and there can be no way around this. In an interview with Hollis Watkins he remarked that when he was younger,
“If the price of bricks went up people just made their own bricks and if the price of concrete went up people just made their own concrete. One of the fondest memories of my Auntie Pearl is that when a brick would come off of her house of other houses on the family land she would gather the young people around and make us re-brick the houses that needed to be fixed alongside her.” .
Owing to redlining, and the policies and practices of tearing down low-income homes and instead replacing them with housing projects, most people do not know how to survive and create their own businesses. We still have hair shops, cafes, and other traditional shops but on a large scale many of those skills and places are gone.
We are also living in a time where we are further removed from those raised in rural areas, which is why the creation of urban community gardens has become so important. In the 1960s, people would have just grown food in their yard and would have shared the harvest with each other. Today, most people don’t have the space to do that.
One of the opportunities and challenges that was shared from the 1960s was about grant money being used to fund cooperative development or relying on Brown University to help get funding for Tougoloo. This challenge and opportunity around resources, especially financial, is no different today for Southern urban cooperatives. There is a large federal grant that supports rural cooperative development but nothing that compares to this for urban cooperatives. Most of the small business administration centers have very little knowledge about cooperatives, and what they do know is heavily weighted to agricultural or producer or marketing cooperatives. In most southern states, except for Alabama and Texas, non-agricultural and non-financial cooperatives are not legally sanctioned or provided for in legislation. And even if they do, anyone who is undocumented cannot access it.
Urban cooperatives ought to have members with cooperative values, a mentality of collaboration and trust within the group. Individual entrepreneurs often want their idea to produce results immediately, but it takes patience for people to work together and make a cooperative work. The group needs perseverance along with technical training and trust. For Black people, and in general for all people, trust has to be there. The relationship building has to happen, you still have to come sweep and do whatever is necessary for the cooperative to thrive. Everyone has to do the entire range of jobs – small to big tasks.
One of the main challenges in urban areas and potentially all areas of economic depression, but, especially in urban ones, is how do you honor the business models that people have been using to survive? The biggest growing cooperatives in urban areas are landscaping, mechanic shops, cafés, hair shops, bicycles, etc. because those are the jobs that people know how to do. In order for these, often small, enterprises to grow they need to create new co-ops or the existing co-ops need to get larger. It will take investment that is often hard to find. It is for this reason that the revolving or reparations loan funds are critical.
The biggest question or debate that we have to engage is what degree of balance are we comfortable with between institutionalized vs. non-institutionalized economies? That is the important question because everyone is engaged with the economy as both producers and consumers it is just a matter of what you are producing. So one of the challenges we are facing in urban communities is how does everyone produce and consume based on a value system that lifts up all members of our community?
In order for urban co-ops and urban cooperative economies to thrive we must engage in trade and bartering that is both large scale but also looks like the traditional hook-up system that we know. Urban cooperative ecosystems are going to have to be created so individual co-ops or co-op leaders cannot be targeted because that is the history of Black people and oppressed people working on economic self-determination. Many communities in urban areas in the South, but also in cities across the United States and across the world, are coming together in response to state-based violence and are trying to determine the best way forward. That best way forward, in our opinion, is leading people to explore cooperative models around economics and what community restorative justice models could mean. Urban cooperatives must be able to grow and withstand the repression of communities by the police state. So how does what the cooperatives create in the midst of this make the community and its people stronger?
Creating urban-based cooperatives in the South is challenging and Black urban-based ones are doubly hard. There are some that have been created in the past, others that are going now and even more under development. Doing this work requires our communities to find that spirit of definition and a new definition of wealth. Most importantly it demands a digging into community and for urban areas that have been torn apart by gentrification, interstate highways, and displacement where it is even harder to build community. In many southern cities community has taken a new shape and the cooperative movement and cooperative enterprises have to take that new shape as well.
Part of that new shape means redefining what a cooperative is and also supporting the skills that members of our communities have either naturally or cultivated. Our community members are able to grind and hustle to make ends meet and sometimes these skills matter more than other technical skills that are often lifted up to make cooperative businesses work with sometimes a different value system.
Although the challenges are great, and where we have to go is so far in the distance, the first step is to just jump on the train and not lose what we have got. Richard Rice in his interview said that “People are interested in creating and joining a cooperative, but right now there is nothing to touch.” There is nothing to grab hold of, people can’t go inside, and they can’t see it. The hope of the Renaissance Community Co-operative in Greensboro is that people in a food desert can go inside a grocery store in their neighborhood. For Jackson it’s going to be big because once the co-op ecosystem is created it will be more than just me walking to the Lumumba Center and having Brandon, a member owner, asking me if I want a watermelon and someone’s face lighting up. It will be community members having the ability to experience life in a way that has never been around before.
- American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31. ↵
- Black Co-operatives in the United States ↵
- Hartford, Bruce. “Poor People’s Corporation, Co-operatives, & Quilting Bees”. Documents from Poverty and Economic Justice Projects. Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, www.crmvet.org/tim/tim65b.htm, Accessed 24 November 2016. ↵
- Doncan, Danny. “Funding Black Colleges: Title III of the Highlander Education Act.” Brown- Tougaloo Exchange, 2005 http://cds.library.brown.edu/projects/FreedomNow/themes/title3/index.html. Accessed 25 November 2016 ↵
- Hartford, Bruce. “Poor People’s Corporation, Co-operatives, & Quilting Bees”. Documents from Poverty and Economic Justice Projects . Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, www.crmvet.org/tim/tim65b.htm, Accessed 24 November 2016. ↵
- Rice, Richard. Personal Interview. 16 October 2016. ↵
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 (PDF), United States Census Bureau. ↵
- Birmingham co-ops websites—Alabama Farmers Co-operative- http://www.alafarm.com/locations/storelist/; Bici Co-op- http://bicico-op.org; Mannamarket organic food co-op http://www.mannamarket.net; Central Alabama Electric Co-op; Alabama Homeschool Co-operative; Wandering Yoga Co-operative; GeniusCo-op National Housing Co-operative- https://gust.com/companies/geniuscoop; Artists Incorporated-http://artistsincorporated.com. Accessed 27 November 2016. ↵
- New Orleans co-ops websites—New Orleans Food Co-op -www.nolafood.co-op; Veggie Farmers’ Co-operative-http://www.veggifarmcoop.com; New Orleans Co-operative Development Project-https://www.facebook.com/NewOrleansCooperativeDevelopmentProject/; New Orleans scooter cooperative http://www.nolascootcoop.com; New Orleans Co-operative Housing for university students - nocha.org; and Our School at Blair Grocery- https://www.facebook.com/NewOrleansCooperativeDevelopmentProject/. Accessed 27 November 2016 ↵
- Rice, Richard. Personal Interview. 16 October 16. ↵
- Watkins, Hollis. Personal Interview. 26 October 2016. ↵
- McColl, Sarah, ‘‘Co-op Offers Oasis in a Southern Town Food Desert,’’ Takepart, October 23, 2016. Available online at: http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/10/23/food-insecure-neighborhood-gets-boost-new-co-op ↵