Apply to the Baltimore Cooperative Academy

Apply to the Baltimore Cooperative Academy

Taji Amani

August 14, 2020 / 6320 AFK

The Network for Developing Conscious Communities' Baltimore Cooperative Academy educates black entrepreneurs in implementing cooperative economics and applications are open. Startups, existing businesses and sole proprietors who are interested in merging with other sole proprietors can apply here. Participants will learn about financial management, financing, legal matters, cooperative business history, governance, business planning and marketing among other things.

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting black America and black sole proprietorships especially hard. The virus is a constant threat to our health and our businesses. However, an end to the pandemic and getting back to business as usual is an unacceptably low bar for black health and wealth.

Our health and our overall wealth were at risk before the pandemic. A return to "normal" means a return to a 30-year trend of declining collective, black wealth. It means a high failure rate among new businesses. It means a return to business practices that divide us by class, which weakens our unity in the face of systemic racism. Business as usual boasts being "agile" and "innovative". In four centuries, business as usual has managed to innovate everything under the sun (including the Snuggie), except justice for black people, native American people, poor people and nature. There is little reason for black businesses to get back to normal when normal has brought us disproportionate death and declining wealth.

The power to secure justice in this society is primarily a reflection of who owns the society. Business ownership, residential ownership and land ownership are directly related to the presence or absence of justice in society. During this pandemic, our entrepreneurs should reflect on the reality of business as usual and recognize it for what it is - the underlying force behind systemic injustice and a hindrance to the highest expression of black commerce. Instead of remaining in or resuming the traditional business structures that are failing us, we owe it to ourselves and the next generation to break the cycle of injustice and to implement cooperative economics with the Baltimore Cooperative Academy.

Baltimore Cooperative Academy will take place September 26 to December 19, 2020, every Saturday from 10am - 1pm.

For more information about the Cooperative Academy, email the Network for Developing Conscious Communities at ndccinfo@ndccnetwork.org.

For information about accounting and corporate finance services, contact the Ujamaa Works network.