Inclusion Statement


We recognize there is a long history of gender and racial discrimination at a systemic level, and Madison has extreme racial disparities that impact all aspects of our lives. Our local worker cooperatives are whiter and more male than the national trend, where growth is driven primarily by women and people of color, particularly immigrants. 

The 1st Cooperative Principle of “Open and Voluntary Membership” is intended to make cooperatives accessible to all. We recognize that due to historical and structural inequities, being “open” is not enough to make cooperatives and the cooperative movement welcoming to people who have experienced marginalization. We are working to be a more inclusive organization in order to support the communities and the workers who can benefit the most from the wealth-building potential and democratic control of worker cooperatives. 

Building racial, gender, and economic justice in our communities means ongoing, proactive commitment to: 

  • Continually taking steps to become inclusive, diverse, and to realize shared equity

  • Having an intentional mindset to undo and defeat all forms of racism and oppression, by taking action when we see barriers to participation, decision making, and experiencing mutual benefits of ownership  

  • Listen and learn from one another to increase awareness of the structural outcomes of oppression, racism, and privilege, the pitfalls of microaggression, tokenism, hidden bias, and the need to acknowledge history, including contributions of oppressed peoples

  • Commit to support marginalized communities in our actions, practices, and spending

  • Seek to prevent negative impacts of gentrification in what we support and resist

  • Intentionally and repeatedly analyze and share power in decision making to deepen participation in worker democracy

  • Encourage the association of people to create practical vision that comes from each member's unique background and experience

  • Regularly assess our progress to identify gaps, opportunities, and constraints to achieving these outcomes

  • Find joy in the work we do together, the values we hold in common, and the bonds we create cooperatively