Building a Cooperative Movement in DC By Allison Basile, a ONE DC Shared Leadership team member
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 19:45
In December, Ajowa Ifateyo organized a group of people at the EmergenceCommunity Arts Collective to talk about cooperatives. She reported on her experiences gained when working with coops around the country and on her trip to Mondragon -- a complex of more than 100 cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain. Stemming from this December meeting, attended by approximately 30 people, ONE DC decided that to draw on the experiences of the group to learn more about coops of all kinds and to work toward developing more coops in DC.
In January, we met again to review the 7 cooperative principles, hear the experiences of four group members regarding housing, food, and worker-owned coops, and learn about how coops have been co-opted by political parties and corporations.
As ONE DC celebrates five years of creating equity, advocating justice and cultivating leadership, we assert with confidence: another world is possible! ONE DC is creating another world, and we have been doing it with you the past five years. We have been learning that ONE DC and its allies can build an alternative world when we are the change we want to see -- when we are the leaders we have been waiting for.
Building shared leadership at ONE DC has taught us several key lessons we want to share with you:
Each of us has leadership qualities, and none of us has all of them
Leadership must be nurtured, cultivated, supported, challenged and shared.
We are all interdependent: we each bring our gifts and talents together to accomplish the work. None of us can do this alone, and our collective effort always creates more than we can create alone.
Individual and collective effort requires discipline and unleashes creativity.
We build trusting relationships; speak truth with love; show compassion for mistakes; we are all growing.
A dynamic, effective organization is a learning organization. We must be willing life-long learners.
Accountability is essential: we hold ourselves and others responsible to honor our commitments, ask for help when we need it, and offer support to others.
Respecting each opinion, listening with an open mind, being willing to be challenged and to change all make us stronger and more effective.
Critical thinking is essential, but just being critical is not enough.
Developing and practicing creative solutions and building alternatives now is the mark of leadership! We walk the road as we make it.
We have worked to create "liberated zones." In the past five years, ONE DC has strived to facilitate tenant-owned building conversions and cooperatives and helped lead efforts to keep buildings truly affordable housing for low-income and working families. ONE DC won the first community benefits agreement in DC, which included financial grants to community organizations. We continue to hold policy makers and developers accountable to the true meaning of the term "affordable," and we are advocating for keeping jobs in DC for DC residents and using commercial space in DC for small-business owners in DC. ONE DC nurtures community leaders who represent our values of grassroots organizing, democratic leadership, shared power and resources,
cooperative work, collective action, human dignity, freedom from oppression, and systemic change for a just, fair, and equitable society.
ONE DC's five-year history gives a glimpse of what organized and conscious people can create together! As you have walked with us over these past five years of activity and victory, we hope you will continue to be inspired to join us in building and expanding our community over the next five years and more. There is much more ahead with your support.
Sincerely, The Leadership Team, ONE DC
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:33
Shared Leadership Team Completes A Year Of Training
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:14
ONE DC implemented its shared leadership model for building a democratic organization, and staff and member-leaders have stepped up! After its first fundraising training, the Leadership Team took action and pledged 100 percent giving as donors to ONE DC. Each member-leader is paired with a staff/consultant to lead the work of one of four committees: Administration, Campaigns & Membership, Community Learning, and Resource Development. Building ONE DC as a learning organization is a primary, strategic focus for 2012; Freedom School and Combahee Drylongso School will organize sessions for members, supporters, and allies that concentrate on fostering community learning.
A Conversation with Tabitha Seii: Democratic Sisterhood
Friday, 06 May 2011 20:56
During his sabbatical, Dominic Moulden sought to learn about women's leadership. He spoke with Ambassador Tabitha Seii, a woman who was born in the mountain village of Eldoret in the Great Rift Valley. Ambassador Seii was elected to Kenya's Parliament and appointed ambassador to South Africa. Her goal is to sensitize women to understand their power in government.
On December 12, 2009, ONE DC hosted another screening of “Weaving Shared Leadership,” the short video series created during our Digital Storytelling Project. This screening took place at Plymouth Congregational Church, located on North Capitol Street and Riggs Road in northeast DC. The church’s Board of Social Action generously contributed a space for this event. The screening was attended by fifteen people and was followed by a lively discussion along with a meal of delicious Middle Eastern food. The following is a short reflection by Candace Wolf, who is a Storyteller and supporter of ONE DC. Ms Wolf facilitated the post-screening discussion.