Me'Lea Connelly

Association for Black Economic Power
Founder of Blexit a grassroots economic disruption movement organization; Director of the Association for Black Economic Power: Working towards the establishment of ‘Village Trust Financial Cooperative’ a Black-led credit union in north Minneapolis’; Singer-Songwriter, wrote the popular movement hymn, ‘Power’; Playwright recent work includes popular Minnesota Fringe Festival musical ‘Niggas & Bitches: Black Men Celebrating Black Women’; Activist in the movement for Black lives. Me'Lea is a 2018 Bush Fellow.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Black Economic Cooperation Past, Present, and Futures

Reclaim and study the significant Black cooperative economic movement history. Learn how to connect, support, or establish a Black led cooperative initiative in your own community. Understand why cooperatives can create a more democratic, sustainable alternative to more mainstream community development efforts.

Black Cooperative efforts like the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship, a fellowship to support the study of Black Cooperatives and the development of Black led cooperative initiatives and the Village Trust Financial Cooperative, a community owned financial institution are just two examples of current Black cooperative initiatives that are working to develop a more just economy and beautiful community for Black people in Minnesota and nationally. Mkali and Connelly, will provide concrete stories of Black cooperation and how to get involved in this participatory workshop and will share the new North Star Black Cooperative Economic Curriculum.

Since the enslavement of African people there has been a practice of Cooperative Economics. From the Underground railroad, to mutual aid societies, credit unions, and southern farm cooperatives and land trusts to, today’s resurgence of cooperatives and a solidarity economy. Explore Black Cooperative Economic history, its ties to movements for justice, current Black Cooperative initiatives, and contribute to the future of Black Cooperative movements.

What can we learn from our history to innovate our Black Cooperative shared futures? How can local and place based Black cooperative efforts become a national movement for Black economic justice. We will explore investment clubs, housing, worker-owner, and credit union cooperatives.

Speakers: Danielle Mkali, Me'Lea Connelly