The Co-op Factory: A Meet-up Group for Co-op Makers
Meets every month on last Thursday, 6–8 pm, at the Bellingham Makerspace in Bellis Fair Mall (park near Dick’s Sporting Goods)
Tied of working for a boss?
Ready to start a democratically-run bossless workplace?
Or perhaps a housing co-op?
Or do you have some other vision for a new co-op you’d like to start with your friends?
Come on down to
~ The Co-op Factory ~
A Meet-up Group for Co-op Makers
Last Thursday of Every Month
The Bellingham Makerspace
Located inside Bellis Fair Mall, next to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
This event is free and open to the public!
Come chat with others creating co-ops in the community.
Feel free to bring your laptop, food to munch on, and any paperwork you’ve been procrastinating filling out to get your co-op off the ground.
The meeting will start with introductions in which we’ll let each other know which co-op projects we’re working on. Then some groups will break off to work on individual projects. Sometimes a Featured Cooperator will join us from the local co-op community to share their knowledge and experience.
As a meet up group, our focus is more on hands-on activities and skillsharing than lectures. Feel free to come just to talk about co-ops, or bring stuff you need to work on to get your co-op off the ground.
Activities might include: filling out paperwork for your co-op, doing some strategic outreach for your co-op, creating social media pages and posts for your co-op, etc.
Co-op factory is an all-volunteer organization. If you’d like to join the facilitation committee, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video of past Featured Cooperator talks can be found here:
August 2022: What are co-ops? Why are they so cool? (w/ Samara Hayley Steele)
Hayley Steele, (they/she) is a former foster youth who resides on and along the ancestral lands and waterways of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) and Noxwsʼáʔaq (Nooksack) people. They are a faculty member in the English Department at Western Washington University, and they are a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at UC Davis. Their work explores narrative care in times of racial capital, gendered empire, and colonial ecocide. Since 2020, they have been on the steering committee for Cascade Cooperatives, and they are involved with a number of projects in Whatcom County to support transitional economies and democratic workplace incubation. They are also an economist with the California Economists Collective (CEC), and she is the former Development Director for Land Action, a mutual aid network for squatters and guerrilla farmers based in Oakland, CA. From 2013-15, they served as an organizer for Villagecraft, a decentralized education network in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2021, they chaired the Climate Data Relations panel at the gathering of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), and in 2022, they were selected to present their work at the intersection of climate modeling, social justice, and media studies at Scenarios Forum, a gathering co-sponsored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University.
Andrew “Babs” Babson, graduate of PPE at WWU.
Guests may include:
Deborah Craig (she/her) has been part of the Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC) since 2014. Deb has over 30 years of experience in cooperative management, including consumer cooperatives and worker cooperatives. She has served in Human Resources at the Community Food Co-op in Bellingham, and worked on strategizing the co-op’s expansion to its second location in Cordata. Deborah specializes in home care & caregiver cooperatives, as well as working with the ROC Northwest program, which supports resident-ownership of mobile home communities. In addition to working with NWCDC, Deborah serves as a peer adviser with the Democracy at Work Network, and she is part of the first cohort of the Democracy at Work Institute’s Fellows. She holds a Master’s degree from Western Washington University.
Radical Inclusivity Statement
Co-op Factory is committed to radical inclusivity. We are a community that includes and supports marginalized genders, queer folks, people of color, and people with disabilities. We affirm our support for Black lives, and we are committed to leveraging the cooperative movement towards addressing and ending systemic forms of oppression in and beyond Whatcom County.
If you will be needing disability accommodations or have questions about accessibility, please reach out to us at LetsMakeCoops@gmail.com. Please reach out as early as possible. Accommodations requested less than a week before a gathering can’t be guaranteed. Not all accommodations can be guaranteed. That said, we will do all in our power to make sure everyone can attend, and we believe that cooperative development should be accessible to all.
For questions, or if there is anything you’d like us to know, please contact the organizers at: LetsMakeCoops@gmail.com or LetsMakeCoops@proton.me
(if you use the second email, please drop us a quick note at the first email so we know to check it)
- WhatcomCooperatators Listserv: https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/whatcomcooperators
- Cascade Cooperatives (local co-op business council): CascadeCooperatives.coop
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