#UnlearningWithCoFED — Ungovernable

What does noncooperation mean to you?

Welcome to our new #UnlearningWithCoFEDseries! (Editors note: For the purposes of reaching a wider audience, CoFED is transferring this email series to Medium. This content is from an email blast that originally went out at the end of January 2017).

Here’s how CoFED defines unlearning: a continuous process of questioning what and how we’ve been taught so that we can learn other ways of knowing, doing, and being that serve our collective liberation and helps us dismantle all forms of oppression. Through our monthly #Unlearning emails specifically, we’ll be questioning and learning together how co-ops fit into the larger visions of food, racial, economic, gender and climate justice.

Here’s why and how we want to be unlearning with you: No matter how you voted or identify politically, you are part of the CoFED community. That means you have something to teach and also something to learn or unlearn. All of us do. So we want to make absolutely clear that these posts aren’t intended as dogma or directives for how you or anyone else should think and feel. NOT AT ALL. What we’re hoping is for us to try out sharing this information and start a conversation about the things that matter to us. What does that mean exactly? It means that:

  1. YOU can suggest #unlearningwithcofed topics or even write your own unlearning emails to be shared with our online community.
  2. YOU can tell us and others exactly what you think about what’s shared in the unlearning emails by commenting on social with #unlearningwithcofed, commenting directly on CoFED’s Facebook page or emailing us at workers@cofed.org
  3. YOU can share these posts (or emails if you get them in your inbox) with your friends as a way to spark even more courageous conversations.

Now, if all that sounds good, let’s get to some unlearning together, shall we? For our very first #UnlearningWithCoFED, we wanted to share this idea of being “ungovernable.”

Please take about 5 minutes to read this conversation with Kali Akuno, co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, a network of worker cooperatives fighting to create economic democracy in Jackson, Mississippi, and co-founder of Ungovernable 2017.

In this article, he shares his thoughts on how to ‘fortify infrastructure for autonomy and resistance.’

As you read the interview, you may want to think about the following questions:

  • What does Mr. Akuno mean by ‘non-cooperation’?
  • What does ‘ungovernable’ mean to you? What does ‘governable’ mean? What is the power of being authentically ungovernable under the new Trump administration? (For more material, check out Ungovernable 2017’s Pledge)
  • One of the things that inspires Mr. Akuno’s work is the Freedom Farm Cooperative, co-founded in 1969 by Black freedom organizer Fannie Lou Hamer, which aimed to “boost food security and independence for Black community members who faced systematic dispossession.”
  • Now, in 2017, how do you view the role of co-ops in the ongoing fight for racial and food justice?
  • What do we gain by following the leadership of those most impacted by injustices — people of color, poor folx, immigrants, women, queer and trans people — in building cooperatives today?

When you’re done, let’s chat!

As you’re reflecting, tell us what you’re thinking and/or ask questions with our community online at #UnlearningWithCoFED.

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