Where would this be located? The location will emerge based on where the intersection of property opportunities and local community interest intersect.
Who would manage this process? A newly formed cooperative would. Be The Change Cooperative, a newly forming cooperative itself, has established a peer support network to assist with the process of assembling the cooperative. Contact us below to join this network.
How is this a model of sovereignty? Sovereignty is the ability for a community to sustain and govern itself while lessening its dependence on institutions. The project will be collectively owned by the community as a cooperative, with leadership chosen by the cooperative and its curated nonprofit tenants. The project’s leadership will represent advocates for decolonization and sovereignty.
What are the human qualities a project like this will support? Mutuality, when you’re moved to be the best expression of yourself as the collective deepens in flow. Humility, responsibility, empathy, communal effort, radical inclusion in working together as a cooperative. Courage, radical self expression, vulnerability, immediacy in being the best expression of yourself.
What makes this a ‘catalyst hub’? The fact that the building is cooperatively owned by the local community is a model of ownership sovereignty, and a model for the rest of the neighborhood. The leadership represents the change they wish to see in the world, and will choose tenants and advocates-in-residence representing that change, that will in turn provide programming and public events represent that change.
How will this catalyst hub be governed? The day-to-day operations of the building will be governed by a board of directors elected by the cooperative owners and tenants. An ownership share is only $50. The board of directors will then choose how to involve the community in decision making.
How will this catalyst hub be financed? As a model of community sovereignty and decolonization, the goal is for the project to be crowdfunded and crowdfinanced, using platforms like smallchange.io and semble.com that are designed to accommodate multi-stakeholder financing. Of course, key sponsors supporting these values will be involved, offering bridge financing, grants, staffing and project advising. Most importantly, community members could have the opportunity to invest, starting at $50 for ownership shares in their own neighborhood, which makes it a much more meaningful and fiscally responsible alternative to the stock market.
Is this being done anywhere? It kind of sounds too good to be true. A ‘building as a cooperative for making a community better’ project is already underway in a small city in Michigan, Traverse City, started two years ago with plans for groundbreaking in 2020. It’s a $15 million, 4-story, 50,000 s.f. mixed-use building cooperative including nonprofit tenants and housing. The founder, Kate Redman is on our team. You can learn more at commongrounds.coop. A structure like this can be paired with a social/economic justice program like these: Black Workers Center, DJ+DS projects.
I'm interested in a sovereignty catalyst hub for my neighborhood. What's next? Fill in the form below and let's start a conversation to see if we can sponsor assistance for such an initiative in your neighborhood.