In Ghana, West Africa, the Asante people use wisdom symbols known as adinkra to recall the virtues and values of traditional life. Our Cooperation Jackson logo incorporates three adinkra: At the center is Boa Me Na Me Mmoa Wo, or “Help me and let me help you,” the symbol of cooperation and interdependence. On the left is Nkonsonkonson, a reminder to contribute to the community, that “In unity lies strength.” Finally on the right is Wo nsa da mu a, “If your hands are in the dish, people do not eat everything and leave you nothing,” which explains the importance of participation in self-government.

In Ghana, West Africa, the Asante people use wisdom symbols known as adinkra to recall the virtues and values of traditional life. Our Cooperation Jackson logo incorporates three adinkra: At the center is Boa Me Na Me Mmoa Wo, or “Help me and let me help you,” the symbol of cooperation and interdependence. On the left is Nkonsonkonson, a reminder to contribute to the community, that “In unity lies strength.” Finally on the right is Wo nsa da mu a, “If your hands are in the dish, people do not eat everything and leave you nothing,” which explains the importance of participation in self-government.

Cooperation Jackson is an emerging vehicle for sustainable community development, economic democracy, and community ownership.

Our vision is to develop a cooperative network based in Jackson, Mississippi that will consist of four interconnected and interdependent institutions: an emerging federation of local worker cooperatives, a developing cooperative incubator, a cooperative education and training center (the Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development), and a cooperative bank or financial institution.

Cooperation Jackson’s basic theory of change is centered on the position that organizing and empowering the structurally under and unemployed sectors of the working class, particularly from Black and Latino communities, to build worker organized and owned cooperatives will be a catalyst for the democratization of our economy and society overall.

Cooperation Jackson believes that we can replace the current socio-economic system of exploitation, exclusion and the destruction of the environment with a proven democratic alternative. An alternative built on equity, cooperation, worker democracy, and environmental sustainability to provide meaningful living wage jobs, reduce racial inequities, and build community wealth. It is our position and experience, that when marginalized and excluded workers and communities are organized in democratic organizations and social movements they become a force capable of making transformative social advances.

Individuals deeply moved by the Jackson-Kush Plan who are striving to see its vision of economic democracy realized launched Cooperation Jackson in the fall of 2013.

The Lumumba center for economic democracy and development

The Lumumba center for economic democracy and development

Mission and Purpose

The broad mission of Cooperation Jackson is to advance the development of economic democracy in Jackson, Mississippi by building a solidarity economy anchored by a network of cooperatives and other types of worker-owned and democratically self-managed enterprises.

Economic democracy provides economic empowerment for all workers, distributors, suppliers, consumers, communities and the general public by promoting universal access to common resources, democratizing the ownership of the means of production, and democratizing all the essential processes of production and distribution through worker self-management and sustainable consumption.

Solidarity economy includes a wide array of economic practices and initiatives that share common values – cooperation and sharing, social responsibility, sustainability, equity and justice. Instead of enforcing a culture of cutthroat competition, it builds cultures and communities of cooperation.

Our Purpose is to create:

  • A network of interconnected and interlinked cooperatives and worker owned enterprises in Jackson, Mississippi that will expand economic opportunity, promote sustainability and build community wealth by creating jobs with dignity, stability, living wages and quality benefits.
  • A foundation for the revitalization of the working class communities of Jackson, Mississippi based on stable employment, wealth equity and sustainable means of production and distribution.
  • A institutional vehicle to promote broad public understanding of economic democracy, the foundations of solidarity economics and the principles of cooperatives and how cooperative and worker owned and self-managed enterprises work to benefit workers, their families and their communities.
  • A institutional vehicle to educate and train working people in Jackson, Mississippi to successfully start, finance, own, democratically operate and self-manage a sustainable cooperative enterprise.
  • A model that will encourage and enable workers in other cities and municipalities in Mississippi, the South and throughout the United States to implement their own initiatives to promote economic democracy, solidarity economics and cooperative development.

Cooperation Jackson is now developing 3 cooperatives that are set to open within the next 3 months to a year. These include Freedom Farms, an urban farming cooperative; Nubia’s Place Café and Catering Cooperative; and, Mississippi Waste Alternative, a recycling and composting cooperative. These 3 cooperatives serve as the 1st class of the integrated and interrelated cooperative ecosystem we are working to create to transform Jackson’s economy. 

Cooperation Jackson is the realization of a Just Transition vision decades in the making. Its roots lay deep within the struggle for democratic rights, economic justice, self-determination, particularly for people of African descent in the Deep South, and dignity for all workers.

THE MALCOLM X CENTER FOR SELF DETERMINATION, AT MLK DRIVE AND RANDALL STREET IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, WAS OPENED BY THE NEW AFRIKAN PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATION IN THE 1980S TO SERVE AS A CENTER FROM WHICH TO LAUNCH COOPERATIVE ECONOMIC INITIATIVES TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF POVERTY AND ECONOMIC POWERLESSNESS THAT PLAGUE THE NEW AFRIKAN COMMUNITY.

THE MALCOLM X CENTER FOR SELF DETERMINATION, AT MLK DRIVE AND RANDALL STREET IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, WAS OPENED BY THE NEW AFRIKAN PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATION IN THE 1980S TO SERVE AS A CENTER FROM WHICH TO LAUNCH COOPERATIVE ECONOMIC INITIATIVES TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF POVERTY AND ECONOMIC POWERLESSNESS THAT PLAGUE THE NEW AFRIKAN COMMUNITY.

We look forward to working in solidarity with progressive forces throughout the country on this transformative project and encourage people to stand directly with us in this effort by joining or forming a Friends of Cooperation Jackson chapter in your area.