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Racial Justice and Co-operatives

A Keynote Address by Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard

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March 10, 2022
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cross-posted from Each For All

The Co-operative Connection is pleased to bring you the keynote speech from this past year’s CASC conference – Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard speaks on Racial Justice and Co-operatives. The Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation or CASC is a multidisciplinary network of researchers and practitioners whose work involves co-operatives and co-operation. 

It is Black History Month in Canada, in the USA and many other nations around the world. This is a time to honour these legacies, to learn more about these communities and how they continue to shape our future. It’s also a time to examine in hopes of better understanding racial inequities and their roots. And to challenge ourselves and our communities to be better citizens of this world.

As a Canadian, I have been deeply troubled by what’s happening in our nation’s capital and on the roads across our country this month. A loud, vocal, very privileged minority group of our fellow citizens are feeling emboldened by a swell of social media support and have laid siege to our capital. The “protest” scenes in Ottawa and across the country have been marred by hate symbols and disrespect of some of our most cherished symbols. 

It’s very hard to understand what is motivating these occupiers in Ottawa. What fanned the flames of their distrust of government so much?

Well, one thing we have always prided ourselves on here at Each For All is our desire to fight ignorance with education.

Tonight we continue to honour our CASC connection and give thanks for permitting us to broadcast the keynote speech from last year.  Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard speaks on Racial Justice and Co-operatives. Dr. Gordon-Nembhard sets up a concise and gripping historical overview, but this is not a history lesson, this is the setup to a challenge to the co-operative sector and CASC, a call to action. We need to recognize how we perpetuate racism, to understand how we engage in micro-aggressions and tokenize diversity. This is not an easy keynote, but an all too important topic and all too relevant for this Black History Month in Canada. 

Our sincere thanks to CASC for its permission to broadcast this presentation. We hope to bring you more presentations from CASC in the coming months and after its conference in May, 2022. To find out more about the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation please visit their website

Jessica Gordon-Nembhard on Racial Justice and Co-operatives (Unedited)


Torono’s Mustafa with their song “Stay Alive” 


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