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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Postwar Interracial Co-ops and the Struggle against Redlining

In a number of American communities, former G.I.’s proposed new integrated communities. Winning the war against fascism abroad created interest in building a new America at home. Among these were a number of housing co-ops. The many cooperative housing communities that sprouted after the war proudly followed the Rochdale Principles, named after the English town that launched the co-op movement in 1844. The first co-op principle is open membership, which means simply that membership is open to all who wish to avail themselves of the services of the co-op and are willing to bear the responsibilities of membership.

Interracial housing cooperatives formed after World War II were specifically meant to be inclusive of families of any color whatsoever. However, the same FHA that financed hundreds of post-war white suburbs was adamantly opposed to integrated suburbs. As a result, the FHA opposed the establishment of interracial housing cooperatives.

Read the rest at Nonprofit Quarterly


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