[act-ma] July 2nd (Sat) International Day for Co-operatives, Mass Bay Co-op Faire, Harvest Co-op, Cambridge, 10 to 2

R. Wayne Clark rwayneclark at igc.org
Thu Jun 30 16:30:15 PDT 2011

International Day for Co-operatives

Mass Bay Co-op Faire

Saturday, 2011-July-02

10 AM to 2 PM

Harvest Co-op Market, Essex St. parking lot, Cambridge, MA

First Annual Event

Every year, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), based in Geneva, and the United Nations (UN) co-sponsor the International Day for Co-operatives on the first Saturday in July, which is July 2nd in 2011.

This year, Harvest Coop Markets is sponsoring a Co-op Faire, featuring Boston-area cooperatives and their supporters. The Faire is co-sponsored by the Boston-Area Solidarity Economy Network (BASEN), the Co-operative Fund of New England (CFNE), BRANCHES housing co-ops, Equal Exchange, the Beacon Hill Friends House, the Boston Building Resources, and, at least, a dozen other co-ops of all types.

These co-ops will come together in the parking lot adjacent to Harvest from 10 AM to 2 PM and set up tables & chairs, canopies & booths with banners & signs, to pass out flyers to the public, talk with interested potential members, share an afternoon with coop-minded people, and celebrate the joy of building the co-op movement. Add a bit of food for the gatherers to share and the screening of the film "At Home in Utopia", about housing co-ops in New York in the 3o's 40's & 50's. Participating co-ops expect good weather and a marvelous time supporting co-ops and connecting with co-ops around the world.

This is the first year that a celebration of the International Day for Co-operatives is being held in the Boston area. We are engaging our co-op community with not only co-ops around the world, but also complementary local movements. We hope the Mass Bay Co-op Faire becomes an annual event, in which all area co-ops can share.

History shows that the periods of greatest co-op growth are when the economy is coming out of a recession. As people get back on their feet, they work to organize different ways of building economic organizations that will not replicate the previous business disasters. That time is now. As we come out of the "Great Recession", we are already seeing a boom in co-op organizing and the time is now to point the way to a better future -- co-operatively.


The International Day for Co-operatives was first declared by the ICA in 1923. According to their web site www.ica.coop, "[i]n 1994, thanks to the lobbying efforts made through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) of which the ICA is a member, the United Nations recognised and reaffirmed that co-operatives have an important role to play in economic, social and cultural development and proclaimed an UN International Day of Co-operatives to be celebrated for the first time in 1995, marking the centenary of the establishment of the ICA. The UN requested all its member governments to join with their co-operative movements to celebrate the day."

According to COPAC at their web site www.copac.coop, the "[t]he aim of the International Day of Cooperatives . is to increase awareness on cooperatives, highlight the complementarily of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international co-operative movement and, underscore the contribution of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations. The International Day also aims to strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments, at local, national and international levels."

Every year a theme is chosen to represent the emphasis that the world co-op movement places on that aspect of co-operation. In 2011, the theme is "Youth, the future of co-operative enterprise". In previous years, the themes have been "Cooperative enterprise empowers women" (2010), "Driving Global Recovery through Cooperative Enterprise" (2009), "Confronting Climate Change through Cooperative Enterprise" (2008), "Cooperative Values and Principles for Corporate Social Responsibility" (2007), "Peace-Building through Cooperatives" (2006), "Microfinance is OUR business: Cooperating out of poverty" (2005), "Cooperatives for Fair Globalisation: Creating Opportunities for All" (2004), "Cooperatives Make Development Happen!: The contribution of cooperatives to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals" (2003), and "Society and Cooperatives: Concern for Community" (2002).

For more information or to apply for a table space for your co-op at the Faire, contact rwayneclark at igc.org

See you there!

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