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Co-operative expert to speak at BEDC event

Co-operative expert: Jessica Gordon-Nembhard

An expert on the African-American co-operative movement is to speak at an event hosted by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation this month.

Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, an author and economist, will make a presentation at the seminar at the St Paul’s Centennial Hall, Hamilton on March 30 from 6pm to 8:30pm.

Dr Gordon-Nembhard will focus her presentation on community-based asset building, racial wealth inequality and the benefits and impacts of co-operatives. She will also share key insights from her book, Collective Courage.

“I am excited about what is happening in Bermuda in the co-operative movement and looking forward to learning more,” Dr Gordon-Nembhard said. “I want to share what I have been learning about the African-American co-operative movement, the benefits of co-operatives to their communities as well as members; and the ways that co-operatives contribute to community economic development and community-based asset building.”

William Spriggs, director of economic and co-operative development at BEDC, said: “The term co-operative economics may be confusing for some, but most of us understand what it means to be co-operative economically.

“In fact, many of Bermuda’s Friendly Societies and Lodges and bricks-and-mortar Sports Clubs were built upon this principle, so it will be interesting to learn how key facets of Bermuda’s early economic co-operation fit within Dr Nembhard’s broader research.

Author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, Dr Gordon-Nembhard was a 2016 inductee into the US Cooperative Hall of Fame.

She is professor of community justice and social economic development, chairwoman of the Department of Africana Studies, and director of the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Programme at John Jay College, City University, New York.

She is also an affiliate scholar with the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), and the 2017 recipient of the CASC Merit Award for exemplary contributions to the field of co-operative studies (Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation). She is a political economist specialising in community economics, black political economy and popular economic literacy.

Her research and numerous publications explore problematics and alternative solutions in co-operative economic development and worker ownership, community economic development, racial wealth inequality, credit unions and community-based asset building, and community-based approaches to justice.

Collective Courage was a finalist for the University of Memphis Benjamin L Hicks National Book Award in 2014.

“An Evening with Dr Jessica Gordon-Nembhard” will take place on Saturday, March 30, 6pm to 8:30pm, at St Paul’s Centennial Hall, Hamilton. Admission is $20 and tickets are available from BEDC, first floor Sofia House, Hamilton, e-mail admin1@bedc.bm, or call 292-5570. Refreshments will be served