USFWC Launches Fellowship For BIPOC Worker Owners In Response To Growing Need For Technical Assistance For And By Communities Of Color

Headshot photos of 10 different people who smile to the camera and text that reads 2024 co-op clinic fellowship, 10 different worker owner experiences, 8 months training to help other worker co-ops.

The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives launched the Peer Advisor Fellowship, a new program to equip worker co-op members with the essential skills, tools, and support system to be effective peer advisors in their communities and the broader worker owned co-op movement.

The 2024 Peer Advisor Fellows are ten Black, Indigenous, and co-op members of color from around the US with at least six months experience as a worker owner. Upon completion of the program, the fellows will be well prepared to offer the support, coaching and specialized skills that equip worker-owners in their communities to take on the unique challenges of running a business cooperatively.

Co-op Clinic, the technical assistance and training program of the worker co-op federation, believes worker owners are powerfully positioned to support other cooperatives. As such, all ten fellows are or have been worker owners in worker cooperatives and bring that experience, as well as social movement involvement, to this program.

The 2024 Peer Advisor Fellows will participate in eight months of in-depth training on various worker co-op development and consulting topics. Following the fellowship, participants will have the opportunity to have paid apprenticeships with experienced Peer Advisors from our network to obtain even more hands-on experience. Then, those who complete these programs will be invited to be full Peer Advisors with Co-op Clinic.

The Peer Advisor Fellowship is the USFWC’s contribution to addressing the growing need for culturally-affirming training and technical assistance for worker-owned cooperatives and businesses in the process of conversion to worker-ownership. Co-op Clinic received over 300 requests for technical assistance in 2022-2023, many from BIPOC- and Immigrant-led cooperatives. The PA Fellowship will increase the number of BIPOC and culturally competent TA providers able to better fulfill these requests in the future.

Fellowship stipends, travel support, facilitator compensation and staff time organizing the fellowship would not be possible without the support of the Cooperative Education Fund and the USDA’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant in collaboration with Democracy At Work Institute. The Cooperative Education Fund supports cooperative research, sponsors cooperative education events and scholarships, and develops cooperative education materials and programs. The Fund provides about $100,000 in grants annually. The Fund is a project of the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF), a public charity headquartered in Washington, DC that promotes and develops cooperatives to improve economic opportunities for all.

With over 400 members nationwide, the USFWC is the national grassroots membership organization for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces. Our many years learning from members, working with clients and facilitating our Peer Advisor Network allow us to understand trends across the ecosystem of worker-ownership. In turn, this informs our technical assistance and training, the tools we create for the public, and the recommendations we make in the greater ecosystem that includes policy and advocacy, developers and national networks.

Here are the fellows and their short biographies.


The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) is the national grassroots membership organization for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces. Our mission is to build a thriving ecosystem for worker-owned and controlled businesses and their cooperative leaders to power movements for racial justice and economic democracy.

Posted in Co-op Clinic, Member News, News.