The Summer Solstice is here and the staff of the USFWC are taking some much needed time to recalibrate and recenter priorities in the upcoming weeks of the Summer Slowdown. Summer is the season when the growth in the natural world is channeled into producing fruits. It’s a busy time, but one filled with intention. It also presents an opening for us to shift away from the high stress levels thrust upon us by this pandemic. The transition to summer is an opportunity for reflection and change.
Our staff are reflecting on the steady growth of our team– not just over the past year, but in the last half decade. As many of you have witnessed, the USFWC has grown in so many ways– our membership, capacity, programs, strategic position, and coalitions & connections. From two staff members in 2016, we now have fourteen people on staff, working to amplify and center the voices of worker-owners and democratic workplaces. We’re at a new inflection point.
Now is the time for this grassroots membership organization to summon radical imagination and shape a future where an organized cooperative sector can catalyze movements for worker power and economic justice. Internally, our staff team is shuffling a few roles around and we are excited to announce that we will be hiring a new Membership Director as Ana Martina slides into a different role. Whomever we hire will help the USFWC invest in the next cycle of grassroots cooperative leadership by nurturing Black, immigrant, LGBTQIA, and Spanish-speaking co-op leaders to flourish. The new Membership Director will focus on developing the USFWC’s organizing, outreach, and engagement strategy, deepening connections with a distributed network of co-op leaders.
We want to thank Ana Martina Rivas for her five years as the USFWC Membership Director. In her time in that role, Ana’s organizing, training, and leadership seeded roots that will have a lasting impact which our members will feel for years to come. Under her leadership, our membership has more than doubled, but more importantly, it now reflects the multilingual, multiracial, cross-generational diversity that the worker co-op sector now encompasses. Although she is shifting away from the Membership Director role, Ana Martina will continue her work on the USFWC team, focusing more of her attention on training and technical assistance and organizing with immigrant communities. It is clear that added capacity in the areas of education, training and technical assistance through the Co-op Clinic will be key to the development of the worker co-op sector, and we are happy that Ana Martina will continue to share her talents and skills with the team. We invite you to attend our upcoming Annual Member Meeting, which will be in September 2021 to hear more about the direction of this and other areas of our work.
Join us in appreciating Ana Martina’s leadership, and please do help us amplify this exciting opportunity to bring on a new Membership Director to strengthen cooperative worker ownership