May 2, 2023
Greetings from the board – Tamara McFarland, Kate Lancaster, Caroline Griffith, Laurie Wayne, and Leila Roberts.
We have important news, and a call to reconnect in the near future.
Over the past year we have continued to operate Cooperation Humboldt’s many projects while carefully unraveling a snarled ball of troubled relationships and communication patterns. We have been seeking a new path to our shared vision that blends courageous love with accountability.
It has been a challenging year.
The next phase is something we’re optimistically calling “Reclaiming the Dream”: Cooperation Humboldt will be going into a strategic hiatus for the next several months. This is an intentional pause to allow us the time and space to regroup with thoughtfulness, intention, and integrity.
During this time:
- We will keep our fiscal and other commitments to partners as they wish: Centro del Pueblo, which we are happy to announce now wholly holds Jardin Santuario; New Rising Hmong Association; Justin Maxon and Field Guide to a Crisis; the Tool Library; and Worker Owned Humboldt.
- Most – possibly all – other Cooperation Humboldt programming will be suspended.
- We will not be engaging with the general public through phone, email, tabling at events, new study groups, or fundraising activities.
It’s time to cover the field and let it rest dormant for a while.
The “strategic” part of the hiatus is to actively invite our past study group participants and other supporters to be part of this reflection and renewal. There will be opportunities to respond to surveys, participate in listening projects, gather for learning and reflection meetings, and possibly convene all together in person later as we work through this transition process.
Some of you are monthly sustaining donors, and will receive a separate message describing exactly what will be happening with your contributions and asking if you wish to suspend your monthly giving, or continue.
If you have any questions, please let us know. If you’d like to be involved in our process to ‘reclaim the dream’ – we welcome that too!
Please complete this short poll so we know to be in touch.
The board will convene in May to start outlining the next steps and we will be in touch after that with an invitation to join us in reflection and re-visioning.
Below are a few more details about the strategic hiatus.
Thank you for your belief in a more inclusive, solidarity-based future and for your support in so many forms over the years.
Tamara, Kate, Caroline, Laurie, and Leila
Cooperation Humboldt’s Strategic Hiatus 2023+
During this time, programming will be suspended and we will not be engaging with the general public. This is an intentional shift to allow us the time and space to regroup with thoughtfulness, intention, and integrity.
Critical Questions. The board (and other individuals by invitation) will be exploring these and other critical questions in an attempt to decide Cooperation Humboldt’s future:
- Is the current mission and approach moving and interesting to Black, Indigenous, and people of color, working class folks, people of all ages? What would better engage a base that is more inclusive across age, gender, race/ethnicity?
- How can we map the history and dynamics that contributed to the organization’s repeated history of interpersonal conflict and harm in ways that let us avoid making the same mistakes?
- What is the wisest way to move forward from the harmful impacts of past participants? How can we learn from the many other radical organizations that have navigated similar situations and created healing and accountability space?
Possibilities. We don’t yet know what Cooperation Humboldt will (or won’t) be at the conclusion of this process. We remain open to all possibilities, including:
- Keeping our nonprofit status and stewarding resources until we’re ready to start fresh, from scratch, however long it takes. (Possibly even with a new name?)
- Ramping up to return to a robust staff-led organization once again.
- Transitioning to a primarily volunteer-led organization.
- Ending Cooperation Humboldt as a nonprofit and distributing assets to other nonprofit(s) with aligned missions.
- Reorganizing in another form like an educationally focused, worker cooperative
- Something entirely different – as yet unimagined.