Moderator: Amy Anderson, University of Dayton, Global and Intercultural Affairs Center
- Jessica Gordon Nembhard, City University of New York
- Nathan Schneider, University of Colorado Boulder
- Brother Blaise Mosengo, S.M., Institut Supérieur d'Informatique Chaminade, DRC
- Morgan Hood, Community Programming Manager for the Gem City Market, Dayton, Ohio
- Amaha Sellassie, Co-Director, Co-op Dayton, Ohio
This session is co-hosted with Kelly Johnson, the University of Dayton Father William J. Ferree Chair of Social Justice, Department of Religious Studies.
As a field of social practice, economic structures have powerful effects on both bodies, minds, and cultures, potentially promoting human dignity and all too often denying it. Cooperativism refers to a still-developing family of practices that simultaneously honor human dignity and meet specific economic needs. Cooperatives are voluntary associations in which participants jointly own and democratically administer their enterprise to accomplish shared purposes. Some are associations of workers, some of consumers, some of producers, and some hybrids. In each case, cooperatives rely on and promote the active participation of all members. In this way, they reject that denial of human dignity promoted by the commodification of persons. They build into local and daily experience the presumption that human persons should be co-authors of their stories, and they shape communities with skills to operate practically in light of mutual rights and duties. How are cooperatives continuing to promote democratic governance that serves human dignity as they navigate pressures of globalization and neoliberalism? What wisdom do practitioners and scholars have to offer to human rights scholars about the relationship between economic and civil rights? How do communities navigate tensions between mutuality and individual rights? This panel will create a space for learning about and advancing practice of cooperativism as an aspect of the social practice of human rights.