Vernon and his guests discuss the journey of the Renaissance Community Cooperative. Renaissance is a food co-op that recently closed. Even though the cooperative closed, a lot of lessons were learned during the whole process of planning and finally opening the grocery co-op covered a span of eight years. The introspective look at those lessons was quite revealing.
Ed Whitfield is co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC). He is a social critic, writer and community activist who has lived in Greensboro since 1970. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Ed’s political activism started with attending Little Rock Central High School and beginning to do anti-war work as a teenager. He retired after 30 years in industry before becoming involved with philanthropy. Now Ed speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development while continuing to be interested in issues of war and peace, as well as education and social responses to racism. Ed serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition, The Working World, and the Southern Reparations Loan Fund
Sohnie joined the F4DC staff in 2012 as a community organizer. A native of Winston-Salem, she has lived in Greensboro for 40 years. She brings with her a lifelong passion for justice and community organizing. At F4DC she focuses on food access, democratic ownership of natural resources, and ecological sustainability. Sohnie was part of the technical assistance team for the Renaissance Community Cooperative, a community owned grocery that recently closed after two years of operations. She believes great cities are built through organized and empowered neighborhoods that are resilient, sustainable and democratic.
This conversation is quite insightful!