Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center BMC), and Board member of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC) is interviewed by Vernon Oakes on Everything Co-op. Vernon and Mark discuss the role cooperatives have played in both economic development and ensuring economic justice in Central Brooklyn. They also discuss cooperative strategies he has used to “trap” Black money to keep the dollars spent within the communities for a longer period of time.
Mark Winston Griffith is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC), a membership-based, community organizing group serving Bedford-Stuyvesant and North Crown Heights. BMC is a multi-issue organization currently building campaigns around public education, food sovereignty, sexualized street harassment and police accountability. Mark currently teaches a graduate course in community organizing at the Murphy Institute.
In the early nineties, Mark co-founded the Central Brooklyn Partnership, a community organizing group that focused on economic justice issues, and was co-founder of Central Brooklyn Federal Credit Union, which at the time was the nation’s largest black-run, community-based, financial cooperative.
Mark currently serves on the leadership boards of the Central Brooklyn Food Coop, the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City, the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Communities United for Police Reform and Free Speech TV.
The Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City strengthens and expands community-led, democratically-controlled initiatives – from worker, financial and consumer co-ops to community land trusts and gardens, mutual housing, and low-income housing co-ops. The goal of CEANYC is to build an economy based on values of social and racial justice, ecological sustainability, cooperation, mutualism, and democracy.