Throughout the week of March 19-25th, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery generously donated $1 for every pint of High Esteem sold to Cooperation Texas, contributing to the development, support and promotion of dignified jobs in Texas through worker-owned cooperatives. Last year, the membership of Black Star voted to support Cooperation Texas (along with 3 other community-based organizations), putting one of the core principles that unite all cooperatives into practice: Cooperation Among Cooperatives.
In the past year alone, cooperation among cooperatives, the 6th of 7 cooperative principles, has taken on new meaning in Austin, TX. Since graduating from our start-up course through the Cooperative Business Institute, Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery has become the exclusive bread provider of Black Star and their delicious vegan donuts have become one of the more popular items in Wheatesville Food Co-op’s pastry case. Red Rabbit’s adorable logo was designed by Tribe Creative Agency (now Graphic Granola), a worker-owned graphic design co-op. As for Cooperation Texas, members of Graphic Granola designed our logo and website, which is hosted by GAIA Host Collective, a worker-owned internet hosting cooperative. We are also a member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the recently formed Austin Cooperative Think Tank (ACTT), a local organization that has played a key role in uniting cooperatives across sectors in Austin, bringing together members of housing co-ops, credit unions, worker co-ops, consumer co-ops and worker co-op developers under one roof to help create a more robust cooperative economy in Austin.
Historically, this kind of cross-sector unity has helped sprout some of the most inspiring cooperative networks around the world, from the recuperated factories movement in Argentina to the famous Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in the Basque region of Spain. At Cooperation Texas, we envision a more inclusive Texas economy with businesses built on the principles of democracy, sustainability and cooperation. But we can’t get there alone. We value the knowledge, experience and support of our allies and see the path toward a new economy built with meaningful solidarity. As the Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano once said, “I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.” We look forward to learning from others and building more alliances along the road to a more just and sustainable economy.
Thanks to all the workers and members of Black Star, and to all of you who made the ultimate sacrifice of drinking a beer to support a cause, for helping put principle 6 into practice!
P.S. If you want to get in on more Cooperation Among Cooperatives activity, join us this Saturday @ 5604 Manor Rd. for a joint fundraiser between Cooperation Texas, NASCO and ACTT: RSVP ON FACEBOOK TODAY!