Worker Co-op Development in Immigrant Communities






4pm to 6.30pm

Immigrant communities across the world face a broad range of barriers to safe and dignified work. In this webinar, we will explore how Center for Family Life, a social services organisation, pivoted their service delivery framework to partner with community residents in the entrepreneurial act of developing worker co-operatives. Through co-operative development, immigrant communities are able to create better work for themselves, and in the process, gain a broad range of skills, from business and industry expertise, co-operative governance structures, individual and collective financial literacy, to group development skills such as conflict resolution and leadership development. 

  • An understanding of the resources needed to do worker co-operative development in communities facing multiple barriers
  • An exploration of the transformational impacts worker co-operative development can have in immigrant communities
  • A space to have a discussion and learn from Center for Family Life’s experience doing worker co-operative development
  • An understanding of Center for Family Life’s co-operative development model created to foster economic stability in low income, immigrant communities
  • Lessons on how to effectively and sustainably scale co-operative development
  • Tools and ideas on how to support groups interested in starting worker co-operatives
  • Community organisers interested in learning how to bring worker co-operative development to their work
  • Students who want to learn about grassroots economic development models
  • Local authorities looking to invest in or implement alternative models to economic development that are anchored in community based organisations

Maru Bautista is the Director of the Co-operative Development Program at the Center for Family Life in Brooklyn New York. Since 2013, she has worked to strengthen and scale immigrant-led worker co-operatives in New York City. Most notably, Maru has supported the development of the Brightly franchise ( and Up & Go ( Maru serves on the Board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and is chair of the board at the Democracy at Work Institute. 

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