Little Tree is a multiracial consulting cooperative.
What is a cooperative?
A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
The Seven Principles of Cooperatives
Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. Little Tree is a worker-owned cooperative.
Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations accountable to their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Within Little Tree, all members have equal voting rights and we use a consensus decision-making model.
Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to – and democratically govern – the capital of their cooperative. Profits are shared between the members based upon the amount of work they have contributed to the cooperative.
Education, Training, & Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for members so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative interests. They inform the general public about the nature and benefits of equity and cooperation.
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-directed organizations. If they enter into agreements with other organizations or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure the democratic agency of their members.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.
Concern for Communities
While focusing on member needs and wishes, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities. Little Tree specifically focuses on cultivating racial equity within the communities we serve.
A Little History
Little Tree began in 2014 as a local, non-profit, farming-education-spiritual growth cooperative. Our cooperative structure originated in response to racial equity training that members of Little Tree had been involved with since 2012. Over the first few years, Little Tree cultivated an intentional Christian community, rural-urban agricultural projects, and agrarian spirituality. Quickly, Little Tree members came to see and understand the systemic barriers of race and racism throughout all of our work. In 2016, members of Little Tree began offering racial equity training based upon the model of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Soon after, Little Tree members created a faith-based version of this national anti-racism training model for both Interfaith communities and Christian communities entitled RISE! (Race: an In-depth Spiritual Examination). Today, racial equity education through workshops, trainings, and consulting is the core focus of Little Tree’s cooperative work.