North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship

Applications for the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship are now closed. Check back in 2019 to apply to the 2019-2020 cohort!

 The North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship

The North Star Fellowship is a six-month fellowship focused on Black American Cooperative Economics.

African Americans have a long, rich history of cooperative ownership, especially in reaction to market failures and economic racial discrimination. However, it has often been a hidden history and one obstructed by White supremacist violence. When there is a narrative, the history is told as one of failure.The challenges have been tremendous, and have often been seen as insurmountable. The successes are often anecdotal and isolated, little understood, and even less documented […]

Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Collective Courage A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice

North Star  teaches Black Cooperative Economic local and national history, rethinking capitalism, support and network new black coop enterprises and their leaders, analyze local cooperative resources and institutions and support emerging cooperative businesses. The North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship (NSBCF) is centered on the history of Black cooperative economic thought and practice. We place priority on applicants who share the ancestry of Enslaved Africans in the United States and place value on their legacy of cooperative economics and collective care.

The North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship, a 6-month, cohort-based program, will provide participants with a history of cooperative economics in the Black community nationally and in the Twin Cities. Many people know very little about the successful wealth building efforts in the Black community, and that economically successful Black communities and individuals were targeted, systematically undermined and were the victims of violence from bombings to lynchings because of their participation and economic successes. This fellowship will debunk those myths, reclaim our history and build cooperative economic support.

In addition, the fellowship will provide a power analysis of Minnesota cooperative institutions from cooperative businesses to financial establishments; provide participants with knowledge of the cooperative landscape, cooperative skills and tools, and financing opportunities; help learners identify and target cooperative business boards, with the goal of building power in the cooperative sector; and finally, design a cooperative economic project (at any scale), along with a strategy for achieving that project.

How to apply:

NSBCF Applications are now closed for the 2018-2019 cohort.

  • The fellowship topics will include:
  • Building a shared understanding of race, class and gender impacts on wealth creation;
  • Rethinking capitalism and exploring alternative economic models;
  • Exploring early Black owned cooperative businesses and history;
  • Exploring strategy, advocacy and practice in wealth building;
  • Developing cooperative governance and conflict resolution practices;
  • Building economic solidarity;
  • Studying cooperative business and finance models; and
  • Examining local cooperative boards and leadership development.

Who should apply?

  • People who are interested in learning the history of the descendants of enslaved Africans, cooperative economic legacies to help them understand Black economic cooperation today.
  • Although, it is not required, we encourage groups of people who are working to launch a Black led cooperative initiative.
  • Someone who has already been dreaming about belonging to our launching a Black led cooperative.

North Star Fellows will be provided a small stipend to support some of their costs of participation. The amount of stipend is $500.00 to be disbursed in two payments at the beginning and end of the fellowship.

NSBCF 2018-19 session dates are:

Orientation & Welcome Dinner September 20, 2018, 5:00-8:00pm

Blackonomics – Friday,October 5 through Sunday, October 7, 2018

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  • Session 1: Saturday, November 3, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 2: Saturday, December 1, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 3: Saturday, December 15, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 4: Saturday, January 12, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 5: Saturday, February 9, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 6: Saturday, March 2, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 7: Saturday, March 23, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 8: Saturday, April 6, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Session 9: Saturday, April 20, 10:00am-5:00pm

– – – –

Graduation: Thursday, April 25 5:30-8:00pm

The North Star Black Cooperative 2018-19 Fellowship is directed by Danielle Mkali.

For any questions please contact Danielle Mkali at or 651- 289-7031.