Since Christina Nicholson joined the team last November, her energy, humor, and deep knowledge of cooperative economics have already made an impression. Christina is the Worker Ownership Initiative Program Manager, an Aquarius, and a talented quick-bread maker. We sat down over zoom to talk about her role, her journey to Nexus, and her hopes for the future.

Interview edited for length and clarity

What do you do at Nexus?

Everyday for me in the Worker Owner Initiative is a new learning experience! For example, through our role as a Minneapolis C-TAP provider (Cooperative Technical Assistance Program), I’m working with a small language-learning cooperative. We meet weekly to develop their new bylaws and articles, as well as helping them build their internal culture and their ecosystem of outside resources. Together, this foundation will help the cooperative grow and thrive once it’s established. I am also doing work as a financial analyst – looking at another business who is considering converting to a cooperative, and helping them understand how to create a fair sale price for the worker owners who are considering purchasing the business.

In general, I have found in business that people are disinvited from their own agency when it comes to the language of finance. In my new role, I have found that helping teams understand the technical side of things can help build a cooperative’s culture— this is exciting because it becomes a more empowering relationship. The goal for me is for the teams I serve to be able to say “We understand this model, we’re taking this model, and moving beyond it.”

What did you do before Nexus?

In my 25 year cooperative career I’ve done every job from front line bagging to leading whole organizations as a general manager. In 2019, I got my MBA to understand how current capital systems move, at a more technical level, to help people build the bridge between their work and their ability to claim their own agency.

I’ve learned that you are always a better leader if you are doing the work with people. Successful leaders aren’t only thinking about the work, or visioning, but they are IN it. My work has been about leading on the ground and being influenced by those around me. Cooperatives help foster that environment and give you a sense that you are truly interdependent in the work you do.

What do you hope to learn next year?

I want to learn how to support people’s health, agency and wellbeing while seeing them move away from conventional, white supremacist, capitalist models of business. As more people from historically marginalized communities continue to grow in their power, I am energized to see how their cultural and individual gifts will shape the future of cooperatives!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to cook, and I always overplant kale in my garden. We have a LOT of recipes for raw kale salads. Thankfully, my daughter appreciates the earthiness. I also love to travel—I love oceans and mountains, but I am the happiest when I get to spend time with my wife and a good book!


“Democracy is not a secret. It is a practice” – Alexis Pauline Gumbs

As we think about this practice of democracy, how have Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities done the work of co-governing at different government levels? Where are examples and values from our communities we can bring to disrupt cycles and operationalize racial equity? Come hear from current leaders about their experience at state and local levels and from a leading governance organization, the Native Governance Center about how they have done this work. What can BIPOC communities do to affect policies where you live? Please join us to explore the many ways we all can make an impact!

RSVP Today!

Goals for the Evening

• Listen to learnings from how Native Nations have practiced governance models and trained leaders in this work
• Hear from current BIPOC leaders about representing communities and creating policy to address racial disparities
• Build community

Agenda 6 – 8 PM

Welcome & Virtual Agreement
Ice Breaker – Zoom poll


Ana Vergara, Vice Chair, MN Council of Latino Affairs & BCLI Alumni cohort 7, 2019-2020
Adrian Perryman, Member of the St. Paul Planning Commission
Wayne Ducheneaux, Executive Director, Native Governance Center

TBLMF Round 1 Grantees

  • February 4, 2021
  • By: efireside
  • In: General

(Originally Published Here)

December 2020
Dear Community, 

In August 2020, we partnered with Black Visions to launch the Transformative Black-led Movement Fund (TBLMF). The goal of the TBLMF is to transparently and efficiently resource Black-led organizations and Black individuals in the Twin Cities. This fund was originally allocated $3.1 million, however through adaptation to clear need, it received an additional $2 million to let us invest in more community-led safety strategies now.

As of December 2020, TBLMF has given out $1.1M to individuals for mutual aid, covering rent, health care, school supplies and more. Additionally, TBLMF has awarded $2 million in grants to 68 organizations, collectives, artists, healers, organizers and more. Grantees, listed below, are responding to the political and cultural opportunity to defund police and are beginning the process of developing and implementing a shared vision of community-led safety. The TBLMF will distribute the remaining $2M in funding in the next round of grantmaking—look for these results on Nexus’ website in early 2021. 

A committee of trusted, experienced, and diverse Black community members (who are youth, LGBTQ, artists, community organizers, healers, and elders) made these decisions by ranking and voting after extensive discussion and review. 

It has been incredibly impactful to be able to learn about the all of the powerful and transformative work Black folks in the Twin Cities are doing. Right now, it is vital to be able to fund the work that Black folks are leading to develop and realize a shared vision of community-led safety for everyone. This funding is just a step towards building the future we need. We will keep building on this energy and on this moment together to create the world we need. Thank you.

The TBLMF Committee Members are Abena Abraham, Rox Anderson, Quincy Ballard, D.A Bullock, Adrienne Doyle, Tana Hargest, Janis Lane-Ewart, Denaisha Motley, Nekessa Opoti, Jason Sole and Tia Williams.

Please reach out to us at with questions or concerns. 


Transformative and Healing Justice
30,000 Feet
Aisha Wadud+
Black Women Speak
Caafimaad Collective
Irreducible Grace Foundation
Kitana Holland+
Mankwe Ndosi+
Marcie Rendon+
Nykia Bible-Mrsich+
Restoration for All, Inc.
ROHO Collective
Root to Crown Healing & Wellness
The Subversive Sirens
Thomas Collins+
until we are all free

Economic and Cultural Justice
Abisola Jaiyesimi
Build Cooperative
Feven Ayana+
Joi Unlimited
Midwest Farmers of Color Collective
Open Road Solutions
Project DIVA
Shekinah Housing Services
SIR Boxing Club
Yordanose Solomone+

Organizing for a New Future
40 Acre Co-op
YO MAMA’S HOUSE Cooperative
Anika Bowie+
Awood Center
Black Family Blueprint
Black Market
Black Table Arts
BLCK Press
Britt Jackson+
Chauntyll Allen +
Cristalle Bowen+
Danielle Swift+
Elizabeth Bryant+
Free Black Dirt
Frogtown Tuned-In
Imhotep Science Academy
In Black Ink
KWST Behavioral Development Group
Lewis McCaleb +
MidWest Mixed
MN African American Heritage Museum and Gallery
New Justice Project MN
Nicole M. Smith+
Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute
Roxxanne O’Brien+
SocialWise Media Group
St. Paul Youth Services
Tangible Collective
Teighlor McGee+
The Agape Movement
Twin Cities Media Alliance
We IMPACT! and Morning Glory Montessori
WE WIN Institute, Inc.

Mutual Aid
Cocoa Butta Futures of the SPIRAL Collective