CoFED partners with young people of color from poor and working-class backgrounds to build food and land co-ops.

Summer Co-op Academy Application Guide

Selection Criteria

The SCA is primarily designed for folx who are part of an existing co-op or collective.  For folx looking to start a new co-op or collective, or learn more about the co-op movement, please reach out to our Program Coordinator,, to ensure this program is right for you.

We accept applications from teams of 2-3. You should apply if:

  • You are part of a cooperative or collective food and land justice project
  • 2-3 members of the project can attend the full program from June 17-23
  • Participating team members are age 30 or under; folx under 18 are able to attend with a waiver
  • Participating team members identify as Black, Brown, Indigenous or PoC (person of color, explicitly including folks of African, Latinx, Asian and/or Pacific Islander heritage)

We seek a strong, passionate, and deeply committed diverse cohort. Successful applicants will:

  • Contribute to the diversity and curiosity of the cohort
  • Come with an open heart and mind to build deeper solidarity across difference
  • Be members of and act in cooperation with frontline communities
  • Be committed to economic democracy, anti-oppression, and the liberation of folks of color
  • Feel a deep connection (or urge to connect) to food, land and ancestry

Application Questions

There are 3 parts to the online application.

  1. Co-op/Collective Profile
  2. Member Profiles
  3. Financial Support

To successfully complete the application, please have the following information ready and draft your answers to the short essay questions in a word document before copy and pasting them into the online application. There are 5 short essay questions: 3 about your co-op or collective and 2 that each team member should answer individually.

Required Information includes:

Co-op/Collective Profile

  1. Give us some information about your co-op or collective!
    1. Name
    2. City, State
  2. Please describe your co-op or collective. 200 words max.
  3. Why does your co-op or collective want to attend the Summer Co-op Academy? What do you believe you will gain from the experience? 200 words max.
  4. The following are subjects often included in the SCA curriculum. In which of the following areas are you all hoping to build skills? Check all that apply. 
    1. Cooperative hxstory
    2. Collective financial practices
    3. Community-driven business development
    4. Practices for collective accountability + governance
    5. Tailored, one-on-one technical assistance
    6. Storytelling and trust-building 
  5. Are there other things you want to see included in the Academy? 150 words max.

Member Profiles

  1. Each team member’s: name, age, gender pronouns, email address, mailing address, phone number
  2. We believe that folx’s lived experiences and identities deeply inform their perspective and the way they approach the work of liberation. Could you speak to the identities you embody? Who are you? What are your intersections? (one answer for each team member; 300 words max.)
  3. Describe your leadership experience. (one answer for each team member; 300 words max.)

Financial Support

The actual cost of the Summer Co-op Academy is $1,500 per person (not including travel). However, we offer sliding scale registration and are happy to help you fundraise towards the cost of registration if needed. Additionally, we invite participants to pay it forward and fundraise with us so that we can offer more travel and registration scholarships. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

  1. How much can your co-op or collective contribute to your team's total registration cost, based on the sliding scale?
  2. Would your team be willing to help CoFED fundraise for travel and registration scholarships? This entails writing personalized letters to co-ops and other aligned organizations who will welcome the opportunity to support you and other participants. We will provide a letter template.


Good luck! 


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