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

Summer Co-op Academy

Learn about co-ops for collective liberation! 

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

-Assata Shakur

Applications are currently closed

Scholarships & Cost of Registration

Your team has several places to turn to for scholarship and funding:

  1. Funding can be obtained through college campus funds such as student clubs, student government, office of Student Affairs, sustainability commitments, academic departments' conference and travel budgets, etc. For non-students, many organizations offer funding for their members (or affiliated folks) to attend trainings, and some workplaces have professional development funds that could be used for purposes like this.
  2. CoFED staff can coach and connect you to fundraise from your local and regional community of aligned businesses, cooperatives and cooperative associations, and credit unions. For example, a team California found financial support from a local grocery cooperative as well as a regional non-profit whose mission is to advance health and food access. Not only did it lead to financial support; it also created new partnerships for their project that they continue to benefit from today.
  3. If you need financial assistance, the Ralph K. Morris Foundation may be available to help. Please go to for scholarship criteria, guidelines and forms. 
  4. CoFED Scholarships are need-based. We offer limited full and partial scholarships to teams who may not have traditional access to these spaces. This includes folks who are: low-income, people of color, LGBTQ2S, people with disabilities, immigrants, formerly incarcerated, returning students, women, working, and/or have dependents.
CoFED is committed to making SCA as accessible and equitable as possible. To make SCA affordable for everyone, please pay what you can. The full cost of registration is $1,500/person and includes all housing, food, and ground transportation during the program. Registration does not include transportation to the program’s host city, but airport pickup/dropoff is available. Our suggested sliding scale, per person is as follows:

$200        Annual household income of $40,000 or less
$350   Annual household income between $40,001 - $60,000
$500   Annual household income between $60,001 - $80,000
$750   Annual household income between $80,001 - $100,000
$1,500    Annual household income of $100,000 or more

Please note that CoFED dues-paying members also enjoy a 10% discount. 


Education as the practice of freedom.

You have a right to quality education that supports you to become your best self, unlearn systems of oppression, and to build a new economy that empowers you and your community. Drawing inspiration from Freedom Schools, CoFED Summer Co-op Academy (SCA) is a cooperative business boot camp that promotes education for transformation and liberation. It is a week-long, life-changing experience where young folx like you can learn more about decolonizing our food system and building food co-ops and community-centered food solutions with a triple bottom line of food sovereignty, sustainability and social justice. At SCA, you'll meet other social justice warriors who are interested in food co-ops: what they are, why they're important, and how you can build one to grow your community's access to fresh, affordable food. Whether you've never heard of co-ops before or you've been a food co-op member for years, you'll benefit from a cohort of fellow (un)learners to help you build and grow food accessibility and cooperative economics for collective liberation. Through shared political education, you'll also build power with a growing movement of young people who are divesting from racist, classist, and sexist extractive economies and reinvesting in local, equitable and democratic solutions that benefit the people and planet. Our unique curriculum forefronts economic equity and liberation at the core of cooperative development.

All the tools you need to build your vision.

Summer Co-op Academy helps you sharpen your business acumen and organizing skills to catalyze your vision for social justice. Our graduates have started all types of food co-ops, from bulk-buying clubs to cafes and grocery stores. During your time with us, you'll work with dedicated facilitators and meet seasoned cooperative developers to build on your unique gifts and talents and take your vision and impact to the next level. As a young person inheriting social injustices that you didn't create or decide, you know it's not enough to stay woke. SCA is designed to expand your toolbox in the struggle against the corporate control of everything from our food system to our democracy. Now more than ever, the world needs you and all that you have to offer. We hope you'll take the connections, experiences, and tools you gain at Summer Co-op Academy wherever your truth and vision leads you.

Invest in your leadership with us!

Leadership is the courage to be who you are in a world that constantly tells you to be someone else or tries to snuff you out. It's daring to love yourself and others, to challenge the status quo and throw down for collective liberation. We've practiced a community of care and supported many folks from all across the US to bring their full selves and loving leadership to start or scale local food co-ops. Join our grassroots community of next generation leaders by applying to Summer Co-op Academy today! Full and partial scholarships are available, and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

The deadline to apply to SCA 2018 is April 6, 2018. Please read our application guide before applying. Email for more info.






Thank you sponsors for providing scholarships! 


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