Points of Unity
Our Points of Unity dictate our guiding principles and what we uphold ourselves to in our work of organizing and movement building. They are:
- COOPERATIVE IDENTITY:USACYC adheres to the Principles and Values laid out in the Cooperative Identity as it is stewarded and maintained by the International Cooperative Alliance.
- POWER OF YOUTH: We understand the role of youth in society is incredibly important and can bring energy, flexibility, fresh perspective, and large numbers to bear around any issue. Specifically, we understand that youth play a role in agitating for justice within both the cooperative movement and broader society. For these reasons, we know the identity of youth to be a source of power.
- MOVEMENT REFORM:We commit to replacing and/or reforming the cooperative institutions that no longer or maybe never embodied the cooperative identity.
- WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION: We commit to pushing for the redistribution of wealth within the cooperative movement to support frontline communities and their liberatory work.
- INCLUSION: We will lead the movement in creating a more inclusive culture and cooperative institutions that are truly welcoming and comfortable for people of all identities and experiences. We will lead by doing.
- JUSTICE, INTERCONNECTEDNESS, & EQUITY: We know that there are systems of intersecting oppression and that a network of empowering alternative structures to these systems exist, so we are dedicated to working with ourselves and within the broader cooperative movement to educate one another how to dismantle oppressive systems and intentionally build the cooperative movement to be a distinct alternative. This is the most fundamental motivation in our work.
- AUTONOMY:We remain politically autonomous, but will affiliate with economic, social, and political struggles through mutually beneficial relationships. We remain financially autonomous, even as we pursue grants or donations, and we will not sacrifice our autonomy for funding. Our organization is to remain youth-led and youth-controlled through only youth holding power in operations and governance.
- EDUCATION:We believe in education both as empowerment and as healing. Education work – or the facilitated learning or unlearning of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and practices – is fundamental to liberation and sound cooperative practice. We exist primarily to educate – ourselves through peer-mentorship and our broader cooperative movement through joyous and accessible means.
- PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY:We commit to creating and maintaining spaces and methods for all young people to engage directly in our broader movement’s visioning and decision-making.
- ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION:We commit to creating, coordinating, and maintaining ways for all young people to economically – in every sense of the word – participate in the cooperative economy in ways that adhere to our values and Points of Unity. We further commit to building our own financial wealth as a community to support and protect the work of youth in the long-term.