Ready to Close the Racial Wealth Gap in Seattle? Path to Becoming a Spanish-language Resource for Cooperative Development
The City of Seattle is working towards sustainable solutions to the long-term racial wealth gap that has been prevalent in the city. Their Generational Wealth Initiative is currently funding nine community wealth-building pilot projects with the aim of increasing the knowledge of community wealth-building and implementing strategies that will make a difference. One of these projects is the work of Villa Comunitaria.
Villa Comunitaria is a BIPOC-led organization based in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle that’s dedicated to closing the longstanding racial wealth gap. They’re working to create a community where all Latine families can have their voice heard by participating in local decision-making and civic engagement. This includes access to quality education, home ownership, healthcare and nutrition, and recreational spaces that contribute to a sense of community.
In order to accomplish their mission, Villa Comunitaria is looking to economic development as a key strategy. They’ve taken the leap and partnered with the Generational Wealth Initiative, which is funded by the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods (DON). In 2023, DON is funding BIPOC entrepreneurs and community-based organizations to design community wealth-building strategies. This includes offers such as broad-based worker ownership, community-controlled capital, community ownership of real estate, progressive procurement, and wealth retention and asset building programs.
Villa Comunitaria is leading the way in the Generational Wealth Initiative by attempting to launch the first Latine community-led cooperative. They believe that doing this will empower the workers to make decisions in and about their workplaces, share in the profits, develop their skills, and build community and generational wealth.
To this end, Villa Comunitaria has invited and facilitated community members to engage in the cooperative’s development process. They’re working closely with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center to receive training, coaching, and technical assistance. On the plus side, they’re also connecting with culturally specific co-op developers spread across the country.
Furthermore, Villa Comunitaria is determined to become a Spanish-language resource for cooperative development in Seattle. To bring this goal to fruition, they’ve started the process of hiring a co-op development coordinator and creating an incubator program. Ultimately, they want to create an ecosystem/network of Latino cooperatives that can actively share resources and help one another.
People’s Economy Lab has had the opportunity to work with Villa Comunitaria before, in the form of their executive director taking part of the new Economy Washington Frontline Community Fellowship. This program, along with the Generational Wealth Initiative, provide Villa Comunitaria with greatly needed support to help accomplish their mission.
To learn more about Villa Comunitaria and their incredible work, visit their website at villacomunitaria.org.
Clickbait Style Title:
“Be a Part of the Change: Find Out How You Can Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap in Seattle!”