Jada Bee

Why are you interested in serving on the board of Bloomington Cooperative Services (BCS)?
To help move the board into the next phase of its journey to make sure the board expands diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of the work it does. To give back to my local coop the best way I can with my time & energy.

What experience or involvement have you had with Bloomingfoods or other cooperatives?
I serve on the board/planning committee for People's Cooperative Market an intersectional food justice farmers market for BIPOC farmers/vendors in Bloomington/Monroe County. Our free food program helps grow & continually reinvesting in our co-op. I have been Bfoods Co-Op member for years my first membership being in the early 90's. 

What has been your experience working cooperatively with small groups of people?
I have volunteered with 50 plus non-profit and community organizations since high school. Currently, I serve on the board for these following organizations: People's Co-op Market, ELM Btown, DFMC, and MidWay Music. This experience has taught me effective communication, leadership skills, comradery & goal objective achievement.

Please share any professional, volunteer, or life experience you have had that will provide insight when serving on the BCS Board of Directors. Include knowledge, skills, formal training, and education that will contribute to the mission of our co-op.
I'm a D.E.1 educator & trainer. My experience is lifelong as a Woman of Color & a 7 year professional. In my post college academic work, I am a guest lecturer at JU, train government officials & lead community talks. I specialize in evaluations of policy & procedures for businesses, governmental agencies, & organizations. 

How do your values and lifestyle align with the values and mission of the co-op?
I helped to create the mission values & goals for BLM Btown and People's Market. Including both organizations working agreements that help govern how we work together which is similar to the Co-ops End Statement. I wholeheartedly agree with Bfoods values as they are aligned with many of my own.

Given the stated Ends of BCS, what do you see as the primary role of BCS in the community?
It functions as a place of intersection where local & organic foods are a tool use to create community. It serves not just as a meeting ground but as a place of discovery of health and wellness & a beacon for employment. It is creating community while also engaging in it via a resource for education. 

What are opportunities and challenges you see for BCS in the future expression of these Ends?
I see only opportunities for growth to incorporate more intersectional resources, education & people. Reaching further into our community to get to people underserved and in need as well as those think their options are limited. The only challenges I see are the ones we create for ourselves out of fear of expanding access. 

Please share any other brief statement that you feel is important regarding your potential service as a member of our board.
As a lifelong Bloomington resident my candidacy offers choices and solutions to roadblocks. I never say, I can't or we can't only, HOW can we. This is important when looking ahead into growing Bfoods for the future. Thinking about what is needed, now but also what is needing years from now. 

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