US co-operators are meeting in Washington this week for a variety of events, which culminates in a visit to see the Obama administration in the White House.
This week, co-operators will take part in a number of activities including a Brown Bag event and the Co-operative Hall of Fame.
On the final day the National Cooperative Business Association will bring 150 co-operative leaders from around the US to engage in open dialogue with the Obama administration.
The morning reception will see discussion on key issues such as; how co-ops are impacting job creation, food security and energy.
During the week prior to the visit there are other events looking at co-operatives.
On Wednesday 2 May, there will be a Brown Bag event, a meeting held over lunchtime, which is part of an ongoing series about co-operatives. The meeting will focus on how international co-operative development helps create sustainable businesses in partnership with USAID.
The keynote speaker will be Dame Pauline Green, President of the ICA, who will speak on gender equality and inclusion. It will also feature the Linah Jebii Kilimo, Kenya’s assistant minister of co-operative development.
The Brown Bag Series have been organised by the US Overseas Cooperative Development Council and the next event will have Bill Cheney, President of the Credit Union National Association, speaking.
On the Wednesday evening, the annual Co-operative Hall of Fame will be held. It will focus on international development work in celebration of the International Year of Co-operatives. Four co-operative leaders will be inducted into the Hall of Fame including: cooperative educator, Dr. Michael Cook; cooperative agri-business leader, William Davisson; consumer cooperative developer, William Gessner; and, cooperative banker, Charles Snyder.
Finally, on the Thursday there will also be co-ordinated visits where participants can go to Capitol Hill to meet with their respective Representatives to discuss co-operatives and the National Co-operative Development Act.
The National Cooperative Development Act of 2011 was created to promote job creation and economic development in underserved communities through cooperative business development.