North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship

The North Star brings worker-owners of Black-led cooperatives together, grounded in the history of Black cooperative economics in the US, to build more powerful and engaged communities.

Fellows & Alumni


2023-2024 Cohort

The North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship is proud to announce our 2023-24 cohort:


BLK House is a multicultural housing cooperative that provides stable and secure housing for low-income people in Minneapolis.

We are building a resilient network of cooperatives, founded on self-determination. We envision thriving communities where people have their needs met, have access to support and services, and where members can build relationships to work together on neighborhood issues and social justice issues that affect the Twin Cities area as a whole. We grow food in our gardens to feed our community and work with local cooperative farms to distribute food to others. We provide space for community members to rest and recover when they need it. Our houses are nodes in a broad network of care and mutual aid.

Trila Malone, Anthony Brown, Jennifer Turner, Kindra McGee, Lorri Brown, Timothy McGee

The purpose of the cooperative shall be to provide an autonomous space for all people and provide an opportunity for sustainable wages. Our mission is to normalize advocacy and options for individuals with disabilities. We plan to assist them in every aspect of their lives, steering them towards self-sufficiency. Our mission is to help them to become independent and navigate the different systems within the community.

Tanika Fears, Tia Williams, Inie Clement, Ini Augustine

Black Broadband’s mission is to provide culturally based practices to generate community solutions to the digital divide. We are a cooperative community of Black-owned and operated Internet and Internet systems education and tools. We have researched and will continue to research the effects of poverty and gatekeeping on communities of color through access to communication via the World Wide Web. We will provide internet services that are reliable and affordable. Our goal is not just to provide internet service but to educate and empower communities of color.

Claire Jones, Amaranthia Sepia

At Sista Creatives Rising (SCR), our mission is to help creative marginalized women and marginalized genders gain accessibility and visibility in the arts to facilitate personal healing.

SCR seeks to strengthen our community by increasing the visibility of these artists with our disability accessible virtual film event, “Art & Mind.” This event uses short films, documentaries, and speaking engagements from professionals such as therapists and activists to raise awareness about social issues these creatives face. We make sure to compensate artists, and we raise funds to create grants for them via our Sistas Uprising Fund Project.

SCR is dedicated to disability accessibility. As a cooperative founded by a disabled immunocompromised Black mother-daughter duo, we ensure our work incorporates disability justice principles and accessibility tools so the work we present can be enjoyed by everyone.

Abdu Rahman, Libin

Raxman+ is an ideal real estate development startup that is striving to bring fast solutions to the housing crises our communities experience. 

  • Vision: Housing is a basic human right
  • Mission: To develop housing units with a rent to own option

Nashauna Johnson-Lenoir

My name is Nashauna Johnson-Lenoir. I am the founder of Journie Inc. I am a mother, author, motivational speaker, community leader, and activist. My mission is to prepare youth for life and leadership. I do this by always placing myself in the student seat so that I can take knowledge back to my community and youth that I serve through the Journie Program.

Carl Johnson

Decapolis City Cooperative disrupts food systems with cooperative businesses for building black wealth. This is where we come DCC, a new cooperative connecting social good organizations, mentors, and startups to secure job opportunities in marginalized communities. 7 out of 10 residents blame outsourcing of jobs to low-paying emerging markets countries on their inability to find or keep a job. Entrepreneurship is a powerful way to transform communities. Yet, for too many people, the dream of starting their own business is out of reach. This cooperative will provide social good businesses and missional communities in underserved and under-resourced cities. We focus on a culture of collaboration, constructive critique, deep reflection, and intentional disciple making.

Edrence Yalley, Sierra Carter, Jasmine Boudah

We exist to create a holistic and nurturing environment that addresses both economic empowerments as well as mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

We envision all people inspired, educated, and empowered to be their whole and best selves in their lives, relationships, and communities. We are a movement of passionate parents and leaders healing ourselves to heal our world.

Anika Bowie, Jamael Lundy, Mosis Bowie

Run Like Harriet and Black Ops Public Relations to form a cooperative that specializes in shaping public policy and fostering community engagement.

  • Mission: To inspire and empower leaders and communities to embody the courage, determination, and leadership exemplified by Harriet Tubman, in their pursuit of social justice, equity, and positive change.
  • Values: Courage, Leadership, Empowerment, Justice, Community Engagement, Education, Legacy, Inclusivity.


2022-2023 Cohort

Jayanthi RaJaSa, Yonci Peaceful Jameson, Kenna-Camara Cottman

  • House of Culture is a cooperative manifestation based in the oral tradition and griot skills that form the foundation of Voice of Culture. www.voiceofculture.org has more information about that work.
  • Mission: To create more Black spaces for the practice of cultural arts, ways of knowing and caring for each other in community
  • Vision: A physical location in North Minneapolis to hold space for House of Culture: recycled, thrift, vintage, cultural REappropriation, community altars, the work of Voice of Culture, The RaJaSa Family, #QueerSounding and more

Cal Adeboye, Lane Brown, Mari Fitch, Izzy Vielman, Mo Hanson, Jai Jami, Sun Kai

  • Mission: A Farm Called Home invests in Black and Indigenous future farmers by providing access to land-ownership and housing stabilization through cooperative development, education and environmental stewardship.
  • Vision: We provide an educational retreat center for Black, Indigenous and people of color to find respite. Our education and skill sharing programs are crafted with a trauma informed and antiracist lens. The profits from our education and hospitality program help fund more Black and Indigenous future farmers.

Olivia Nichols, Sophia Nichols, Syreeta Sevé

  • Mission: The mission of Lupine is to restore relationship with the land, animal, human, and plant kin in our home of Mni Sota Makoce. The only path to restoration is community care and love. We intend to build a world on this foundation of love through sustainably living in a tiny house community, using only what we need; reconnecting to our own and Indigenous food and medicine traditions through sustainable farming and growing practices, and permaculture design; offering QTBIPOC folx in need of respite with opportunities to build this world and live with us in short-term and long-term transitional housing through and beyond trauma; and taking care of one another in a good way. We believe that all beings are connected and this Earth is our home together, and only together will we be able to survive and thrive. The group intends to work directly with the first peoples of the land we seek to settle on, respecting any decisions made with regard to the stewardship of the land.
  • Vision: Lupine is a restorer, a native Minnesota plant that establishes itself quickly after natural disasters, contributing to recovery and the transition to a thriving and diverse ecosystem.* We envision our work in tandem with this protective plant and will provide a window and door into a thriving world built on community care and love. This is a way of living that begets hope and the promise of a good life. *Details on the perennial wild lupine provided by MPD 150.

Alicia Clerk, Chakita Lewis

  • Mission: To develop a sisterhood based on mutual respect, collaboration, inclusion, and shared economic opportunity. We come together to create opportunities for building wealth for women of color through real estate investment in residential and commercial properties and land ownership. We will promote ownership and leadership within the communities where these women are currently thriving.
  • Vision: To create a clear pathway homeownership and wealth for women of color through collaborative economics.

Mujahid Layton, Tenille Foreman

  • Our vision offers sanctuary to those seeking freedom from systems of exploitation and oppression
  • My cooperator and I steward 20 acres of land in GA. We seek to provide sanctuary to those seeking freedom from oppressive systems by modeling our ancestral agrarian & natural lifestyles. This looks like operating a nursery where we grow heritage, heirloom, and diasporic vegetables, herbs and dye plants; husbanding heritage animal breeds of goats, chickens and rabbits; and offering local honey from our hives & artisanal items made with our hands. We would like to put our land in a trust so that the successive stewardship of our land can be set for our progeny.

Jihan Thomas

  • We strive to be a place where Black people can gather to ideate, share the joy of the day, and just be. We incorporate the principals of the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles of Kwanzaa) in how we approach topics concerning our community. Through visual arts community programming, storytelling, and cultural events; we co- develop our own definitions of Black Spatial Liberation. We want to be a part of the fabric that continues this legacy and offer a space that serves our community through collective economics, Black resourcing, unrestricted creativity

2021-2022 Cohort

Hassan As-Sidiq, Lewis McCaleb, Quincy Powe, Vachel Hudson

Mission: “Provide an accessible space where individuals can come to live, thrive and come together to cultivate and become empowered.”

Vision: “To create a sustainable ecosystem of cooperative resources and opportunities for black families.”

Lauren Evans, LR Young, and Larry Daniels

Build the Parallel’s mission is to implement de-colonial interventions designed for mass populations to transition from consumerism to symbiotic exchange. We aim to revitalize elements of the Black housing settlement movement as a system for personal, familial, communal, regional and international development to acquire the resources necessary for the collective liberation from this system to our parallel system.

Tyrus Forest, Symmieona Williams

Our mission is to bring peace to the unknown storms within ourselves and our communities through healing in our children and ourselves. I say unknown because there is so much inside of ourselves that we have internalized, so much trauma we’ve buried deep inside, so many messages from the outside world that we’ve lost our own voice and sense of self. These storms may come out as anger against ourselves or our children. My mission is to support myself and others in discovering what is meant to be for the better world: listening to those who came before us, because they never left us; understanding ourselves more deeply in order to understand our parents and our children; learning forgiveness for self and for others; realizing when we need help that it is not weakness; and, reconsidering self-peace, self-love to become who we are called to be. Believe and trust in your intuition and step into your power.

Damon Terrell, Megan Spielbauer-Sandate

Mission: Our mission is in our name; Marronage is a tradition of Black radical resistance and support, of survival with and through community. Our multi-stakeholder housing cooperative will function to support and embolden resistance to the ongoing enslavement of Black people and others in bondage. Our team will build a compassionate model that contemplates realistic income and sporadic employment; an oppressive and violent state apparatus; and all that attends living through the epilogue of an empire. We know that the strategic dispossession of Black people functions to limit our dreamscape and rationalize targeted violence. We intend to build hope through access to space as a vital resource and support folks as they determine their own living situation, build their own home, and thrive.

Vision: We envision a truly abolitionist space that encourages folks to live, grow, and build in a supportive community. We look forward to a refreshing oasis for those who struggle, respite for those who toil, and refuge for the oppressed. We seek to harmoniously blend several types of membership that share in this abolitionist vision:

  • “Homies”: Folks who intend to live in our housing cooperative long-term.
  • “Homeslices”: Folks who rent short-term.
  • “Homebodies”: Abolitionist organizations who collectively manage a coworking/incubator/community center space.
  • “Co-conspirators”: Nonresident folks who remain invested in the housing co-op after moving out.

We intend for Marronage to be accessible for a range of folks through these different types of membership; together, they will be Marronage.

katie rose, Mai’a Williams, rowan emanuel, Heather Peebles, Jacqueline Zepeda

It is our mission to build a thriving, safe and healing space for BIPOC artist, healers, educators and community to gather, learn, create, connect, envision, receive, replenish and revitalize the ways we care for ourselves, one another, our communities. Sweet Leaf Healing Collective is dedicated to providing programming, activities, training, skillshares, healing clinics, ceremonies and events that bring nourishment, connectivity and growth for everyone involved.

Value Statements: Sweet Leaf is a BIPOC healing collective actively dismantling systems of violence and oppression by providing alternative spaces for care and connection, rooted in our healing – This collective was created for us by us.

We are committed to decolonizing relationships with food, land, healing practices and working with abundance in plant medicine. We are building liberatory practices that center our well being and encouraging connections with plants that center the well being of the planet.

We hold space for transformative justice in the various ways it needs to take shape and shifting paradigms in the ways we show up more for caretakers. Sweet Leaf is a space for BIPOC healers, movers, artists, activists, farmers, plant people and the BIPOC community at large. Supporting their access to healing modalities and practices that resonate, building relationships with land, plant medicine and a community that cares more deeply about their being.

We acknowledge the many harms inflicted on Black Indigenous Communities of Color throughout history and the numerous rippling effects of white supremacy x colonialism x patriarchy x imperialism x capitalism we must deal with today. This country was created by stealing land, stealing human lives for labor and finding ways to maintain a racial and social caste system. We are working to ensure our communities who have been impacted by various forms of state sanctioned or structural violence receive care, support, agency, community.

Sweet Leaf Apothecary is on unceded Dakota Land. We strongly support Indigenous Land Sovereignty Movements, Dakota / Anishinaabe autonomy, respect of treaties and healing on ancestral lands.

Sweet Leaf Healing Collective is a blend of folks of Black and Indigenous descent who are organizers, healers, activists, facilitators, and artists. Our skills and connections are vast and expansive. We come from various groups that organize around reproductive justice, healing justice, environmental and food justice, land defense, health and wellness advocacy, and much more. We come together to offer healing, herbal support, medic training, programming and community that centers the livelihood + well being of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). Our communities deserve relevant, resonant and accessible care. calling in our ancestors, plant relatives, cooperative relationships, traditional healing practices and ways of relating – we choose to unite in resisting, restoring and reimagining new ways to cultivate, grow, care and sustain.

Dr. Pamela Jolly, Willie Barney

The Torch Cooperative Investment Trust believes that creating an equitable way for community members to co-invest in partnership with wealth-building stakeholders establishes a viable way to deepen relationships in the black community between public, private, and philanthropic forms of capital investment and interests.

Our goals are to:

  • Elevate the standard of business to wealth as each community defines it.
  • Educate both sides of each community’s equity table in mutually beneficial ways;
  • Establish a solid foundation of financial and business acumen in the black community.
  • Encourage and assist the Black community with their wealth accumulation goals;

The Torch Cooperative Investment Trust’s mission is to assist Black wealth builders in their community’s collective journey towards becoming shareholders of real-estate, business, and opportunity. The TCIT supports local Legacy Wealth Cohorts members to fulfill their desire to create, build, grow, and expand legacy wealth that passes on for generations through increased ownership and equity at an accelerated pace. Our culturally relevant methodology and group process curriculum prepare communities to progress personally and collectively, forming a hedge of wealth protection for generations.

2020-2021 Cohort

Members: Angela Williams, Angel Smith-El, Danielle Swift, Ms. Jewelean Jackson, & Tonya Draughn

The Building Capacity for Black Women Cooperative’s mission is to assist Black women by stabilizing their current living status. We will support them by providing housing, and education, in addition to advocacy training, so they are able to build a better future and gain sustainable, as well as meaningful and affordable housing. Building Capacity for Black Women Cooperative believes that creating a more just distribution of power to existing social structures will lead to greater independence of Black women, and that is what we thrive for.

Our goals are to:

  1. Balance our organizing power to take collective action on our own behalf;
  2. Encourage and assist Black women with their life’s goals;
  3. Sustain and increase the socio-economic status of Black women.

Members: Cup Perez & Ken W

We are working to establish additional coops to provide housing for black and brown youth who are particularly disenfranchised by current issues such as housing discrimination and COVID lay-offs. We would like to rework the board structure of the coop that we currently live in to change from an intentional community to permanently affordable alternative housing.

Members: Michelle Warneke, Samantha Pree-Stinson, & Yusra Murad

Fresh Start is a cooperative aimed at addressing the root causes of homelessness by centering the context in which homelessness persists centuries of displacement and trauma, white supremacy, and a lack of cultural competence.

Our goals are to:

  1.  locate and create sustainable, dignified housing for individuals and families, with a focus on racialized communities, where tenants can democratically own their space and decision-making processes, and
  2.  Focus on the 90-day period post-move-in during which people are most vulnerable to losing their housing, via culturally competent social and professional supports such as child care, jobs training and support groups. We are experienced in creating safe spaces rooted in compassion; building leaders; and creating and maintaining authentic relationships.

Members: Jamal Zollicoffer & Jimmy Loyd

Jsquared Cooperative is interested in establishing housing cooperatives and land trusts.

Members: Ayanna Rakhu, Ayolanda Evans, Danyika Leonard, & Kowanna Powell Anderson

We are a group of mothers, wives, and business owners who work to curate healing-centered spaces that contribute to the preservation of the collective black family.

Members: Autumn Mason, Spring Mason, & LeAndra Estis

We as the New Rondo Cooperative Village aspire to create a community which is based on the collective efforts of its members for economic, residential and cultural enhancement. It is our goal to recreate the historic Rondo community, serving the direct descendants and other ADOS identified families.  One thing that we are innately good at is networking and creating communal bonds and relationships. Our primary goals are to:

  1. Educate our community on the prominent history of collective work in the Black community,
  2.  Create a space for ADOS identified families who are invested in economic, residential and political equity to share experiences, history and invest in the future together; as well as for our people to recreate the Rondo community experience by investing mentally/emotionally, spiritually and financially into the community.

Members: Ariah Fine, Jovita Stewart, Marie Williams, Matthew Branch, & Michael Elliot

Mission: A community-owned investment cooperative in North Minneapolis that purchases properties to create and maintain affordable housing and commercial space for Northside residents prioritizing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Vision: Properties on the Northside, owned by the Northside. What we don’t have individually, we have as a community. NICE MN is a vehicle for Northsiders to take real ownership over their community. There is no shortage of ideas on how to move their community forward from people that call North Minneapolis home, but there is a lack of access to capital. NICE MN leverages small contributions to lower barriers for community members to open their businesses or live in housing that fulfills their needs at an affordable price.

NICE’s goal is to fulfill the Northside’s community goals of property ownership in an effort to support business development and affordable housing preservation.

NICE’s 4 shared values:

  1. North Minneapolitans need real ownership over community vision
  2. What we don’t have individually, we can achieve collectively
  3. Lower barriers for entrepreneurship
  4. Preserve and improve affordable housing

Members: Danisa Farley & Metric Giles

Regenerative Environmental Economic Development Operative-REEDO.  Our purpose is to reach into the Black Community to facilitate a of reimagining our environment and economy.  We will do this by providing education and access to a process that provides connection, resource, and equity.

Our goals are;

  1.  Education on Money Matters, cooperative resource, membership, wealth/asset products.
  2.  Development of Neighborhood resource that supports black owned business (catering, community kitchen, storage)
  3. Black owned/operated event center. One of the things REEDO does well or has in our favor is lots of community connections.

Members: Armand McCoy, Dominique Didaddio-Cash, Jenean Gilmer, Maricella Xiong, & Valentine Cadieux

We are working to pilot models of collective land stewardship and governance of community gardens in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood that disrupt colonialist systems. As we imagine the ways that this collective might function, we will work in relationship with the wider community—hosting conversations and meals, providing support and mentorship for those interested in joining in this work. We love throwing a good party and we’re good at it. We look forward to celebrating this project with our community as soon as it’s safe. See you there.

2018-2019 Cohort

Connect with the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship.