Upon our founding, Third Root decided to become a worker-owned cooperative rather than a non-profit. Given that we were immersed in dialogue around the non-profit industrial complex, and committed to the history of collective work in other countries, and that we wanted social justice work in the United States to expand beyond the framework of non-profit organizations, we became an LLC with worker-owned cooperative by-laws.
The number of owners of Third Root has varied in our history, from 7 to begin with to 12 at one time. Everyone is empowered to make decisions by consensus about the direction of the business, to bring their own ideas and networks into the work of Third Root, and to create their own dream job. We feel that this creates an exciting and welcoming work culture that is consistent with the history of worker-owned cooperatives.
We also believe that collective ownership is a tool of personal and social change. Working together, we have the opportunity to work on ourselves and develop qualities of patience, kindness, forgiveness, determination, and compassion. Working together, we can bring our own communities and histories into the work, and into the Center.
You can learn more about the worker-coop movement and find other cooperatives through the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives and New York City Network of Worker-Cooperatives (NYC-NOWC).