NEW YORK (10/12/11)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions has organized a Host Committee with representatives of all the cooperative sectors in New York City to mark the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC), which will officially kick off Oct. 31 with a statement by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York City. A year-long campaign, “New York: Building a Cooperative City,” will be launched Nov. 1 with a seminar at the Ford Foundation in New York City. The seminar will feature panel discussions by representatives of credit unions, and housing, food and workers’ cooperatives, as well as a proclamation by the City Council. Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal described the excitement that IYC has generated. “For the first time, we brought together representatives of all the co-op sectors in New York,” he said. “We estimate that among credit unions, housing co-ops, and others, more than one-million New Yorkers are members of cooperatives.” One of the main goals of the campaign is to raise awareness of the role cooperatives play in people’s lives. “Many people actually do not fully realize that they are members and owners of their cooperatives,” Rosenthal said. “Some, though not all credit unions, for example, do not prominently market the fact that they are financial cooperatives. We think that this is a huge opportunity to spread that message to the masses.” The National Cooperative Business Association, of which the federation is a member, is the U.S. coordinating body for IYC. “I was inspired by a recent opportunity to meet with the Caribbean Development Educators, some of whom had developed a detailed, creative month-by-month plan to celebrate IYC,” Rosenthal said. The seminar is free, but attendance is limited, so pre-registration is required. For more information, use the link, or contact federation Program Associate Elizabeth Friedrich at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or 800-437-8711, ext. 205.