In many ways, our current circular governance structure was born out of the years of cooperative development that CPC engaged in. This work was both a strategy to respond to attacks on immigrant communities through creating worker ownership, as well as a way to gain experience in collective governance and community economic democracy. There were many important lessons learned from that work that have informed the creation of our new circular structure, including the depth of work required to shift power dynamics and heal internalized oppression and superiority in order to engage in collective decision making in a constructive way. This required learning new ways to facilitate communication and decision making processes, learning to voice pain or disagreement and turning it into transformative mutual understanding. It also provided CPC practice in popular education; bringing together individual realities to create a collective reality, with all of its struggles and possibilities. This work allowed CPC staff and our communities the practice and creation of tools needed to build the world that we want to and deserve to live in, every day and for the long haul. We knew that even as we transitioned out of cooperative development, that the lessons learned from that work would be critical to integrate into our new structure and strategies.
We recognize that within our Circular Structure that there are inherent power dynamics. Each staff member of CPC is entrusted to make decisions within their sphere of influence, as indicated by the role they hold. Through trust and our individual and collective sense of accountability to our communities, we hope to continue developing new ways of disrupting replication of structures of oppression within our organization.