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Co-operative Education: Unlocking Potential for Thriving Communities

An educator demonstrating the power of education on a chalkboard

The Ontario Co-operative Association (OCA) is thrilled to introduce the Co-Unity Education Co-operative, a groundbreaking charitable organization with a mission to provide the benefits of co-operation through accessible education. By empowering individuals and communities, Co-Unity aims to foster thriving societies.

The Genesis of Co-Unity

In 2020, OCA embarked on an inspiring journey alongside a dedicated group of co-operative champions. Together, they engaged co-operatives, educators, and Co-operative Young Leaders (CYL) supporters and alumni, and the outcome was Co-Unity Education Co-operative, a non-profit multi-stakeholder co-op. In January 2022, the co-operative was officially incorporated, and by July 2023, it received charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The Power of Co-operative Education

Co-Unity firmly believes that co-operative education holds the key to unlocking the full potential of individuals and communities. But what exactly does this mean?

  1. Access for All: Co-Unity is committed to making co-operative education accessible to everyone.

  2. Promoting Core Values: Co-operative Education is about instilling values such as collaboration, critical thinking, inclusivity, and principled leadership; values that shape not only individuals but entire communities.

  3. Raising Awareness: Co-Unity recognizes that awareness is essential. By shining a spotlight on the co-operative sector, we can inspire more people to embrace co-operation as a force for positive change.

Supporting OCA’s Education Programs

With Co-Unity’s support, OCA’s education programs will get a significant boost, including:

  • CYL Summer Camp: A transformative experience for youth, where they learn about leadership, communication, co-operation, and community impact.

  • Co-operative Minds: Our classroom workshops and teacher resources ensure that educators have the tools they need to teach students about the co-operative business model and values effectively, while linking real-world learning to curriculum requirements.

  • ON Board: Our facilitated and interactive workshops designed for those working in the co-operative sector, are designed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the co-operative business model, and its values and principles.

Your Role: Be the Catalyst

Get Involved! Join us in creating a network of like-minded individuals and organizations committed to co-operative education. Every contribution matters. Together, we can build a future where communities thrive through co-operation.

Visit Co-Unity’s website at to get inspired and to donate. Let’s unlock the potential of co-operation and create a world where thriving communities are the norm. 

Submitted by Jennifer Ross, Executive Director, OCA, March 2024


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