East Tampa Intiative Cooperative
Organized by: Brandon Benjamin
By the end of last month (June), over 120 Black men and women have been killed by police violence. That's almost one person every 3 days. While combating racism involves so many dynamic variables, our community has learned that we are the only ones that can take control of our destiny. Our peers, elders, and children can't continue to live in gentrified and gerrymandered areas, and not have any ownership in the communities they live in. History has shown us that when we try to take control of our future, racists and extremists will seek to destroy any trace of economic freedom. But this won't stop us. And so, We have come together as students and citizens of East Tampa, with the common bond of investing in our community, through endless acts of service. The East Tampa Initiative Cooperative seeks to provide innovative ways to supply our community with products for our citizens, made by Black owned companies. Help us provide economic resources to not only East Tampa, but eventually all of Florida and beyond. Our competitors may try to enter our space, by appearing to have our best interests, committing a few acts of charity, and maybe even giving black owned companies distribution in their stores. Our challenges are monumental, and just to name a few are the established retail stores in our neighborhood, other cooperatives that serve communities near East Tampa, and complete support from our student base. We know that if we continue to keep our purpose vested in our community, we can beat any and all of these issues. Our ultimate goal is to assist our community in becoming economically self-sufficient. And to reach this goal, we can't use our platform for dishonest gain, fraud, or anything else that will add difficulty in serving our community effectively. God bless.