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March 20, 2020

A message from our Board President, Amaha Sellassie

Our community, nation and world have suddenly found ourselves under a new shared context as we collectively strive to navigate the effects of COVID-19.  I am thankful to see how our community has responded in physically distancing from one another while also amazed at all the innovative ways emerging to grow deeper connections and relationships simultaneously.  

This whole experience has reminded me of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr when he stated We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  This present moment has brought to the surface the fundamental truth that we are all interconnected and interdependent which leads us to cooperation.  

To self-quarantine is an act of cooperation with untold benefits for the common good, driving our decision to cancel our March Community Meeting.  Collectively, we are the Gem City Market food co-op, our structure is rooted in cooperation, collaboration and working together towards self-determining what we want to see in our community— increasing access to high quality food. 

During these shifting times, how can we continue to be there for one another?

We are currently exploring ways to utilize our platform and collective member capacity to support the relief efforts during this current crisis.  Our Outreach Committee is coordinating phone rallies to check on all of our members, to share accessible resources and continue building connections.  

We are open to your ideas and any self-organizing work that can emerge to collectively support our community and those that are vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. 

What never ceases to amaze me is how when adversity strikes, Dayton and our region always rises to the occasion.  This crisis may be a marathon, even an ultramarathon which will require community care and community healing while also providing an opportunity for us to live deeper into realizing our ideas of what an authentic, abundant community can be.  

May we continue to practice patience with one another as we develop more empathy, compassion and mutual understanding to provide some stability amongst each other during these uncertain times.  And know, in the midst of this current adversity, we are staying focused to make sure we are opening a grocery store that can best serve the food needs of our community for years to come.

— Amaha Sellassie

Board President, Gem City Market Cooperative

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