The Chinook Center is a progressive, mission driven coworking and community space that aims to empower and connect grassroots social, economic and environmental justice organizations in the Pikes Peak region. Based in a model of mutual aid, the center will provide affordable working and event space for organizations by pooling resources. In addition, the space aims to bridge the distance between local activist organizations and scholarship through research, workshops, and internships. All together, the Chinook Center will help expand the capacity of existing organizations as well as help facilitate connections, emerging projects and collaborations. The Chinook Center will serve as a hub of a diverse array of grassroots organizations that can flourish in a community of support and solidarity.
Statement of Purpose
The Chinook Center will furnish a coworking and event space for Pikes Peak area non-profits and low resource grassroots organizations focused on social, economic and environmental justice. The idea for the center grew out of need locally for working, meeting, storage, training/workshop, and event spaces for small grassroots organizations that, despite having great passion, have a lower level of resources. The Chinook Center hopes to support these organizations and provide a dynamic community through a space in which they can share office, meeting and event space so they can continue their important work in the community.
Based in a model of mutual aid, the center will provide affordable working and event space for organizations by pooling resources. We understand that many organizations lack the money to rent spaces in which they can meet and hold events and that oftentimes public spaces are limited or problematic. Rather than taking time and money away from the work that they are doing to focus on raising money for office space, hall rentals for events, or moving from location to location for meetings, the Chinook Center offers a central space for organizations to settle all of this. The Center will also be open to community events such as book talks, workshops, seminars, as well as theater and film showings (although tenant organizations would have priority). The public events, as well as member-organized events, will also create a bounty of opportunities for all groups involved in the Center to share their message, gain visibility with new constituencies, and become integrated into a dynamic and diverse community of justice organizations.
Specifically the center will provide participating organizations access to secure wifi, printers/copiers, desk space, storage space, event space, meeting facilities, technology and a dedicated media space for interviews and other public media engagements. In addition, there is also a frequent difficulty for organizations to find space to meet with an area suitable for participants to bring their children, leading to a great disparity in access for working class parents in particular to participate in progressive movements that directly impact their own lives. The Chinook Center is committed to providing a small, unmonitored (but within eyesight of the common meeting area) spot with quiet, child-appropriate books and activities where individuals and groups could arrange to have kids wait while they meet with their organization.
As noted, the space will be more than just fungible resources though. The space will also be an incubator where organizations and individuals can come not only to work but to collaborate and more importantly be inspired. It will also publish a newsletter and website which will highlight the work of organizations affiliated with the space. This will also broaden the reach of each of the affiliated groups and encourage a spirit of shared purpose. In addition, the Chinook Center, will house the Chinook Center for the Critical Study of Social Change, which will provide research consultation, training, and connections with area institutions of secondary and higher education and with broader research initiatives.
Where is the Chinook Center Now?
The Chinook Center is in a critical formative stage. We are officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization and have an established board of dedicated volunteers committed to bringing the Chinook Center to life!
We are not currently housed in a physical location and are fundraising and seeking start-up support over the summer of 2019. We are making use of community spaces in the city to facilitate workshops and other community events designed to build capacity and increase networking opportunities for grassroots organizations in the Pikes Peak region. Keeping our feet on the pavement, we’re experiencing the very same struggles as the communities we serve!