Photo of Shayla Fletcher

Shayla Fletcher

  • Hosted by Center for Community Based Enterprise
  • Sponsored by Equal Justice Works Text-To-Give Fellowship
  • Service location Detroit, Michigan
  • Law school The University of Toledo College of Law
  • Issue area Community Economic Development/Microfinance and Related Transactional Legal Projects, Community/Economic Development
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Shayla will assist the Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE) in the development of networks of cooperative, worker-owned business that can help individuals with low to moderate income, people of color, people within 200% of poverty and/ or returning citizens in Southeast Michigan achieve economic self-sufficiency.

The majority of people C2BE serves are people of color, people with incomes within 200% of poverty, and those citizens returning to the community from incarceration. Worker cooperatives, or businesses that are owned and controlled by workers themselves allow the members to overcome reliance on both public benefits and private employment and the barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and employer discrimination. This project will provide community education, transactional lawyering, and business support to help citizens in Detroit achieve economic self-sufficiency by establishing worker cooperatives.

Shayla is the right person for the project because:

  • She has an understanding of the Detroit community, landscape, and client population that C2BE serves
  • She has both a business and legal background which is key to understanding the complexities associated with starting or converting to worker ownerships
  • She is interested in working to build a sustainable community in Detroit for the benefit of neighborhood residents

Fellowship Plans

In the first six months, Shayla will:

  • Learn about the various forms of worker ownership and their best uses, C2BE’s working systems and methods
  • Conduct outreach with community organizations, businesses and economic development partners and, participate in monthly co-learning events of the Detroit Solidarity Economy Coalition
  • Conduct community education sessions on various forms of worker ownership, cooperative culture and the cooperative business model
  • Provide technical assistance services such as feasibility studies, business plans, legal advice and drafting on choice of entity, contracts, business conversion counseling, sources of capital for project partners and making mutual referrals with these partners

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Sponsor: Deere & Company, Inc, Lane & Waterman LLP, Schiff Hardin LLP

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Sandra Rasmussen

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Sponsor: Legal Aid for Washington Fund; Teutsch Partners LLC; Individual Donations

Jordan Chisolm

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Sponsor: Florida Bar Foundation, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Current Fellow