Acknowledging Marxist Economist C.Y. Thomas’ Legacy in Canada’s Economic Development Sector




Canada’s community economic development sector has benefited from the knowledge making and practice of the African diaspora but much of it is erased and goes unnoticed. Afro-Guyanese economist C.Y. Thomas (1974) has influenced cooperative economies in Canada, but little is known about this contribution. Thomas’s convergence theory assisted in the development of the Neechi principles, which were developed by an Indigenous workers’ cooperative in north Winnipeg, Manitoba. Those writing on cooperatives in Canada and elsewhere should be taking convergence theory into account because it was the first to push for a convergence of needs and production, and how to make new inclusive economies. Just as Thomas’ theory is an important contribution on knowledge making in the community economic development sector, banking cooperatives known as rotating savings and credit associations have also contributed to the cooperative sector in Canada. However, there is a need within the cooperative sector to include perspectives from the Black diaspora.


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Author Biography

Caroline Shenaz Hossein, University of Toronto Scarborough

Caroline Hossein is Associate Professor of Global Development and Political Science, University of Toronto Scarborough.