Mon 9 Aug 2021 3:34PM

Letter from Strategic Planning Team (attached letters of support)

NJJ Nijil Jamal Jones Public Seen by 9

This is an e-mail for Linnae, our former operations manager.

There are letters of support attached from Dominique Pearson from Philly Co-op Alliance and Annie Winkler from Real Pickles Co-op.

Dear Nijil & Pecan Milk Cooperative,

We, the former Strategic Planning Team at Pecan Milk Coop, write this letter with the support of Annie Winkler, Real Pickles, Aimée-Josiane Ingabire, LGBTQ Worker Advocate, Dominique Pearson, Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. The terms of the letter are to rectify the significant loss of income & harm experienced by Angel, Eshe, & Linnae. We hope this letter inspires future positive change for the Pecan Milk work culture. Pecan Milk’s purpose states: Pecan Milk Cooperative creates dignified work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender communities, people of African descent and other people of color, women, youth, immigrants and folks with a disability throughout a broadly defined South. Each of us have witnessed an abuse of power by Nijil and the unprofessional work culture from the unjust firing of Linnae, the pushout of Angel & Eshe, the toxic last full team meeting, and overall unwillingness to address our work processes. In this letter we list several infractions we experienced while at Pecan Milk and outline our next steps for reconciliation. Pecan Milk Coop is important to each of us, and this message is sent with love and consideration of what it means to be accountable to our people when harm is committed. 

These are a highlight of the infractions we witnessed during our employment at Pecan Milk Coop that were in direct violation of Pecan Milk principles & operations bylaws. 


1. Voluntary and Open Membership: 

  • Angel, Eshe, and Linnae all left Pecan Milk involuntary. Linnae was unjustly fired without vote or meeting. Angel & Eshe left after constant pressure and passive aggressive communication with Nijil. To leave voluntarily is to make an autonomous decision unencumbered by outside influences. 

2. Autonomy and Independence:

  • Angel, Eshe, and Linnae experienced Nijil weaponizing this principle to excuse the lack of work progress of web designer, Ikenna. First, naming to Angel that Ikenna didn’t need to provide drafts of the website. Second, saying that Eshe could not provide Ikenna feedback on work. Third, stating to the Operations Coach, Linnae, that Ikenna did not have to provide a work plan. All of these infractions were excused by naming work autonomy as reason to not have to work collaboratively or follow agreed upon work processes. Creating a work culture of employees choosing to do work based on desire rather than the collective coops priorities. 

3. Democratic Member Control:

  • There was no evidence of democraic process since Nijil was the only person in charge of the votes. No other board members would put votes up for the Coop to vote on structures to be implemented. Votes are never explained or given time for discussion. Nijil asked inappropriately over Slack for Sunni, a fairly inactive board member, to be voted on the Marketing Team. Nijil did not explain why or how this would benefit the Marketing Team or the Coop as a whole, and used friendship language to sway coop members' votes.

  • Angel and Nijil were the only consistent board members to make decisions. With no other board members’ active participation, Angel & Nijil were left alone to solely make major business decisions. Nijil's opinions and choices often overpowered Angel’s.

4. Education, Training and Information:

  • The Strategic Planning Team made plans for a re-onboarding process for coop, this was halted every step of the way by Nijil. 

  • While some work processes were initially named & established, they were not implemented. There were no instructions or protocols for the processes, making work difficult to complete. 


1. Professionalism

  • On several occasions via Slack and in person virtual meeting, Coop worker, Jamie has used unprofessional language to communicate workplace issues and her upsets about worker morale. This behavior is often never addressed and she has received no path towards an accountability process. 

  • Nijil was caught drinking and driving on the job by a fellow coop worker. When this was brought up to the rest of the staff Nijil did not have any conversations on how to keep her accountable and ensure this does not happen with other coop staff. 


In closing, we again hope that this letter provides a productive way forward for Pecan Milk staff and their work environment. With the affirmation from other coop community experts, we have created a couple of demands that will help mitigate the harm we experienced. We are demanding two-week payouts and equity for all parties, as a pathway forward. This should not be seen as a gift, but as severance for unprofessional and abusive work conditions. Please take no more than one week (August 11th) to respond via email to the following emails:
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]. We are prepared to follow up with legal action if we cannot reach an agreement. Letters of support are attached.--

Linnae Keys (she/they)
Executive Assistant

The Black Inmate Commissary Fund
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