Presenter/Facilitator Bios

Béatrice Alain is the General Director of the 2016 Global Social Economy Forum, responsible for international relations at the Chantier de l’économie sociale and the coordinator of the RELIESS, an international liaison and reference center that monitors public policy in favour of the social and solidarity economy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science and a Master’s in public policy. Béatrice is particularly interested in facilitating dialogue between actors of different sectors and different countries that reinforces the development of a social and solidarity economy that is equitable, sustainable and accountable to its stakeholders.

Gar Alperovitz is Co-Chair of The Next System Project and Co-Founder of The Democracy Collaborative and The Institute for Policy Studies. A former Fellow of Harvard’s Institute of Politics and of King’s College, Cambridge University, in an earlier life he also served as a Legislative Director in the House of Representatives and the Senate. His most recent books are: What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About The Next American Revolution; America Beyond Capitalism; and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.

Bryce Anderson is a Detroit organizer and well known for his work in entertainment justice. He identifies his work as being deeply rooted in the solidarity economy. Along with B. Anthony Holley and Jackson Koeppel, he represented Detroit at the Working World’s Peer to Peer Network Gathering where the delegates from anll around the country convened to learn about and discuss the community loan fund/financial cooperative model.

Vernice Arahan As the Program Assistant for Programs, Vernice provides logistical and outreach support for the Federation’s various initiatives to promote and enhance the financial capability and access to safe financial products of unbanked and underbanked communities. Prior to the Federation, Vernice worked with the Bureau of Space and Design and Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs in the New York City Human Resources Administration as well as the Asian & Asian American Center at Cornell University.

Alice Bagley Alice Bagley a member of and coordinator for Unity in Our Community TimeBank of Southwest Detroit.  UOC TimeBank has been in existence for six years and is one of the largest in the country by membership. Over the past six years members of UOC TimeBank have exchanged over 16,000 hours of service. In 2015 they were winners of a People’s Choice Award in Community Development. Other than her time working for UOC TimeBank, Alice has been involved in many cooperative ventures. She has helped to start two cooperatives, and is a collective member of the Pantry Buying Club.

Esmeralda Baltazar, is a Xicana, born and raised along the U.S. Mexico Border. She is a member of the education team at Highlander Research and Education Center where she leads the Seeds of Fire program focused on youth and intergenerational organizing and supports educational work on cooperative economics through the Southern Grassroots Economies Project, a network that promotes, connects and launches cooperatives in the U.S. South.

Shane Bernardo see DAY (Detroit Asian Youth)

Rafael Betancourt is coordinator in Cuba of the “ Working Group for Social and Solidarity Economy for Local Development”

Keane Bhatt  is Senior Associate for Policy & Strategy with the Next System Project for The Democracy Collaborative.

Ben Blackshear is a member of SolidarityNYC, a collective of organizers, media-makers, and academics who promote, connect, and support New York City’s solidarity economy. He primarily works on the collective’s mapping, popular education and research efforts and is currently developing a walking tour exploring the history of the solidarity economy in Brooklyn.

Keyan Bliss serves as Executive Producer of Move to Amend’s online radio program, Move to Amend Reports. He was involved with both the Occupy movement and student power movement. He sees the goal of ending corporate personhood and money as protected speech to be a crucial first step towards serious reform within American society. Once the “We the People” Amendment is adopted into the Constitution, he hopes to expand constitutional reform to include a new bill of rights to expand the protection of civil liberties to all human beings without distinction.

Roshan Bliss was raised in Indiana, has been living and organizing in Denver since 2010 and is currently the community outreach coordinator for Woodbine Ecology Center. He is passionate about creating democratic communities, fighting for the rights of young people, and ensuring that future generations inherit a healthy, sustainable planet and society. Roshan is a trained mediator, facilitator, and community organizer, he has traveled in over a dozen different countries, is fluent in Spanish, and is a lover of philosophy.

Craig Borowiak is an associate professor of political science at Haverford College, a member of the Solidarity Economy Mapping Project team, and co­developer (with Emily Kawano) of the US Solidarity Economy mapping platform.

Stranja Burge (Manufacturing Renaissance) As alum of the first graduating class of Austin Polytechnical Academy in 2011, Stranja now works as the Program Assistant Manufacturing Renaissance serving the Manufacturing Connect program at Austin Polytech.  As an Austin Polytech student she excelled in the Manufacturing Connect program and became a student ambassador.   She earned three credentials from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS):  Materials, Measurement and Safety, CNC Turning Operator, CNC Milling Operator.   She is enrolled at Triton College studying Mechatronics.   Stranja grew up and currently lives in the Austin community and she has dedicated herself to serving as a positive influence and mentor for the students at Austin Polytech and in the community at large.

Rose M. Brewer, Ph.D., facilitator, Activist-scholar whose focus is political economy, race, class and gender.  She is a Professor African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota­Twin Cities.

Raphaël Canet is a professor at University of Ottawa in the Department of Social Sciences. His field of work is concentrated on social forums, global social movements and anti-globalization. He is currently the co-coordinator at the World Social Forum 2016.

Halima Cassells is outreach director and cultural programming director for the Center for Community-Based Enterprises.

Robert Chanate ​is ​a member of the Kiowa Nation. Robert’s work includes Native Youth leadership development, grassroots community organizing and educational presentations.He also is a contributor to Indian Country Today, trained as a wildlands firefighter, and is Woodbine Ecology Center’s Wildlands Restoration and Indigenous Program Coordinator.

David Cobb is a people’s lawyer who has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials, run for political office himself, and been arrested for non­violent civil disobedience. He was the Green Party candidate for President in 2004, and represents Move To Amend on the USSF NPC.

Emma Coleman Jordan received her B.A. from San Francisco State University, and her J.D. from Howard University School of Law, where she graduated first in her class and served as editor­in­chief of the Howard Law Journal. She was a White House Fellow in 1980­81, serving as special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, and is a past­president of both the Association  of  American  Law  Schools  and  the  Society  of  American  Law  Teachers.  Professor Jordan  teaches  courses  in  Federal  Regulation  of  Banking:  Modern  Financial  Institutions  and Change;  Commercial  Law:  Payments  and  Secured  Transactions,  and  Contemporary  Issues  in Economic Justice,  and  recently  released  the second  edition  of  her  textbook,  Economic Justice: Race, Gender, Identity and Economics (2011).

DAY Detroit Asian Youth Project is a group of Asian Americans in Detroit developing leadership skills and awareness for social justice by engaging in community service, learning and other programs that foster appreciation towards Detroit and its Asian American community. Founded in 2004, the mission of the Detroit Asian Youth Project is to motivate Asian American youth in Detroit to develop leadership skills and awareness for social justice by engaging in community projects that foster greater appreciation towards Detroit and its Asian American community. DAY Project brings together community members, college students, artists and Asian American youth for a year-round mentorship program and an eight-week summer program, primarily run by volunteers and donations. Their efforts always encourage youth to take an active role in the issues that affect them as urban youths through multiracial coalition building, community involvement and artistic expression.

Gopal Dayaneni, Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor, and culture. We are rooted in vibrant social movements led by low­-income communities and communities of color committed to a Just Transition away from profit and pollution and towards healthy, resilient and life­-affirming local economies.

Ali Dirul, Founder and Engineering Director of The Ryter Cooperative Industries is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy where he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a background in Physics. Dirul later went on to receive a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oakland University with a focus on Alternative Energy. Ali Dirul uses these disciplines to be a proactive resource for local and statewide institutions as a part of vital development think­tanks, and community development organizations such as: Incite Focus, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, DTE Energy, The Greening of Detroit, Soulardarity, The Charles H. Wright Musuem for African American History, The University of Detroit Mercy, Oakland University and others.

Cristina Do see DAY (Detroit Asian Youth)

Jeuji Diamondstone is a writer and community activist who embraces permaculture principles for living intentionally and working towards social and racial justice and towards resilient communities and landscapes. She serves on the Boards of Worcester Roots Project and the Stone Soup Collective and Community Center; she is the Worcester SAGE representative to U.S. Solidarity Economy Network and the Worcester-Providence Community Energy Cooperative representative to Co-Op Power. She is working with several others to co-create a Worcester Women’s Permaculture Guild.

Juan Gerardo Dominguez Carrasco May First/People Link is a membership organization of thousands of activists whose work centers on the Internet. We are made up substantially of people of color and led primarily by People of Color in the U.S. and Mexico. We are one of the few left-wing organizations organized in both countries. Most of our membership is comprise of women and half our leadership is as well. In our constant movement work, we advocate for an accurate reflection of the world’s population in movements and campaigns and are at the forefront of that struggle within technology where sexism, classism and racism are particularly egregious.

Brian Donovan is the former Executive Director of the Austin Cooperative Business Association (ACBA), a regional cross­sector trade association for cooperatives. From 2005­2013 Brian managed the Univ. of Texas Inter­Cooperative Council, a housing cooperative for students. Brian served on the board of NASCO Development Services for 8 years and the NASCO Board for two years. Before working in co­ops Brian worked for Apple as the manager of the Inside Sales team serving educational institutions. He also has experience working in state and local politics including managing the campaign for Greg Hamilton, the first African ­American Sheriff in Travis County Texas. He is currently a trustee of two revolving loan funds for affordable housing cooperatives: the Kagawa Fund at the Cooperative Development Foundation and the KSCR Fund at Shared Capital Cooperative.

Rupert Downing is the Executive Director of the non profit Community Social Planning Council on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.  He  is also the Vice President of the Vancouver Island Community Investment Cooperative.  He has over 35 years experience working in community economic development in the UK, Canada and Latin America.  He has worked in government and civil society, focused on building a more people, community and earth centered economy in rural, urban, suburban, northern and indigenous communities.  He is a lifetime member of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network.

Steve Dubb is Director of Special Projects and Senior Advisor to the President for The Democracy Collaborative.

Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young are long time producers of films on social justice and the environment, most recently the PBS film Shift Change about worker coops in the U.S. and Mondragon, and We Are Not Ghosts about grassroots organizing in Detroit that features a number of people and projects associated with the Boggs Center.

Ethan Earle is a project manager at the New York office of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, a policy and civic education institute dedicated to international support for left politics. Ethan also serves as chairman of the board of The Working World, an alternative loan fund that supports worker cooperatives, and on the credit committee of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union.

Naim Edwards strives to be a community organizer in Detroit. He works as the Garden Designer and Outreach Coordinator for Voices for Earth Justice, an interfaith non-profit committed to strengthening communities and reconnecting people with nature. He has been blessed to travel the world for food justice work, and seeks play a role in bringing forth justice in Detroit.

Ruthi Engelke is a writer, actress, teacher, yoga practitioner, grammar guru, gardener, mother, friend, and all­ around good sport. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Theater and Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which encourages the use of theater in social change. It is based on the seminal works of Augusto Boal and Paulo Friere.

Jules Epstein-Hebert is the Program Assistant for Membership and provides operational support for CU Breakthrough consulting engagements. Jules’s previous experience includes serving as a research analyst at a consulting firm where he conducted qualitative reviews for the development of city and state teacher guidelines. He also has recent experience as a Life Skills Facilitator for a workforce development organization dedicated to improving the lives of Brooklyn residents through affordable housing, education and skills training.

Daniel Fireside is the Capital Coordinator and at Equal Exchange, a food and beverage worker cooperative based near Boston, MA. He has raised over $8 million for the worker cooperative through sales of preferred stock, in addition to millions in financing from mission-aligned lenders. He is on the board of the Namaste Solar worker cooperative in Boulder, CO, and the Cooperative Fund of New England. Fireside frequently advises other cooperatives seeking to raise capital from their communities of supporters.

Mathew  Forstater  is  the  Research  Director  at  the  Binzagr  Institute  for  Sustainable Prosperity. He received his B.A., summa  cum laude, in African American Studies, from Temple University in  1987,  and  an M.A. (honors,  1993)  and Ph.D. (1996) in Economics from the New School  for  Social  Research.   Forstater  has  over  two  decades  experience  in  research,  teaching, consulting  and  policy  advising  in  macroeconomic  policy,  racial  economic  inequality  and sustainable  development.  His  work  on  “Green Jobs”  goes  back  at  least  to  1997,  with  over  ten refereed  journal  articles  and  monographs  on  issues  of  employment  and  environmental sustainability. Forstater’s Little Book of Big Ideas: Economics (2007, Chicago Review Press) has been translated into Estonian, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, French, Turkish, and Chinese.

Mike Friedman,  Board Chair of C2BE, and volunteer head of Operations and Project Oversight.  Retired Attorney. Former truck driver (IBT), factory worker (IBEW), union and community organizer.

Doug Gamble (Manufacturing Renaissance) is retired from the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, where he worked as an International Rep and with the union’s Industrial Development Department. He was a founder of the Tennessee Industrial Renewal Network and served on the board the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, TN.  He currently is on the board of Manufacturing Renaissance in Chicago. He lives on a farm in Tennessee.

Julia Ho is a community organizer with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) in St. Louis, Missouri. As a student at Washington University in St. Louis, she first became engaged in social justice work by building the Solidarity Economy STL network and organizing with local campaigns targeting Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal corporation. Since the August uprising in Ferguson, she has worked primarily on campaigns for racial justice, police brutality, and municipal court reform. Currently, she is working to incubate Black-owned cooperatives, advocate for food justice in North St. Louis, build mutual aid networks, implement restorative justice practices, and promote community development of vacant land.

Elia Irigoyen Garcia, currently coordinator of the Incubator Institute of Design and Technological Innovation (IDIT) of the Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla. Project Coordinator of “Idit Ibero Social Economy”, which have accompanied more than 70 companies and have created various methodologies. Directs projects related to innovation and digital manufacturing sponsored by international foundations. University professor for over 18 years. Experience in the private sector, management functions and consulting. Bachelor of Business Administration, Master in Environmental and Territorial Studies at the University of Deusto , currently doctoral process Social Economy Business Management

Jessica Gordon Nembhard is a political economist and Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Africana Studies Department at John Jay College, City University of NY; and author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. She has numerous publications on cooperative economics, community economic development, credit unions, wealth inequality, community wealth, and Black political economy. An affiliate scholar with the Centre for the Study of Co­operatives, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, she is a member of the Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) Newsletter and Collective, as well as the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, the Southern Grassroots Economies Project, The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund,  the Association of Cooperative Educators,  Green Worker Cooperative, and the US Solidarity Economy Network. Gordon Nembhard is also a member of the Shared Leadership Team of Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE) DC. Jessica is the proud mother of Susan and Stephen, and the grandmother of Stephon and Hugo Nembhard.

Nina Gregg (Communication Resources) consults with community and social justice organizations, unions, and educational institutions using action-learning and participatory approaches to organizational change, governance, strategy, planning, and evaluation.  She is working with Highlander Research and Education Center on an Economics and Governance curriculum and organizing a local chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), serves on the Board of Three Rivers Market (co-op in Knoxville, TN), and is a member of United Association for Labor Education and the international Alliance for Responsible and Sustainable Communities.

Aaron Handelsman is a founding member of the Detroit People’s Platform, where he works as the Senior Policy Advocate and focuses on land and housing justice from both a policy and organizing perspective. He is also a brother, a son, and a Co-Active coach interested in conflict resolution, mediation, and difficult conversations. Lately he is thinking a lot about what it means to “be creative” and ways to communicate that open the door to new and better understanding between people coming to the table with different assumptions.

Lorenzo Herron, Educated on the streets of eastside of Detroit, validated at MSU and University of Florida, I was a reluctant repatriator to my community. However becoming a father and going through that ritual situated me in my community in a way that I’d always been, but been reluctant to acknowledge. Now I happily engage my community through multiple formats including operating 3 community gardens, a home garden, guy that will rake your leaves for the love, and help you move your furniture for tea, amongst countless other acts in which I positively engage community.

Marcus Hill serves as the lead coordinator for the Forsyth Community Food Consortium food policy council based in Winston-Salem, NC. Marcus’ interest in local food systems has grown out of a blend of his public health (MPH, Yale ’08) and community organizing backgrounds, and centers on food justice. He believes that an effective local food movement can’t be separated functionally from food justice, and in turn, food justice can’t be functionally separated from social, economic, and environmental justice. Cooperation over everything. He served as co-researcher & -writer on his region’s local food system assessment report (2013), served on the resulting food consortium steering committee, and has facilitated food justice working group through Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, currently serves: as board Vice President for the Yadkin Riverkeeper; on the Leadership Council for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; on the steering committee for Winston Works! Cooperative Academy; on the board for the Phuzz Phest Music Festival; and on the board for the US Solidarity Economy Network.

Julia Ho is a community organizer with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) in St. Louis, Missouri. As a student at Washington University in St. Louis, she first became engaged in social justice work by building the Solidarity Economy STL network and organizing with local campaigns targeting Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal corporation. Since the August uprising in Ferguson, she has worked primarily on issues of racial justice, police brutality, and municipal court reform.

Anthony Holley Conscious Community Cooperative (C3), a grassroots self­-sufficiency collective, which provides awareness programs on cooperative economics, emergency preparedness, and sustainability to the community. Our member partners are educators, artists, engineers, organizers, entrepreneurs, and community organizers. C3 projects and forums unite teams together to solve common challenges facing the community.

Gwi-Seok Hong, see Day (Detroit Asian Youth)

Ted Howard is the Co-founder and President of The Democracy Collaborative. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Economic Alternatives. Working with the Cleveland Foundation, he was a member of a team that developed the comprehensive job creation and wealth building strategy which resulted in the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative.

Jimmy Johnson is an organizer and scholar in Detroit.

Nikia Jones  is Co-Director of Soulardarity, a cooperative membership non-profit building energy democracy in Highland Park, MI through community-owned solar streetlights, education, organizing, weatherization, and clean energy. Nikia is a Highland Park native who became involved with Soulardarity after DTE Energy repossessed over 1000 streetlights from Highland Park, leaving Own Your Own Power: Building community wealth through clean energy

Emily Kawano is the coordinator of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network and co-director of Wellspring Cooperative. She has a Ph.D in economics from UMass, Amherst where she joined the Center for Popular Economics and served as director for nine years. She taught economics at Smith College and was the National Economic Justice Representative for the American Friends Service Committee. She founded a popular economics program in Northern Ireland with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and was a member of the N.I. Social Economy Network.

Esteban Kelly is the Co-Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC), and is a founder and core trainer with AORTA, a worker co-op whose consulting supports organizations fighting for social justice and a solidarity economy. He has served on numerous boards including the USFWC, the US Solidarity Economy Network, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA-CLUSA), the LCA land trust, and NASCO; and he is an advisor to Beautiful Trouble, a network of artist-activist trainers. He is a co-founder and current board President of the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), and recently worked at the New Economy Coalition as Development Director and then Staff Director. Esteban is a mayoral appointee to the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, following eight years as a worker-owner at Mariposa Food Co-op institutionalizing its staff collective and expanding food access in West Philly.

Jackson Koeppel is Co-­Director of Soulardarity, a cooperative membership non­profit building energy democracy in Highland Park, MI through community-owned solar streetlights, education, organizing, weatherization, and clean energy. Jackson found his way to Detroit through direct action in support of communities fighting coal in West Virginia and gas in Ohio.

Rym Lamrani is interested in scaling up the social impact of collective and social enterprises. She has been working at the Chantier de l’économie sociale for five years where she held various positions, including communication, project development and international relations. She holds a Master’s degree in bioorganic chemistry and completed her education with a Master’s in Management and Sustainable Development at HEC Montreal. Rym has a particular interest in the development of the social economy and social entrepreneurship in the Maghreb. She believes that social innovation and collective entrepreneurship contribute to the emergence of a development model based on solidarity and equity where the economy supports the people and not the other way around.

Émile Langlois-Vallières is an intern at the World Social Forum 2016. He is currently studying at the University of Montreal in international relationships.

Eric Leenson is the coordinator of the international project “ Socially Responsible Enterprise and Local Development in Cuba”

Judith Lipp is a recognized leader in community energy development as well as renewable energy education and policy. She is the Executive Director of TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative where since 2008, she has been instrumental in the formation of SolarShare, one of Canada¹s largest renewable energy co-ops with almost 2 MW in solar generating capacity; TREC Education, a charitable foundation and leader in renewable energy education; and the Federation of Community Power Co-ops, the first umbrella organization for renewable energy co-ops in North America. Under her leadership, TREC has emerged as a social finance manager for a variety of social enterprises and a sought out voice on critical energy policy discussions in Ontario.

Michelle Mascarenhas­Swan, Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor, and culture. We are rooted in vibrant social movements led by low­-income communities and communities of color committed to a Just Transition away from profit and pollution and towards healthy, resilient and life­-affirming local economies.

Jake Matlak I am the Associate Director of Programs at the Philanthropiece Foundation, a small, non­profit organization with programs in Colorado, Mexico, and Guatemala. Our work focuses on education, leadership training, and sustainable community development. Our program in Mexico works with community banking, an option for communities typically neglected by traditional banking mechanisms and/or that wish to pursue an alternative to big institutions whose aim is to extract wealth from the community.

Julie Matthaei is a professor of economics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, USA, and co-founder and board member of the US Solidarity Economy Network.  She has served as the coordinator of SEN’s Research & Policy Working Group since its founding in 2009.  Julie has written two books on gender and race in U.S. economic history; co-edited the first book on the solidarity economy in the U.S.,  Solidarity Economy:  Building Alternatives for People and Planet; and has written and spoken widely about the solidarity economy.  Julie is currently writing a book entitled From Inequality to Solidarity:  Co-Creating New Economics for the 21st Century.

J.J. McMurtry is an Associate Professor of Business and Society at York University, Toronto.  His research focuses on linking contemporary social, political and economic theory with the practice of co-operatives and the social economy. Professor McMurtry has presented his work at conferences across North America, India and Europe and has published works on social theory, politics, and the social economy in scholarly and popular media. He has also been active in various movements and organizations for over two decades including co-operative businesses, a research firm, unions at the local and national level, community and volunteer organizations, non-profits, and a number of social movements.

Josefina Mora is the daughter of an undocumented immigrant, and together they have spent over 15 years fighting for immigrant rights at multiple levels, policy wise, organizing wise, and most recently, by risking arrest together. Josefina was a recipient of the City of Seattle Youth Service Award for Human Rights in 2013 for her organizing against her high school when they decided to ignore Skagit Valley farmworkers on strike. She is currently a freshman at Western Washington University.

Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D., is educator, activist and writer who is based in Toronto, Canada and is an organizer with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence. Ajamu participated in the founding conference of the United States Federation Worker Cooperatives and was elected to its first board of directors.

Jason Nardi is General Delegate of RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe, and member of the RIPESS Intercontinental board of directors (ripess.org / ripess.eu). An advocate for social justice, ethical finance and communication rights, he is an active member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, has been organiser for Terra Futura (Italian yearly event on SSE with more than 50’000 participants) and has co-created Zoes.org – the first Italian social network for SSE. Recently he’s been working on an app to map European SSE initiatives (Go-fair.eu) and on a game on Ethical Banking. In his hometown, Florence (Italy), he’s promoting the CSA (GAS) network and Solidarity Economy District. He’s also a trainer on Solidarity Economy topics and co-founded Solidarius in Italy (solidarius.it), a research-consulting organisation to help develop solidarity economy networks, part of a Brasilian based international network (Solidarius.net).

Atieno Nyar Kasagam currently sits on the Detroit Food Policy Council and is a co­ordinator of the Detroit Urban Farmers Network. She is also an urban farmer in Detroit and a Sangoma who leverages writing, music, photography and film to examine social/political issues, to tell stories, and to push back against anthropocentrism, capitalism, colonialism and other latent injustices

Yeva Nersisyan received her B.A. from Yerevan State University in Armenia, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is an expert in monetary and fiscal policy, financial regulation, shadow banking, and financial crises.

Chinyere E. Oteh is a St. Louis native who has also lived and worked in Detroit and Washington D.C. After graduating with a B.A. in American Culture Studies from Washington University in 2002 she began a career in youth development. Chinyere is a 2007 Fellow of RAC’s Community Arts Training Institute where she first began pairing community photography instruction with creative writing, modeled after Wendy Ewald. Chinyere has examined mixed ­race identity through autobiographical writing and photographic self ­portraiture and has taught photography. She was a founding collective member of Yeyo Arts in 2010, attended Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute in New Orleans in 2011, and currently works at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Committed to creative community building, in 2010, she founded The Cowry Collective, a timebank,a network geared toward forging economic equity and bridging racial divides.

Michael A. Peck is a co-founder of 1worker1vote.org (2014), serves as Mondragon’s North American delegate since 1999, as a American Sustainable Business Council board member, Blue Green Alliance Corporate Advisory board member, and MAPA Group founder (1994).  1worker1vote is a nationwide economic development catalyst mobilizing the union-coop hybrid model reflecting Mondragon values of single class equity and workplace solidarity democratically practiced in profitable enterprises to overcome structural inequalities.”

Yvon Poirier is a member of the Board of directors of the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS) since October 2013. He is Secretary of the Board of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNET) and is Chair of the International committee. He participates in activities of the UN Taskforce on social and solidarity economy. Before his retirement from teaching, he was a union activist in the Québec province Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN).

Stephanie Rearick Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie Rearick is the founder of the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB) – a 2800+-member timebank devoted to building a just and inclusive economy – and founder and Coordinator of Mutual Aid Networks. In addition to her work in timebanking and promoting grassroots-up economic and community regeneration, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. Rearick also works as a musician.

Zara Serabian-Arthur is a member of SolidarityNYC, a collective of organizers, media-makers, and academics who promote, connect, and support New York City’s solidarity economy. She is also a documentary filmmaker with Meerkat Media, a media collective and cooperatively run production company, committed to making artful and thought-provoking films through a non-hierarchical collaborative process.

Liberty Shellman has a passion for community and has been involved in community organizing with dozens of small groups and collectives over the span of two decades. She has training in Theatre of the Oppressed, facilitation, and consensus based decision making. Currently she is the Executive Director of the Boulder Fringe, a 12 day performance art festival in Boulder,CO as well as the Operations Director for Woodbine Ecology Center.

Barbara A. Stachowski is a native Detroiter and a Board Member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. Ms. Stachowski is a social justice advocate and consultant, founder of Grassroots Solutions, and holds a BS with a double major in Chemistry and Environmental Health Science and a MA in Social Justice. Under the direction of Dr. Frithjof Bergmann, Barbara spent a month in 2013 visiting cities in Bavaria, Austria and Germany to create conversations and develop relationships with cities also engaged in New Work / New Culture projects.

Pavlos Stavropoulos Born and raised in Greece, Pavlos grew up bilingual and bicultural, and has decades of experience in environmental and wilderness education include being a Wilderness First Responder, a certified permaculture designer and instructor, a Project Learning Tree facilitator, academic work in environmental studies/social ecology, indigenous studies and wilderness ethics. He has served as the publications coordinator for the Fourth World Center, been the publisher and associate editor of Society and Nature/Democracy & Nature, the international journal of political ecology, and taught at Escuela Tlatelolco. He is now the Sustainability Coordinator at Woodbine Ecology Center.

Lisa Stolarski specializes in cooperative technical assistance and community economic development. Before coming to Detroit in 2013, Lisa worked as Executive Director for the National Cooperative Business Association’s domestic development program.  She also developed rural cooperatives in western Pennsylvania for Keystone Development Center. She has served on the boards of Cooperation Works! (National), the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (National), East End Food Co­op (Pittsburgh) and Mustard Tree Housing Cooperative (Detroit).  She was a founding member of Jane Street Housekeeping, a worker-­owned cooperative. Lisa holds a Master’s in CED from Southern New Hampshire University and has helped to stabilize or launch 12 cooperatives and community-­based enterprises throughout her career.

Soh Suzuki – see DAY (Detroit Asian Youth)

Erica Swinney, Manufacturing Renaissance. Erica serves as Program Director for Manufacturing Renaissance and has worked on a variety of community development initiatives in the Austin community on the west side of Chicago.  Her primary role is developing and running the Manufacturing Connect program serving Austin Polytechnical Academy, a Chicago Public High School.  Manufacturing Connect is a community development initiative that links schools to the broader economic and workforce development landscape.

Natasha Tamate Weiss see DAY (Detroit Asian Youth)

Derya Tarhan is a PhD Student in Adult Education and Community Development at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the role of community-owned renewable energy in democratizing the energy sector. His other research interests include critical technology studies, community development and co-operative economics. Derya’s academic work is enriched by his engagement in various social movements, co-operatives and knowledge mobilization platforms focusing on the issues of social, economic and climate justice. Derya is also the Founder and Editor of The Community Power Report, a global resource hub for community-owned renewable energy initiatives.

Maureen Taylor, Since 1993, she has served as Chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, a union of public assistance recipients, low-income workers and the unemployed that organizes members to fight for their rights and to eliminate poverty in this country. Over the past several years, Maureen spearheaded several MWRO campaigns to protect low-income Detroiters against electricity, gas and water shut-offs. She participated in negotiations for the Water Affordability Plan for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department; and she was a key consultant on two award-winning documentaries, “The Water Front,” about water rights and water affordability in Highland Park, Michigan; and the film, “A World Without Water” on the crises of international water affordability and access which featured a segment on Detroit. Additionally, Maureen has a MSW in Social Work and is a Detroit school counselor who is improving student and teacher success rates.

Nigel Tharpe, Conscious Community Cooperative (C3), a grassroots self­-sufficiency collective, which provides awareness programs on cooperative economics, emergency preparedness, and sustainability to the community. Our member partners are educators, artists, engineers, organizers, entrepreneurs, and community organizers. C3 projects and forums unite teams together to solve common challenges facing the community.

Makani Themba is a nationally renowned pioneer in change communications.   Her many books and publications include “Fair Game: Racial Justice Communications in the Obama Era. Higher Ground Change Strategies, Detroit, MI

Marnie Thompson is co-Founder and co-Managing Director of F4DC, a Greensboro, NC private foundation that supports community‐based initiatives and institutions that foster authentic democracy to make communities better places to live. For the past four years, F4DC has been the main technical assistance partner working with a Greensboro neighborhood to find a solution to an 18‐year food desert problem. In late summer 2016, the community will open the Renaissance Community Coop, a 10,530 square foot community‐owned full service grocery store!

Laure Waridel Over the past 25 years, she has worn the work boots of great ecological and solidarity projects and the velvet gloves of sustainable development. She is the co-founder of Équiterre, an non profit organization which has become a leading social movement in Quebec by encouraging individuals, organizations and governments to make ecological and equitable choices.  Her books Acheter c’est voter (“Buying is voting”) and L’envers de l’assiette (“The other side of the plate”) were bestsellers in Quebec, quickly becoming references for the development of fair trade and responsible consumption. She has recently completed PhD studies on the emergence of a social and ecological economy in the Province of Quebec at the Graduate Institute of Geneva.Laure Waridel is now the executive  director of the CIRODD (Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Sustainable- Development Operationalization) based in Montreal Canada.

Ed Whitfield is co-Founder and co-Managing Director of F4DC, a Greensboro, NC private foundation that supports community‐based initiatives and institutions that foster authentic democracy to make communities better places to live. For the past four years, F4DC has been the main technical assistance partner working with a Greensboro neighborhood to find a solution to an 18‐year food desert problem. In late summer 2016, the community will open the Renaissance Community Coop, a 10,530 square foot community‐owned full service grocery store!

Elandria Williams Highlander Education Team member, and skilled popular educator. Involved with the Southern Grassroots Economies Project.

Susan Williams Highlander Education Team member, and skilled popular educator. Involved with the Southern Grassroots Economies Project.

Bri Wilson see DAY (Detroit Asian Youth)

Melissa Young  & Mark Dworkin are long time producers of films on social justice and the environment, most recently the PBS film Shift Change about worker coops in the U.S. and Mondragon, and We Are Not Ghosts about grassroots organizing in Detroit that features a number of people and projects associated with the Boggs Center.

 

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