Here you will find a growing list of our featured presenters!
Kali Akuno is co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, and served as the Director of Special Projects in the administration of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS. His focus was supporting cooperative development, introducing eco-friendly and carbon reduction operations, and promoting human rights and international relations for the city. Kali also served as the Co-Director of the US Human Rights Network and the Executive Director of the Peoples’ Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) after Hurricane Katrina.
Emily Kawano is co-director of the Wellspring Cooperative Corporation, which aims to use anchor institution purchases to create a network of worker-owned, inner-city cooperative businesses in Springfield, Massachusetts that will provide job training and entry-level jobs to unemployed and underemployed residents. Kawano also serves as coordinator xvi Contributors of the US Solidarity Economy Network. An economist by training, Kawano served as the director of the Center for Popular Economics from 2004 to 2013. Before that, she taught at Smith College, worked as the National Economic Justice Representative for the American Friends Service Committee and, in Northern Ireland, founded a popular economics program with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, NYC. He is the founder of Democracy at Work and host of their nationally syndicated show Economic Update. His latest book is The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself, which can be found along with his other books Understanding Socialism and Understanding Marxism at www.democracyatwork.info.
Jerome Scott (U.S. Solidarity Economy Network) was a labor organizer in the auto plants of Detroit in the 1960s-70s, and a community organizer, popular educator and author in the South since the 1970s, was a founding member and former director of Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide in Atlanta, GA. He serves on the National Planning Committee of the U.S. Social Forum, is active in Grassroots Global Justice and other organizations, including the League of Revolutionaries for a New America. He is author/co-author of numerous chapters and articles on race, class, movement building and the revolutionary process, and is a contributing editor to four popular education toolkits including The Roots of Terror and Today’s Globalization. He was co-recipient of the American Sociological Association’s 2004 Award for the Public Understanding of Sociology.
Mel Figeroa is a political journalist, educator, and organizer involved in a wide range of movements for social & environmental justice. She is the co-founder of Chico Traditional Ecological Stewardship Program, Faculty/Owner and Researcher at the Cooperative New School for Urban Studies & Environmental Justice, 2016 Stein/Baraka Press Director, working with Intertribal Stewardship Workforce Initiative in Northern California, Green Party of California National Committee Delegate to GP-US, and the Green EcoSocialist Network interim Steering Committee member. She is an on-air correspondent for Free Speech TV’s “Rising Up With Sonali,” and has written for The Nation, Truthdig.com, Against the Current, Truthout, and New Politics.
David Cobb is a “people’s lawyer” who has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials, run for political office himself, and been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. He believes we can – and must – provoke and win a peaceful revolution if we are to survive. David serves as Advancement Manager for the Wiyot Tribe’s Dishgamu Community Land Trust and as Co-Coordinator of the US Solidarity Economy Network. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Green Eco-Socialist Network, the Board of Directors of the Solidarity Research Center, an advisor to the California Progressive Alliance, and a leader of the California Public Banking Alliance. David ran for Attorney General of Texas in 2002, pledging to revoke the charters of corporations that routinely violate the law. In 2004 he was the Green Party nominee for President of the United States, and his demands for recounts in multiple states helped to launch the election integrity movement that ended the advance of electronic (black box) voting systems. In 2010 he helped to co-found Move To Amend and co-authored a proposed constitutional amendment to abolish the illegitimate court-created doctrines of corporate constitutional rights and money equals speech. In 2016 he served as campaign manager for the Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka presidential campaign He was a co-founder of Cooperation Humboldt in 2018.
Margaret Kimberley is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report. She is a New York Green, a member of the State Committee, and an Interim Steering Committee member of the Green Eco-Socialist Network. Ms. Kimberley is the author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents and a contributor to the anthology In Defense of Julian Assange. Her work as an activist includes leadership roles in the Black Alliance for Peace and the United National Antiwar Coalition.
Stephanie McMillan is a lifelong resident of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Her award-winning comics, editorial cartoons and illustrations have appeared in hundreds of publications worldwide over the past several decades, plus numerous textbooks and grassroots protest leaflets. She’s also been involved in many social change efforts since the early 1980s, from clinic defense and support of labor struggles to initiatives against imperialism, police brutality, and ecocide. She is the creator of the perpetual desk calendar “365 Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Proletarian Militants” and the author of several books including “Capitalism Must Die.” Currently she creates artwork in various media, often with commentary, advocating for ending capitalism/imperialism through global working class-led revolution as an essential part of a potential path toward a thriving humanity and planet. StephanieMcMillan.org – Instagram & facebook: @steph.mcmillan
Yvonne Yen Liu is the co-founder and research director at Solidarity Research Center. She is also the coordinator of the Municipalism Learning Series, which launches on May 1st 2022. She is based in Los Angeles, California. She is a practitioner of research justice with over 15 years of being a nerd for racial and social justice organizations. Yvonne served on the boards of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network and Data Commons Cooperative, and the steering committee of the California Asset Building Coalition. She was the 2018 Activist-in-Residence Fellow at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. Yvonne has a BA in cultural anthropology from Columbia University and a MA in sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she pursued a PhD.
Good Shield and 7th Generation Rise – Mignon Geli is a native San Franciscan (Mestiza:Waray, Ilongo, Spanish) currently living in the Sierra Foothills on Nisean land. She plays traditional and contemporary music on Native-style flutes and drums. She is a volunteer radio broadcaster on KFOK Community Radio, one of the organizers of the Global Indigenous People’s Village at California Worldfest, a traveling musician with the Buffalo Field Campaign. a member of The El Dorado County Indian Council, Inc., and is on the planning committee of Alcatraz Islands of all Tribes.
Nicola R Walters (she/her) is an organizer, researcher, public speaker, teacher, and artist. She completed an interdisciplinary master’s degree from Cal Poly Humboldt and specializes in the intersection of economics, politics, and activism in Northern California. Nicola has worked on environmental, social, political, and labor campaigns throughout her career. She currently serves on the California Faculty Association Board of Directors as the Membership & Organizing Chair, and is a founding member of Higher Ed Labor United. She is a lecturer in the Department of Politics at Cal Poly Humboldt and sculpts her career using Joel Olson’s guiding question: “What is the most damage I can do, given my biography, abilities, and commitments, to the racial order and rule of capital?”
Kamau Franklin is the founder of Community Movement Builders. He has been a community organizer for over thirty years, beginning in New York City and now based in Atlanta. Kamau has coordinated and led community cop-watch programs, liberation/freedom schools for youth, electoral and policy campaigns, large-scale community gardens, organizing collectives and alternatives to incarceration programs. He was an attorney for ten years in New York with his own practice in criminal, civil rights and transactional law. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.
Michelle Eddleman-McCormick is a mother of two and has been active in racial and social justice movements for the last twenty years. She currently serves as; the General Manager of the worker-owned Marshfield Village Store in rural Vermont, a member of the Board of Directors of Cooperation Vermont and the CVT Land Trust, a coordinator of Regeneration Corp, a Trustee of the Jaquith Library and a member of the Planning Commission for Marshfield, VT. When she has a spare moment she enjoys fly fishing, kayaking and traveling.
Naomi R Williams (they/them), Assistant Professor of Labor History at Rutgers University, researches late-capitalism at the end of the 20th century and workers’ role in shaping U.S. political economy. Their primary research interests include labor and working-class history, urban history and politics, gender and women, race and politics, and more broadly, social and economic movements of working people. Naomi centers workers’ voices in their research and teaching through life histories and other testimonials. Currently, they are reviewing a book manuscript, tentatively titled “Workers United: Race, Labor, and Coalition Building in Deindustrialized America,” on the transformation of class identity and politics in the second half of the 20th century.
Crystal Arnold is the founder of Money-Morphosis and interviewed over 100 women on her podcast “Money-Wise Women”. She has been Education Director at the Post Growth Institute since 2017. After graduating from Southern Oregon University in 2007 with a degree in international economics, she has designed and facilitated workshops, community events, and discussion panels about money. She is passionate about approaches to healing our money trauma through group processes. Her written work has appeared in journals, magazines, and in the book called Reinhabiting the Village.
Zee Clarke, author of Black People Breathe, has spent over 20 years leading teams at Fortune 500 companies and tech startups in Silicon Valley. After experiencing a number of challenges in the workplace from microaggressions from colleagues, to disparate treatment around salary and promotions, she pursued extensive mindfulness training in India to help her manage these challenges. Founder of Reclaiming Flow LLC, she leverages her toolkit of meditation, breathwork, yoga, and much more, to teach others how mindfulness and breathwork can improve their well-being despite any challenges that race or gender might present. Zee leads transformative workshops on mindfulness, breathwork and stress management tools for BIPOC employees on topics like microaggressions, imposter syndrome, and Black fatigue at organizations such as Google, Visa, AMC Networks and more. She has been featured in many leading publications including Fortune, Forbes, CNBC, Ebony, Essence, and Fast Company. She is a Harvard Business School graduate who applies holistic healing practices to corporate environments. You can follow her on YouTube, or @zeeclarkebreathes on Instagram & TikTok for weekly breathwork practices and tools.
As a scholar of racial capitalism, urban inequality and struggles for social justice, my research is motivated by three questions: 1) how are urban inequalities reproduced? 2) how are inequalities normalized? and 3) how do marginalized communities and their allies contest these injustices? I explore how places and practices construed as informal, illegal or lawless buttress networks of elite power and produce different kinds of urban spaces. Influenced by more than two decades of social movement activism, all my research begins from the premise that ordinary people have the capacity to understand and transform the conditions of their existence; indeed, communities are always engaged in life-making projects of survival and transformation. To this end, my research includes the knowledge and lived experiences of marginalized communities as part of building transformative social theory. I draw inspiration from feminist and Marxist geography, critical urban studies and anti-racist thought. Much of my research has been centered in Paraguay, drawing on almost two decades of work there, with an additional research focus on Brazil. I also engage intellectual and activist projects in New Mexico on themes of poverty, policing, anti-racism and abolition. My book Outlaw Capital: Everyday Illegalities and the Making of Uneven Development will be published by the University of Georgia Press in fall 2023 in the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series. An ethnography of the largest contraband economy in the Americas running through Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, I show how transgressive economies and grey spaces are central to globalized capitalism.
Rowen White is a Seed Keeper/farmer and author from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for Indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the Creative Director of Sierra Seeds, an innovative Indigenous seed bank and land-based educational organization located in North San Juan, CA. Rowen is the founder of the Indigenous Seedkeepers Network, which is committed to restoring the Indigenous Seed Commons, and currently serves as a Cooperative Seed Hub Coordinator. She facilitates creative hands-on workshops and strategic conversations in community around seed/food security around the country within tribal and small farming communities. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture, and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs, and other distinguished publications. Follow her journeys at http://www.sierraseeds.org
Ben Manski studies the participation of ordinary people in the deliberate constitution of their societies. Dr. Manski is Assistant Professor of Public Sociology and director of Next System Studies at George Mason University. His work takes in social movements, law, politics, climate and ecology, and the corporation, focusing on democracy, democratization, and constitutionalism, and he has published widely on these themes. In the past, Dr. Manski practiced public interest law for eight years and managed national non-profit organizations, direct action campaigns, and political campaigns and parties for twenty five years. He is an Institute for Policy Studies Associate Fellow, Next System Project Research Fellow, Liberty Tree Foundation Fellow, and a Critical Realism Network Associated Fellow.
Lauren van Schilfgaarde (Cochiti Pueblo) is Assistant Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and previously was a UCLA Law Research Fellow and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Legal Development Clinic Director at UCLA Law. van Schilfgaarde supervised live-client projects concerning tribal governance and justice systems, ethics, cultural resource protection, voting, child welfare, and more. She received her undergraduate degree at Colorado College and her law degree from UCLA School of Law. van Schilfgaarde currently serves as Vice-Chair for the Native American Concerns Committee of the American Bar Association, as a Commissioner for the Lawyers Network Commission of the Center for Reproductive Rights, and as a Board Member of the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Child Well-being Program.
Dr. Leece Lee-Oliver (Blackfeet/Choctaw) is a scholar and activist whose work is dedicated to understanding how Native American, Indigenous, and marginalized peoples experience and respond to national policies and societal beliefs that pose challenges to their sovereignty, safety, and security. Her teaching and writing reflect the transgressive political work of Third World liberation scholars. Leece’s scholarship pays homage to the legacies of resistance emergent in strategically marginalized communities and highlights how Native Americans draw on cultural traditions to navigate anti-“Indian” violence and promote and protect sovereignty today. As a specialist in Native American Studies, Ethnic & Gender Studies, and institutional belonging, her union efforts focus on cultural taxation and strategies for sustainable belonging for BIPOCLGBTQ2PwD peoples in higher education. Leece is co-Chair of the Native American and Indigenous People’s Caucus in the CFA. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fresno American Indian Health Project, where her work serves to support Indigenous-based wellness and education practices and maintain a spotlight on “urban Indian” and California American Indian peoples. Leece is an Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Director of American Indian Studies at California State University, Fresno.
Steve Dubb is senior editor of economic justice at NPQ, where he writes articles (including NPQ’s Economy Remix column), moderates Remaking the Economy webinars, and works to cultivate voices from the field and help them reach a broader audience. Prior to coming to NPQ in 2017, Steve worked with cooperatives and nonprofits for over two decades, including twelve years at The Democracy Collaborative and three years as executive director of NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation). In his work, Steve has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous reports; participated in and facilitated learning cohorts; designed community building strategies; and helped build the field of community wealth building. Steve is the lead author of Building Wealth: The Asset-Based Approach to Solving Social and Economic Problems (Aspen 2005) and coauthor (with Rita Hodges) of The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads, published by MSU Press in 2012. In 2016, Steve curated and authored Conversations on Community Wealth Building, a collection of interviews of community builders that Steve had conducted over the previous decade.
Tom Llewellyn is the interim executive director for Shareable, a news, action, and connection hub promoting people-powered solutions for the common good. As part of his role at Shareable, he is the executive producer and host of the award-winning documentary and podcast series “The Response,” producer of the “Cities@Tufts Lectures Podcast,” and communications lead for the Rural Power Coalition. Tom has spoken at over 200 events on five continents and is the co-editor and author of several publications, including “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons” (2018), “The Response: Building Collective Resilience in the Wake of Disasters” (2019), and “Lessons from the First Wave: Resilience in the Age of COVID-19” (2020).
Kamuela Enos is the Director of the Office of Indigenous Innovation for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation for University of Hawai’i System. Born and raised in Wai’anae, Kamuela comes from a family of cultural practitioners and farmers committed to using ancestral frameworks as the basis for contemporary restorative socio-ecologic work. Kamuela has an undergraduate degree in Hawaiian Studies and a M.A in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Kamuela previously served as Director of Social Enterprise at MA`O Farms and we also a Commissioner on President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders
Jourdan Bennett-Begaye is the editor of ICT. She is the first woman to be the chief news executive and top editor of the 41-year-old newspaper and website. She’s also a Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) board member. She is a Diné citizen of the Navajo Nation. Since her hire with ICT in 2018, Jourdan has reported stories on health, education, public health, 2020 Census, policy, politics, and more. She has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic coverage, especially COVID-19 data, in Indian Country. She has won multiple awards for her reporting in digital and broadcast, such as the ICT Newscast for her contribution to the COVID report and for her COVID-19 data beat reporting. She is part of the Indigenous Investigative Collective, a project by NAJA focused on investigations in Indian Country. In 2022, she and the collective, won the Richard LaCourse Award, an investigative journalism award, in 2022 for their work on COVID-19 deaths in Indian Country. Jourdan received her master’s degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism through the Newhouse Minorities Fellowship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York. Her health background is rooted in her bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Fort Lewis College and the University of Michigan Future Public Health Leaders Program via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jourdan’s work can be read or watched in the Anchorage Daily News, Underscore News, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Source New Mexico, Arizona Mirror, North Coast Journal, APTN News, NPR’s Short Wave, Native Peoples Magazine, Fan First, MediaShift, The Daily Times, NAJA’s Native Voices News, NPR’s NextGen Radio Project, and Syracuse.com/The Post-Standard.
Mr Alfie Pulumbarit currently holds the position as National Coordinator of farmer-scientist group MASIPAG (Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-Unlad ng Agrikultura). MASIPAG is a farmer-led network of people’s organizations, NGOs and scientists working towards the sustainable use and management of biodiversity through farmers’ control of genetic and biological resources, agricultural production and associated knowledge.
Marlene’ Dusek ( Payómkawichum, Kúupangawish, and Ipai-Kumeyaay) is the Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Institute Program Director, and a Native American Studies Professor at Cal Poly Humboldt. Marlene’ is an alumnus of the M.A. in Social Sciences, Environment, and Community, B.S Environmental Management and Protection, with an emphasis in Planning, & Native American Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Natural Resource Management. She is an Indigenous queer woman, cultural practitioner, and community member who has always been in a relationship with the land since she was a child and stewarded in various ways using methods of Indigenous management. She has learned from her elders, family members, and community members about traditional foods, cultural ways of management, and the need to reclaim and sustain these practices that are critical to our overall health and the health of the land and all for planning for a good future for the next generations. She doesn’t like to box herself into this colonial form of titles because there is a lot that could go under that like resister, seed saver, gardener, singer, traditional foods and medicines gatherer, harvester, artist, dancer, daughter, plant nerd, cultural burner. Both her partner and she are able to sustain themselves off their traditional foods and incorporate many traditional foods & plant medicines they are in relationship with as a part of their diets and daily life. Marlene’s overall work stays committed to protecting all relatives and Mother Earth from the harms of this colonial world and burning down those systems.
Mo Manklang (she/they) is the Policy Director for the USFWC, leading policy efforts at the federal level, as well as working with membership and partners on state and local priority-setting and organizing. Mo has been a local and national organizer for cooperatives and social justice issues in a variety of roles, including five years with Philadelphia’s social impact news and events group Generocity.org. A Philadelphia native, Mo is a founding board member of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, and has had the privilege of serving many organizations throughout her career, including Philadelphia’s Sustainable Business Network, The Bechdel Test Comedy Festival, the Worker Owned Recovery California Coalition, the Coalition for Worker Ownership and Power (MA), and the Alliance for a Just Philadelphia.
Dr. PennElys Droz, Anishinaabe and European descendent, is a mother of five, Power Building and Curriculum Coordinator with NDN Collective, and founding board member of Sustainable Nations, an Indigenous regenerative community development organization. She has worked in Indigenous engineering and regenerative development for over twenty years, with the vision of the re-development of thriving ecologically, culturally and economically sustainable Indigenous Nations. She is a natural builder, bioremediator, plant medicine maker and lover of all things dirt, moss, lichen, and fungi.
Jonathon Freeman (Afro-Indigenous, Northern European descendant) is a founding member of Co-Lab Shasta, a solidarity economy exploratory learning labortory, and one of the co-founders of Native Roots Network. He has had the opportunity to work alongside with wonderful people as a curator and organizer of Native Arts Cultural Collective; Our Story Native Art Exhibition and Cultural Gathering; as an organizer and contributor to sacred site protection with the Advocates for the Protection of Sacred Sites; and as the founder of the Native Youth Culture Exchange – working with youth and leaders from Hopi, Pit River, Wintu and Hawaiian communities. He currently works as a Community Development Coordinator within a county level public health agency where he facilitates of team Community Organizers and Policy Analysts. He has a Bachelors of Science Natural Resources Management and a Masters in Social Justice and Community Organizing.
Chase Iron Eyes is an attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project who was raised on the Standing Rock Nation and now lives on the Oglala Lakota Nation (Pine Ridge Reservation). Chase is working to liberate Indigenous Nations by deconstructing the ongoing colonial oppression executed against Indigenous Nations and empowering others to pick up the fight to respiritualize our collective experience which has been chemicalized by the same colonial forces of extractive capital separating humans from their sacred. Chase co-founded the Last Real Indians media model of frontline reporting in addition to an uncensored critique of the issues of the day as a way to give voice to the voiceless, presence to the unseen and action to prophecy. Chase is a spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier freedom campaign as well as the public relations liaison for Julian Bear Runner, the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Chase is married to Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle and they are raising their family in Lakota Treaty lands.
Jon Jandai is a farmer, earthen builder, seed saver, teacher, father and community activist from the Isan region of Thailand. He is the co-founder of Pun Pun Center for Self-Reliance in Chiang Mai and Thamturakit, a social enterprise building a new agricultural model based on self-organization and community self-reliance. Jandai’s most recent project is Seeds for the People – Thailand, which seeks to return seeds to farmers’ hands and restore agricultural biodiversity through the establishment of a national network of rural seed keepers.
Sandy Kewanhaptewa-Dixon, Ed.D (Hopi) received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University. An MA in Educational Administration from California State University Los Angeles, and another MA in Multicultural/Multilingual Special Education from California State University Los Angeles. She is currently a full tenure professor and the Ethnic & Women’s Studies former Chair at California Polytechnic University, Pomona. She was appointed by the Cal Poly Pomona’s President as the Repatriation Tribal Liaison. Her scholarly work includes Native American/American Indian Studies, Education, Critical Tribal Oppression, Decolonization, NA/AI in HE, NA/AI Women, and Ethnic Studies. She has taught in public, private, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools. served as the Special Education Coordinator, Curriculum & Instruction Coordinator, Acting Vice Principal and was the Principal at Noli Indian School at Soboba. She is the Director and PI for the Native American Pipeline/Pathways to Graduation program at Cal Poly Pomona. Her book, Lost and Found: The Colonization of a Native Child will be released in 2023. She is the mother of two children and a “So’yo” – grandma.
Marnie Atkins is an enrolled member of the WIyot Tribe and serves as an elected member of the Wiyot Tribal Council. She is the Director of Lhatsik Houmoulu’l (Cultural Department) and is also the Manager of the new Da gou rou louwi’ Cultural Center “the ongoing return of all’ ‘ located in Old Town Eureka. Marnie says “my grand vision is for the Cultural Center to be a central hub for the exchange of ideas, information and cross-cultural understanding. Atkins. You are encouraged to come in and say Ha’wa’lou (hello).
Adam Canter is the Natural Resources Director (NRD) of the Wiyot Tribe and has been working as a biologist and botanist on the North Coast for 18 years. Adam has been with the Wiyot NRD since 2014, where he hopes to prepare and preserve tribal cultural resources in the face of sea level rise, development threats, and climate change. Adam is the co-chair of the Cal Poly Humboldt Sea Level Rise Institute.
Robert Pitts serves as the Director of the Health & Human Services Department of the Wiyot Tribe, and oversees services for the Elders, children and all Tribal members.
Miki‘ala Catalfano (Native Hawaiian) serves as Co-Director of Native Roots Network. Moving beyond cynicism towards connectedness, Miki’ala is an artist, designer and connector who is learning how to create a meaningful, engaged ecobusiness that fits the needs of the place where she lives, with an eye on throwing a rope to other like-minded people who would also like to be free from the yoke of conventional workplace hierarchy.
Naveen Agrawal serves on the Board of Directors of the US Solidarity Economy Network and is a leader in the CA Public Banking Alliance. He has worked in affordable housing project management in San Francisco’s Mission District, as well as for the City of Los Angeles. He is currently employed as an analyst and affordable housing underwriter for Union Bank. Naveen believes that the current “housing crisis” comes from a lack of political will and inequities fundamental to free markets. While Naveen sees public housing as a long term goal for the nation, he has dedicated his career thus far to incremental, local solutions within existing frameworks, flawed though they may be. Naveen is also an avid cyclist and aspiring “cool uncle” to his three nieces and nephews.
Ingrid Haftel is a staff member at the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), where she manages Democracy Beyond Elections, PBP’s collaborative campaign to win structural democracy reforms that deepen participatory democracy and civic engagement, beyond and between elections. She is especially excited to work with the PBP team and partners to explore and expand participatory democracy as a tool for equity, inclusion, and justice. Ingrid has been working at the intersection of civic engagement, popular education, and design for nearly ten years. Before joining the Democracy Beyond Elections Team, she oversaw Community Education programs at the Center for Urban Pedagogy and directed cultural organizing campaigns at Peoples Climate Movement. Her other past lives include being a curator at an architecture foundation, a mender and shelver of library books, and a pizza slinger. Ingrid earned her B.A. in English and Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington, and her M.A. in Humanities at the University of Chicago.
Lydia Lopez joined the CA CLT Network in February 2022 as Co-Director for Organizing and Partnerships. She has supported access to affordable housing and civil rights through her work with San Francisco tenants and homebuyers, and through work with asylum seekers from around the world. She believes in strategic partnerships and consulting Indigenous populations through collaborations that could create a lasting impact by promoting mutual education. Lydia has participated in Flores Settlement monitoring of detention conditions at the US/Mexico border and documented conditions at private for-profit detention centers. She has served on the boards of CSC, La Raza Centro Legal, and Centro del Pueblo, and she is currently serving as treasurer on the board of NISGUA. She grew up in Guatemala City and Caye Caulker, Belize, and she holds a BA in Political Science from Stanford University and a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law.
Mo Manklang is the Communications Director and Policy lead at the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives. She serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance and the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia, and is co-founder of the Bechdel Test Fest, a festival for women, trans, and non-binary comedians. For five years, Mo led the Philadelphia-focused social impact news site Generocity.
Harriet Fraad is a mental health counselor and hypnotherapist in practice in New York City. She is a founding member of the feminist movement and the journal Rethinking Marxism. For 40 years, she has been a radical committed to transforming US personal and political life. Harriet specializes in speaking and writing about topics in which psychology and economics overlap, as these topics remain loaded with taboos, confusions, ignorance, and fear preventing us from asking big questions and daring to discuss big answers. By analyzing issues where psychology and economics collide, we can better analyze our society and our individuality as well.
Andrew Curley is a member of the Navajo Nation and an Assistant Professor in the School of Geography, Development & Environment at the University of Arizona. He has a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University, and previously worked at a research organization at the tribal community college and served on the tribe’s commission on government reform for two years. He also worked as a reporter for the Navajo Times.
Michelle Hernandez is a Wiyot and Latina filmmaker. She grew up on the Table Bluff Reservation, where she found her love for filmmaking. She has a Masters in Film and Electronic Media at American University in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. at Humboldt State in both Film and Native American Studies. Much of her work focuses on the importance of culture, traditions, and identity, as well as dealing with Indegenous subjects. With her work she gives voice to stories that aren’t often told. She is the co-founder of Sugarbush Hill Productions, which she currently runs with her partner, Richie Wenzler. Her latest works include Douk and The Bartow Project.
Carsie Blanton writes anthems for a world worth saving. Inspired by artists including Nina Simone and John Prine, Carsie delivers every song with an equal dose of moxie and mischief, bringing her audience together in joyful celebration of everything worth fighting for.
Kwame Braxton is a visual artist and digital fabrication as well as a native of Jackson, Mississippi. Some of his early work can be found circa 2015 with his first published strip comic “God of kings.” His intent in creating this issue was to create awareness of ancient civilizations that represent his demographic and to educate the youth within his community about historical references they may not find and their current public school. He is the son of a mother who is a principal cellist and a father who is a prestigious hip-hop journalist and playwright. It will be safe to say that artistry and creativity are well within his gene pool. Braxton has also gone on to host workshops at Jackson State for the youth and partake in multiple beautification projects around the inner city where he resides. At the inception of the 2020 pandemic, Kwame Braxton came up with a design for respiratory masks made from 3-D printed material to donate about 100 to Frontline workers who needed respiratory masks. Kwame‘s main passion is in Digital illustration as well as traditional painting. However, he has recently shifted his concentration towards animation. Braxton believes “It is the Artist’s job to captivate and reiterate the climate and mindset of the people within their era so the future to unpack and learn from.”
Randy Crutcher, EdD is an educator, counselor, conservationist, and organizational leadership consultant. Working in non-profits (Planned Parenthood and Humboldt Open Door Clinic), Redwood Community College and Cal Poly Humboldt over his 30 years in Humboldt County, he also spent years teaching and learning from diverse young adults throughout the California Conservation Corps system. He is currently adjunct faculty with Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico training mental health and social advocacy professionals. Devoted to the highest and best use of public lands, he helped create Sonoma County’s largest regional park (Tolay) preserving it from development and preventing destruction of indigenous sacred sites. He also established sustainability education community organizations that helped removed destructive off-road vehicle use from national forest land in the Sierra Nevada mountains adjacent to communities and created non-motorized community trails systems that preserved indigenous burial grounds and docent led opportunities for adults and children to engage with and protect their “place.” He currently supports regenerative agriculture internships in the New Agrarian US western regional program of the Quivira Coalition and is in the Aldo Leopold Circle of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, a major proponent of the 30/30 vision for Turtle Island. As well, he is a major supporter and developer for The Magarini Children Centre and Organic Demonstration Farm in Kenya, Africa, helping formally educate 300 orphans to become self-sufficient leaders. This year he became the first private citizen to deed family trust land to the Wiyot Community Land Trust. He continues to explore other Land and Water Back Movement opportunities as well as contributing to the new Robert Martin leadership scholarship fund of the Institute for American Indian Art, the only federally chartered four-year college focused on indigenous art and leadership development in the world, that happens to be in his backyard.