We Bring Our Full Selves to Our Work

Our People

 
Andrew Curley

Andrew Curley

Board Member

Andrew is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University, studying coal and development in the Navajo Nation. He cofounded the Dine Association for Self-Determination, a research clearinghouse for critical analyses of tribal politics. Previously he worked at the Dine Policy Institute, a research organization based at the tribal community college, and served on the tribe’s commission on government reform for two years. He has also written for the Navajo Times.
Diana Benitez

Diana Benitez

Research Justice Collective

Diana is an urban planner and critical cartographer based in Los Angeles, California working to create health, affordable and safe communities by addressing disparities. She previously worked at the Ralph andGoldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles Community Land Trust. Diana has a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from UCLA and a BA in Urban and Regional Planning with a Geographic Information Sciences Minor from California State University Northridge.
Emily Kawano

Emily Kawano

Board Member

Emily is Co-Director of the Wellspring Cooperative Corporation, which is seeking to create an engine for new, community-based job creation in Springfield, Massachusetts. Wellspring’s goal is to use anchor institution purchases to create a network of worker-owned businesses located in the inner city that will provide job training and entry-level jobs to unemployed and underemployed residents through worker-owned cooperatives. She also serves as Coordinator of the United States Solidarity Economy Network. An economist by training, Emily served as the Director of the Center for Popular Economics from 2004 to 2013. Prior to that, Emily taught economics 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.
Jessica Gordon Nembhard

Jessica Gordon Nembhard

Mentor

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 Co-operatives, 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, and the US Solidarity Economy Network. Gordon Nembhard is also a member of the shared leadership team of Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE) DC (a community organizing entity in Washington, DC). Jessica is a proud mother and grandmother, of daughter Susan and son Stephen, and grandchildren, Stephon and Hugo.
Lolita Andrada Lledo

Lolita Andrada Lledo

Board Member

Lolita is the associate director and cofounder of the Pilipino Worker Center. She immigrated from the Philippines in 1997 and has lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 years. She was an organizer against the Marcos regime. Lolita is the lead organizer of the COURAGE Cooperative, a home care cooperative. PWC is an anchor group in the Caring Across Generations campaign. Lolita and her family live in Larry Itliong Village in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles.
Parag Rajendra Khandhar, Esq.

Parag Rajendra Khandhar, Esq.

Asian American Solidarity Economies

Parag Rajendra Khandhar, Esq. is a founding principal of Gilmore Khandhar, LLC, a law firm focused on using legal, policy and advocacy tools to advance economic justice, racial equity and social transformation. He teaches in the Small Business and Community Economic Development Clinic at George Washington University Law School.
Parag has represented and organized with tenants in DC Chinatown, Asian seniors in Maryland, and many other groups. Prior to law school, he worked for 10 years in NYC with Asian and immigrant communities in direct and emergency relief services after September 11th, data advocacy, technical assistance, and managing a community arts space.
Parag is a co-founder of Baltimore Activating Solidarity Economies (BASE) and the Asian American Solidarity Economies Network (AASE). He is also a facilitator-participant in the Law and Social Change Jam, building beloved community with individuals working for transformative societal change in law and justice contexts. He serves on the advisory boards for Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED) and Impact Hub Baltimore. He write short poems and tries to keep up with his dynamic seven year old.
Sally N. Márquez

Sally N. Márquez

Research Justice Collective

Sally N. Márquez is a Los Angeles-based organizer and communications professional with a health and arts & culture background. She’s loves using information to create social transformation, and graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Comparative Literature with a minor in Digital Humanities.
Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou

Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou

Board Member

Rev. Sekou is an author, documentary filmmaker, public intellectual, organizer, pastor and theologian. A graduate of St. Louis Soldan High School, Rev. Sekou has deep ties to the region. He began his ministry at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, where Michael Brown’s funeral was held. He has been on the ground in Ferguson for months on behalf of the Fellowship of Reconciliation — the country’s oldest interfaith peace organization. Rev. Sekou was a 2014 Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Education and Research Institute at the time of Michael Brown Jr’s killing. He published a collection of writings, Gods, Gays, and Guns: Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy (Campbell & Cannon Press, 2012). Based on his in-depth reporting on the London Riots in 2012, Rev. Sekou has a forthcoming book entitled Riot Music: British Hip Hop, Race, and the Politics of Meaning (Hamilton Books, 2015).
Yvonne Yen Liu

Yvonne Yen Liu

Research Director

Yvonne is based in Los Angeles, California, where the sun smiles on her every day. Although a native of NYC, she and the city have broken up and went their separate ways. She is a practitioner of research justice with over 15 years of being a nerd for racial and social justice organizations. She has a BA in cultural anthropology from Columbia University and a MA degree in sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she pursued a PhD. Yvonne serves on the board of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network and has been named the 2018 Activist-in-Residence Fellow at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.