We Bring Our Full Selves to Our Work

Our People

Amy Wang

Amy Wang

Amy is a recent graduate of Columbia University who is focused on supporting cooperative economics as a tool for reparations, environmental justice, and queer & trans liberation. As a person with access to wealth, she organizes other young people with wealth to redistribute their money on both an organizational and interpersonal level.
Ananya Roy

Ananya Roy

Mentor

Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare and inaugural Director of The Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. She holds The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy. Previously she was on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded and played a leadership role in several academic programs, centers, and divisions, including Urban Studies, Global Metropolitan Studies, International and Area Studies, Blum Center for Developing Economies, and Global Poverty and Practice. At UC Berkeley, Ananya held the Distinguished Chair in Global Poverty and Practice and prior to that, the Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. She has a B.A. (1992) in Comparative Urban Studies from Mills College, a M.C.P. (1994) and a Ph.D. (1999) from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

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.

Dena Montague

Dena Montague

Dena Montague is a Research Associate at UC Santa Barbara, with the Center for Black Studies Research. Her work interrogates connections between political economy and racial inequality in France and the U.S. She is the co-founder of ÉnergieRich, a social justice engineering group, specializing in fostering community-led energy solutions in West Africa, in partnership with scholars in Africa and the Diaspora – with particular focus on establishing local small-scale manufacturing of clean energy products. Montague is also a documentary filmmaker. She makes films that highlight the social, political and artistic experiences of the African Diaspora. She earned a PhD in Political Science from UCLA and a BA in American Studies from Brown University.

Diana Benitez

Diana Benitez

GIS Specialist

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.

Francesca Victoria Santos

Francesca Victoria Santos

Francesca is an Anthropology and Social Change PhD student studying economic activism, post-work imaginaries and the intersections of passionate work and exploitative labor. Currently living and working in San Francisco, Francesca is an appointed Hispanic Scholar, UN Youth Delegate, Diversity Scholarship awardee and Society for Visual Anthropology mentee. Trained as a Visual Anthropologist, Francesca’s doctoral research includes ethnographic film-work that explores work-culture through collaboration, observant-participation, and 3rd & 4th style cinema. In addition to her anthropological work, Francesca is a long-time labor rights activist dedicated to empowering workers, and reimagining the way we work.

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.

Kristy Phan

Kristy Phan

Kristy is a recent college graduate from UCLA, where she earned a B.A. in Asian American Studies. She grew up in the ethnoburbs of San Gabriel Valley. Her past work includes organizing archival collections on the early 20th century Los Angeles French community in what is currently Chinatown with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (CHSSC); evaluating first-generation Issei oral history tapes with UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center Library; and preserving artifacts and coordinating exhibitions with Chinese American Museum (CAM). With these various experiences in hand, she hopes to further discover her role in creating a more equitable, just, and compassionate society.

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.

Marshall Trammell

Marshall Trammell

Marshall Trammell is a percussionist from the post-Max Roach continuum. He conducts his arts practice as a service to community interests beyond the stage. A mid-career, multidisciplinary, visionary artist keenly focused on investigating social practices, sense-making, and aesthetic technologies embedded in indigenous design principles and weaponizing culture, Trammell is an Improvisor & Music Research Strategist. Born in the early 1970’s, Trammell grew up marveling at the deep ridges the Ko’olau Mountain Range in Kaneohe, on Oahu, Hawai’i, experiencing the many narratives embedded in folkloric arts, crafts and complimentary tales. Today he performs research and political education internationally from a platform for embodied social justice vernacular, organizational strategy, & alternative infrastructure development.

Parag Rajendra Khandhar, Esq.

Parag Rajendra Khandhar, Esq.

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

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 the co-founder and research director at Solidarity Research Center. She 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. Yvonne serves 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 is 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.