We Are the Imaginal Cells of the Solidarity Economy
Abel Liu (he/him)
Municipalism Research Fellow
Abel builds alternative institutions, always with an eye towards economic and racial justice. He is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, where he co-founded the UVA Mutual Aid project, served as student body president, and organized with Asians Revolutionizing Together and the Virginia Student Power Network. Abel’s BA in Economics and Sociology has allowed him to support community-driven research, mapping so-called Charlottesville’s racial covenants, visualizing just pandemic employment policies, and telling the stories of solidarity economy leaders in urban Latin America. He joins SRC as a Fellow while also working in restaurants and for a Virginia-based CSA.
April Taylor (she/her)
April Taylor is a Black queer organizer from Lexington, KY. She has served as an Economics and Governance program manager at the Highlander Research and Education Center where she developed curriculum and provided accompaniment to grassroots groups in the South doing solidarity economy work. She has been involved in grassroots organizing for more than two decades working at the intersection of racial and economic justice. She is a co-founder of the Wild Fig Books & Coffee worker cooperative, Kentucky’s only Black owned bookstore. She also helped lead the push by Lexington citizens to make unprecedented changes to local police accountability and transparency and helped lay the groundwork for Lexington to elect more Black women to local offices during the 2022 election cycle than any other point in the city’s history. She serves on the Governance Council of the Southern Movement Assembly and has supported Movement for Black Lives work to catalyze solidarity economy organizing. April consistently holds space for impacted people to exchange knowledge and resources and to collectively dream and organize to use cooperative economics to meet each other’s basic needs and move beyond the exploitative white supremacist capitalist patriarchy towards liberation for all people. When she’s not building community and working towards liberation, she enjoys spending time at the Moonbow in Cumberland Falls and connecting with nature.
Andrew Curley (he/him)
Andrew Curley is a member of the Navajo Nation and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studies coal and development in the Navajo Nation. His latest publications highlight the consequence of colonial water laws on indigenous nations and the political economy of green transition within reservation economies. His current work is on extraction, energy, and notions of resource curse among tribal governments.
Dani Knoll (they/them)
Dani comes from a mental health background, having worked for years as a practitioner in community clinic settings. Now pursuing a career in research, they are currently enrolled in the post-baccalaureate program in psychological science at the University of California, Irvine. They aspire to study psychological and medical anthropology, specifically as it pertains to social determinants of health, ritualistic behavior, and conceptualizations of pain, empathy, and healing in communal living. Dani has a BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies, as well as an MA in Clinical Psychology.
David Cobb (he/him)
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, as an advisor to the California Progressive Alliance, and is 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.
Emily Kawano (she/her)
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.
Grace Ifeanyichukwu (she/her)
Grace Ifeanyichukwu identifies as an empath, healer, large and small systems dissector, and liberation movement builder. She is a co-founding member of We Are The Ones Solidarity Cooperative which is addressing racial and economic injustice through the development of a solidarity economy ecosystem in what is now called Houston TX’s Third Ward. She is also the founder and consultant of Liberate Forward which supports the anti-racist, anti-oppressive governance and culture development of small black, indigenous, and people of color led businesses. Her background spans from education and social emotional intelligence development to business operations and public policy. In addition, she enjoys dancing, park swings and watching other earth inhabitants in their elements. All of her passions are grounded in a vision and aspiration for a liberated and sustainable humanity.
Kyler Chin (he/him)
Tech Democracy Fellow
Kyler Chin is a computer scientist and programmer currently studying at UC Irvine. He currently researches public transit routing & computing, computational environmental science, and open-source systems. He previously worked at the City of Los Angeles writing data visualization software. Kyler also serves as Director of Sunrise Movement Orange County and has passed legislation such as 100% renewable power in Buena Park & Irvine. His hobbies include music production, singing, cinematography, making YouTube videos, and riding public transit.
Mason Herson-Hord (he/him)
Mason Herson-Hord is the program director of the Institute for Social Ecology and an organizer and writer in Detroit, MI. He is a co-founder of the Symbiosis federation and was previously lead organizer of the Motor City Freedom Riders. His work, focusing primarily on movement-building and ecological philosophy, has been published by The Next System Project, In These Times, The Ecologist, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, Socialist Forum, ROAR Magazine, and The Journal of World-Systems Research.
Matthew Slaats (he/him)
Mike Strode (he/him)
Mike Strode is a writer, urban cyclist, facilitator, and solidarity economy organizer with the Kola Nut Collaborative residing in southeast Chicago. The Kola Nut Collaborative is Chicago’s only time-based service and skills exchange (otherwise known as a timebank) providing an open platform for mutual aid, community organizing, and network weaving. The Collaborative develops programming to support Chicago-based organizers in facilitating non-monetary exchange networks through practices like the Offers and Needs Market. He is a Program Manager at Open Collective Foundation and serves on the boards of the US Solidarity Economy Network, New Economy Coalition, South Deering Manor Community Association, and Dill Pickle Food Co-op.
Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou (he/him)
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 (she/her)
Yvonne is the Co-Founder and Research Director of Solidarity Research Center. She is based in Los Angeles, California, where the sun smiles on her every day. Although a native of New York City, she and the city have broken up and went their separate ways. She is a practitioner of research justice with over 20 years of being a nerd for social movements. Yvonne serves on the boards of the US Solidarity Economy Network, Policy Advocates for Sustainable Economies (a 501(c)(4) organization affiliated with the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives), Institute for Social Ecology, and New Economy Coalition. She teaches in the gender studies department at California State University, Los Angeles. 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.
AlumniWe deeply appreciate the many alumni who have worked with us over the years, contributing their brilliance and their labor.
|Abby Scher (2016 – 2017)||Joann Lo (2015 – 2016)|
|Ashley Ortiz (2015 – 2016)||Kate Diedrick (2013 – 2017)|
|Biko Koenig (2016 – 2017)||Leslie Ezeh (2019 – 2023)|
|Britton Loftin (2015 – 2016)||Linda Quiquivix (2022 – 2023)|
|Chuck Morse (2017)||Marshall Trammell (2018 – 2022)|
|Dena Montague (2018)||Mike Elk (2016)|
|Diana Benitez (2017 – 2018)||Parag Rajendra Khandhar (2016 – 2023)|
|Eleanor Finley (2022 – 2023)||Rachel Savain (2015 – 2016)|
|Eric Dirnbach (2013 – 2017)||Sally Marquez (2018 – 2019)|
|Gilda Haas (2015)||Steve McFarland (2022 – 2023)|
|Haley Roeser (2022 – 2023)||Tomas Madrigal (2015 – 2016)|
|Hnin Wai Hnin (2015 – 2016)||Vlad Hector Gallegos (2015 – 2016)|