The growing discontent with income inequality and the oppression and misrepresentation of marginalized people is compelling people to consider alternatives to the current winner-take-all paradigm. The movement, paired with the emergence of new technology creates a unique opportunity for CEANYC.
Leveraging digital tools to collect data, corrall volunteers, and organize cross-sector programs, CEANYC is able to unite co-ops under a single banner. In the short term, they learn from one another, empower one another, and amplify each others’ impact. In the long-term, they unite to form a political voice and demand systemic change.
Alex Roesch’s work has included a survey of every limited-equity cooperative (LEC) in the USA and the creation of the 6th Principle Coalition. UHAB, along with the founding members of the coalition (The National Association of Housing Cooperatives, The Grounded Solutions Network, City First Homes, Cooperators United for Mitchell Lama and the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condos) represent nearly all housing cooperatives of any type in the United States. The coalition has secured some funding to implement initial activities that include: training and workshops for practitioners interested in developing LECs, training and workshops for co-op members in locations that lack resources, and the creation of an online platform for sectoral research and resources.
Anne Schoeneborn is the co-founder of Q Gardens and serves on the board of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT), which is a grassroots non-profit that preserves 37 community gardens throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Since 2016, Anne has chaired BQLT’s grants committee, leading proposal development and managing the implementation of several cross-garden, grant-funded projects. Her paid work is in public health and she believes deeply in the power of community gardens to bring neighbors together, improve mental and physical health, and increase community resilience.
Alongside Deborah Sanders’ professional assignments in engineering, corporate sales, non-profit management and currently as a college instructor, Deborah has pursued her interest in economic development activism. She served as the executive director of the Harlem Venture Group which helped support community based start-up businesses. As a member of the faculty in the Economics and Business Department at Lehman College, her research has focused on the role of ‘lookism’ in determining economic outcomes for women. She has worked with housing organizations such as the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board to advocate for protecting affordable homeownership programs. Deborah believes that the co-op model for businesses can offer a refreshing new approach for achieving ‘co-opetition’. She lives in Harlem with her family.
Emilie Miyauchi has over ten years of experience working with grassroots food, agricultural, and environmental justice organizations in Baltimore, the Hudson Valley, and NYC. She has shared in the successes and struggles of communities building their own responses to no or dissatisfactory food choices – starting gardens, CSAs, farmers markets, and teaching ancestral food practices – building a food system by and for community. Her work in NYC community food systems has included managing Just Food’s CSA and Farm Network. While stewarding the Network she worked on particular initiatives to develop shared resources, peer mentorship opportunities, and deepen collaboration between groups. She worked with regional CSA network leaders, farmers, and advocates to develop the Charter of CSA for the US and Canada with the goal of protecting the CSA model from cooption and grounding it in principles of justice.
Evan Casper Futterman is a 3rd generation New Yorker born in the Bronx. He earned a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans in 2011, and was a White House Intern in the Spring of 2012 in the Domestic Policy Council’s Office of Urban Affairs. In the summer of 2013 he was a Research Fellow for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate (ABD) at the Bloustein School of Urban Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, studying economic democracy and policy development.
Fran Sanhueza came to NYC to attend The New School in 2013 from Santiago, Chile. She majored in Food Studies, focusing on food policy and social justice. She’s always had a strong interest in food, community, and understanding systems. She took a job at the Bushwick Food Coop as Community Outreach & Engagement Manager and now as General Manager, where she has learned more and more about Cooperativism and the Solidarity Economy – and it is wonderful to see how response folks are towards the values these concepts promote. Outside of her cooperative work, she has had the privilege of being a research and writer assistant for the EXPO Milano 2015: USA Pavilion; a UNICEF Volunteer for an HIV/AIDS workshop at the World Jamboree in 2007; and many other projects. On her days off she participates in two community gardens and serves on two different Advisory Boards in the Bushwick community. Through all her experiences she has found she is the most engaged while working with teams focused on strengthening community bonds and working towards social justice.
Jess Turner is a Black herbalist, urban farmer and educator helping marginalized communities build autonomy through land-based healing practices. She and comrades are in the planning stages of a worker-owned medicinal herb farm called Stellaria Farm Coop.
Leo Goldberg is Policy and Research Manager at Center for NYC Neighborhoods where he advocates for strategies to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing and researches speculative real estate investment, displacement, and threats to an equitable and inclusive New York City. Leo also coordinates the development of Interboro Community Land Trust, a multi-organization collaboration that aims to create permanently affordable housing for low income New Yorkers through shared equity and democratic governance. Prior to joining the Center, he worked on housing policy in both domestic and international contexts with a focus on equitable development, zoning, and gentrification. He holds a B.A. in History and Urban Studies from Columbia University and a M.A. in Urban Planning from MIT.
Mark Winston Griffith is a nationally recognized thought leader, community organizer and journalist. A native of Crown Heights, Mark is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC), a membership-based, community organizing group serving the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and North Crown Heights. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism where he teaches a course in Urban Social Issues. In the early nineties, Mark co-founded the Central Brooklyn Partnership, a community organizing group that focused on economic justice issues, and was co-founder of Central Brooklyn Federal Credit Union, which at the time was the nation’s largest community based financial cooperative. He currently serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Little Sun People Early Childhood Education Center, the Riders Alliance, and Free Speech TV. Until recently he was on the boards of the Center for an Urban Future and the Center for Working Families.
Raina Kennedy wears many hats in the cooperative universe! She is an organizer for the Central Brooklyn Food Co-op, a worker-owner at Brooklyn Packers, member of the NYC NoWC Advocacy Council, and CEANYC Peer Educator. As a Peer Educator, she has co-facilitated a workshop on anti-racism and anti-oppression with several New York City food co-ops. Outside of co-op work, she enjoys cooking elaborate recipes and attempting to grow tomatoes! In May 2019, she completed a Master’s degree in Food Studies at New York University, where she focused on policy, advocacy, and community food systems.
Rajesh Kottamasu is a public interest designer whose values and perspectives have been shaped by his involvement in cooperatives. He has spent nine years living in housing cooperatives in Brooklyn and Cambridge, is a ten-year member of the Park Slope Food Coop, and worked for several years in collaboration with the Meerkat Media Worker Coop, in addition to being a member of the Meerkat Media artist collective. Across these groups, he has worked in support of mission-oriented initiatives articulating goals, clarifying terms of membership, structuring and planning budgets, and recruiting new members. His day job is designing processes and services for a cancer hospital, where he draws from from prior experience in service design, urban planning, teaching, filmmaking, and graphic design
Saduf Syal is a Pakistani-American who grew up exploring the woods of Akron, Ohio. She moved to New York City in 2000, where she has been working as a community organizer, direct service provider, and cooperative developer for over a decade within various community-based organizations throughout the city. Formerly, as Director of Make the Road New York’s workforce development services, Saduf launched and grew a unique workforce program that addressed the needs of immigrant communities through the integration of workers’ rights and occupational health and safety training, the building of strong partnerships with multiple entities such as other workforce organizations, government agencies, unions, and academic institutions, and finally, the co-development of worker cooperatives that aim to create quality jobs and offer living wages. She is currently the Coordinating Director of the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives.
Sheryll Durrant is an urban farmer, educator and food justice advocate and a 2015 graduate of Farm School NYC. She is currently the Garden Manager at Kelly Street Garden, and Farm Coordinator for New Roots Community Farm managed by International Rescue Committee (IRC)—both in the Bronx. Prior to that, she served for 7 years as director of the urban farm and garden program for Sustainable Flatbush in Brooklyn. Her work has included developing community-based urban agricultural projects, and providing expertise and technical assistance for supportive housing garden programs. She is a former crew leader for the Urban Farm Training Program at the Youth Farm at the High School for Public Service in Brooklyn. She has given workshops and spoken on issues related to urban agriculture and food justice — for Northeast Sustainable Working Group (NESAWG), Just Food, American Community Gardening Association [ACGA], National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), National Public Radio (NPR) among others. Sheryll is a certified master composter through the NYC Compost Project, a 2013 We Are All Brooklyn (WAAB) Fellow, and in 2012 she received a Certificate of Achievement in Community Organizing from Citizens Committee For NYC Neighborhood Leadership Institute. She is a founding member of the Peas and Justice Collaborative, a collective of urban agriculture and grassroots leaders that tackle food justice and racial equity issues together. A former Design Trust fellow for the Farming Concrete project, she is now responsible for communications and outreach for this data collection platform that helps urban farmers and gardeners measure the impact of their work.
Cheyenna Layne Weber (General Coordinator) is a writer and organizer who elevates the needs of people and the planet over profit. For 20 years she has worked with social justice, environmental, and community organizations in every capacity from volunteer to executive director. In addition to her role as a co-founder and current staff with CEANYC, she is a co-founder and member of SolidarityNYC, where she led the creation of the first online interactive map of New York City’s solidarity economy, and an Associate Member of the editorial collective Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO). Previously she spearheaded the creation of the New Economy Coalition while executive director of the New Economy Network, served on the Board of Directors at Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, and helped start five worker cooperatives from Occupy Wall Street’s tenure in downtown Manhattan.
Maya Reyes (Programs and Operations Coordinator) is a food systems change and solidarity economy advocate/worker. She believes that food and land sovereignty are human rights and essential to a thriving spirit. Outside of CEANYC, she also provides development support at North Star Fund, a foundation that supports grassroots organizing in New York, and marketing support to Woke Foods, a worker owned food and food justice centered cooperative. Her work is driven by a commitment to collective liberation and healing the earth. She is a student at Farm School NYC, and an organizer with Regeneracion Childcare NYC. She graduated with her bachelors in Sociology from Bowdoin College. Maya was born and raised in Queens.
Deneen Reynolds-Knott (Peer Educator) is a playwright/workshop facilitator living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a volunteer Brooklyn Urban Gardener (BUG) with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, supporting community gardens around the borough. Currently, she is organizing a group of Teaching Theatre Artists to explore forming a workers-cooperative.
Lauren Hudson (Peer Educator) has been a member of SolidarityNYC since 2012. She is currently a doctoral student in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center where she writes about anti-capitalist organizing among women in NYC. Her research interests concern how economic subjectivities are created between and among those who perform the majority of SE labor, how their narratives of the solidarity economy cohere and diverge from dominant SE discourses, and how such discourses create a sense of ‘movement space’. A native Californian, Lauren now lives in Brooklyn where she tweets about the Solidarity Economy and bad TV at @blactivist.
Zara Serabian-Arthur (Peer Educator) is a founding member of Meerkat Media, a filmmaking collective and worker cooperative formed in 2005. In her work with Meerkat Media, she produces, directs and edits films in collaboration with non-profits and movement organizations, also taking a leadership role in the group’s facilitation, strategic planning, and educational projects. She is also a member of SolidarityNYC, a volunteer collective that works to connect, support and promote NYC’s solidarity economy through mapping, community-based research and public education. Zara is passionate about the worker cooperative movement, and the interconnected projects of building local solidarity economies and fighting for broader social justice goals.
Lauryl Berger-Chun (Peer Educator) is a worker-owner at A Bookkeeping Cooperative (ABC) and a Receiving Coordinator at the Park Slope Food Coop. She has organizing experience with student, food, and worker cooperatives and is a trained peer advisor who supports solidarity economy groups with research, technical assistance, and facilitation.
Lida Shao (Peer Educator) is an educator with over a decade of experience in youth development and food democracy. Currently a collective member and owner at Our House, an owned housing cooperative in Brooklyn, she is also a first year medical student. When not studying, lida is working the land–growing vegetables, raising chickens, keeping bees, composting organics, collecting rainwater, and building a mini-farm in the city. She is proud to be a martial artist, a foodie with interest in raw foods, a winter bicyclist, and a multi-lingual New Yorker. Raised in a politically active family, she continues the tradition with an especial interest in prison abolition and ending sexual violence in our lifetime.
Jim Johnson (Peer Educator) has been in small business for over 40 years, over 20 of which were working with and for worker, food, and other types of co-ops. He spent ten years at a DC-area worker co-op as a software engineer and worker-owner, serving three years as president. Since 2009, Jim has been a full-time freelance co-op developer, specializing in worker co-ops and the converting conventional businesses to worker-ownership. Jim serves the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives’s (USFWC) Co-op Clinic as a Peer Advisor, actively providing technical assistance to worker co-ops, start-ups, and conversions. He’s also a co-founder of the Democracy At Work Network (www.dawn.coop), the technical assistance service of the USFWC from 2011 thru 2018. Between 2015 and 2019, he served as a staff consultant at KDC Cooperative Solutions, a federally-funded non-profit that has been supporting co-op start-up and development since 1999. Jim is a graduate of the CooperationWorks! Training for Cooperative Development Practitioners, and served several years in the CooperationWorks! leadership as Chair of CW’s Networking Circle. He’s also a member of the Grassroots Economic Organizing media collective, which has been chronicling the worker co-op and solidarity economics movements in the US and around the world for over thirty years. He’s also currently a sustaining member of the USFWC.
Jim’s CV can be found here: http://s.coop/httpscoopimohnson
Emilie Miyauchi ( Peer Educator): see Board of Directors
Jess Turner (Peer Educator): see Board of Directors
Raina Kennedy (Peer Educator): see Board of Directors