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Eli Feghali, Co-Director at the New Economy Coalition. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Eli immigrated to the United States with his parents to escape the civil war. For the past eight years at NEC, Eli has directed its communications programs, served on the staff leadership team, and co-edited a book project called Beautiful Solutions. Before joining NEC, Eli organized in Tennessee for the migrant justice movement then on the streets of Boston during the Occupy Wall Street uprising. It was on those streets where he first chanted “another world is possible,” and was introduced to cooperatives and the solidarity economy. Through NEC and Beautiful Solutions, Eli works to tell the story of what another world could look like — and how we get there. Eli is also Co-Chair of the Board of YES! Magazine. He lives with his life partner Rachel in Cambridge, MA.
Rodney Foxworth, CEO of Common Future (formerly Business of Alliance for Local Living Economies, “BALLE”), and Founder of Invested Impact, a nonprofit consulting firm and intermediary that connected philanthropic and impact investment capital to underrepresented social entrepreneurs. The firm advised and partnered with numerous foundations, financial institutions, and policy organizations, including Annie E. Casey Foundation, Aspen Institute, Calvert Impact Capital, Greater Washington Community Foundation, Legg Mason, and T. Rowe Price Foundation. Prior to Invested Impact, Rodney served as Deputy Director of the Warnock Foundation, a venture philanthropy affiliated with the private equity firm Camden Partners. He previously held leadership positions at BMe, a national social entrepreneur network for African American men, and Job Opportunities Task Force, a policy advocacy and workforce development organization. An inaugural Ford Foundation Global Fellow, Rodney serves on the board of directors of Nonprofit Finance Fund and Race Forward, and the steering committee of Justice Funders. He has spoken at Social Finance Forum, Council on Foundations, Global Philanthropy Forum, SOCAP, Open Markets Institute, Skoll World Forum, Brookings Institution, and other stages. His writing has appeared in publications such as Boston Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Nonprofit Quarterly, and he has been featured in Conscious Company, Devex, Forbes, ImpactAlpha, Inside Philanthropy, and The New York Times.
Laura Hanna is co-founder of The Debt Collective, a membership based economic justice organization. She serves as Board President of The Rolling Jubilee, a fund that has facilitated over $31 million dollars of debt relief to people struggling with predatory debts. She has a background in filmmaking and creative work sometimes categorized as social practice. Prior to political organizing she worked with The Capital Habeas Unit in Philadelphia to develop film and media strategies on behalf of those facing the death penalty. She has produced and directed films that have been screened and installed in museums in the U.S. and abroad.
Angie Kim, President and CEO for the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), a California-based knowledge and financial services incubator for individual artists, since 2015. She also heads CCI’s national, pooled fund program, AmbitioUS, which invests in alternative economic paradigms of and federated infrastructure by those most dispossessed—primarily African American and Native American communities—who are seeking financial self-determination in order to preserve and support their cultural identity and artistic expressions on their own terms. Angie has 20 years of experience in the arts and in philanthropy, having worked in various roles as a grantmaker, evaluator, and in communications at the Getty and Flintridge foundations, and as director of programs at Southern California Grantmakers. In addition, while successfully pursuing her doctorate on the topic of U.S. private philanthropy, she worked as a consultant helping arts and social justice foundations in connecting strategic program design with evaluation outcomes. She has been a lecturer on philanthropy at Claremont Graduate University and University of Southern California, and has served as an advisor of numerous arts initiatives. She served on the boards of California Humanities, Leveraging Investments in Creativity, and as vice-chair of Grantmakers in the Arts. Currently, she is a council member of American Alliance Association of Museums Center for the Future of Museums. Kim received her B.A. in art history and English literature from Linfield College, M.A. in art history from University of Southern California, and Ph.D. in public policy from Walden University.
Gregory Jackson, Board President-Governance Director at East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (EBPREC), is a native of Oakland who is deeply committed to achieving economic equity in the East Bay through collective ownership and democratic decision-making. Recognizing the many social problems rooted in the unequal distribution of wealth and decision-making power, Greg focused his law school research on international cooperatives. During his internship with Sustainable Economies Law Center he created a pilot program for youth-led cooperative development. As a 2018 Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow, Greg aims to increase collective decision-making and cooperative-ownership in East Oakland. He envisions a cooperative corridor in East Oakland where the historically disadvantaged are given autonomy to self-determine the development of their neighborhoods. Additionally, Greg serves on the Steering Committee of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition and mentors at Youth Impact Hub.
David Jette, volunteer Legislative Director for Public Bank LA, and Director of Business Development for Innovent Capital Group. David began his career in arts and media production before settling for a job in tech finance, where he develops and manages businesses in multiple categories including fintech, lending, real estate, and consumer products. David is also a lifelong activist for economic justice and helped found the California Public Banking Alliance, a statewide coalition of grassroots groups which conceived and sponsored AB 857, the ‘Public Banking Act’, which was signed into law last year.
Dawn Lueck, Representative, Debt Collective, is recognized as an Anti-Debt Activist, Artist, Visionary, Rebel and Resistor. During her graduate studies at CIIS, she began front lining movements and actions that inform and educate individuals with discussions and tools that really dig into the question, "Who Owes Who?!" In 2016, she published "The For-Profit College Scam, Why I Support the Debt Strike Against My Former Employer," and has been on strike and organizing fellow debtors and members of the Debt Collective since 2015.
Luz Maria Martinez, of Cooperativa SaboryArte, is a Mexican entrepreneur residing in the city of Santa Ana, California since 2008. Living in Santa Ana makes her feel free and proud to be part of such a valuable multicultural community. Her personal vision is focused on creating just and equitable economies, ensuring a dignified life for all persons born into a household of limited resources. Since 2016, she has worked towards strengthening Santa Ana’s local economy by developing a worker cooperative, SaboryArte, focused on maize products as a prehispanic staple of Mexico, and as a vendor and coordinating member of the Mercadito Carrusel.
Debbie Notkin, Board Member, East Bay Public Bank, is also an active member of Strike Debt Bay Area (SDBA). She was one of two people who led SDBA's successful effort to erase $1.6 million in unpaid medical debt for East Bay residents in 2019, following in the footsteps of the national Rolling Jubilee. She was a founding member of science fiction's James Tiptree Jr. Award (now the Otherwise Award) for works of science fiction and fantasy that explore and expand gender, and was deeply involved for many years with WisCon, the world's first feminist science fiction convention. She blogs regularly (yes, still!) on a wide variety of body image and political topics with Laurie Toby Edison at www.laurietobyedison.com/body-impolitic-blog.
Lauren Olivia Ruffin, Co-Founder of Crux, is also Co-CEO for Fractured Atlas, the nation’s largest association of artists and creators and Founder of Artist Campaign School, an educational program that has trained more than 70 artists to run for political office. Additionally, Lauren has served on the governing board of Black Girls Code and on the advisory boards of ArtUp and Black Girl Ventures. Lauren has 20 years of experience in policy, marketing, fundraising, and strategic planning. She is a frequent speaker on best practices in leveraging immersive storytelling to combat racial and economic injustice.
Ami Schneider, Representative, Debt Collective, is a single mother of 2 who was raised by two blue collar workers. Her mother is a Union member with the National Association of Letter Carriers and her father is a truck driver. Ami was the first person in her family to attend college and believed it would help to open up opportunities for her. Instead, she ended up with massive amounts of student debt and a BFA degree from a now defunct for-profit college, The Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg. Ami has been an active student debt striker and organizer with the Debt Collective since 2015. She has had her story read on the senate floor and was included in a joint Senate Report from Senators Warren and Durbin titled, “Insult to Injury: How the DeVos Department of Education is Failing Defrauded Students.” She has participated in countless interviews around student debt, and published an op-ed titled “I’m Drowning In $120K Of Student Debt And I’m Suing Betsy DeVos To Make Her Fix That,” on Huffpost and supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Ami also organizes with the Schaumburg Area Progressives, is a member of the DSA, and was a volunteer and precinct captain with the Bernie 2020 campaign.
Ana Urzúa is the Founding Director of Cooperación Santa Ana, a cooperative business development program that increases community wealth through business ownership, policy change and relationships of solidarity and reciprocity. Since 2002 she has been a cultural worker and community organizer with organizations such as El Centro Cultural de Mexico and Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD, in support of community-driven development. Ana currently serves on the boards of Humans United in Mutual Aid Networks, THRIVE Santa Ana Community Land Trust, and is a cooperative member of CRECE OC, urban farming cooperative. She was born in Colima, Mexico, and received her anthropology degree from the University of California, Irvine. Ana believes in embodying the change we wish to see in the world. She is a longtime practitioner of tai chi and yoga, and a coach, and brings these and other healing practices into movement spaces to support personal and collective transformation.