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Workshop Block B [clear filter]
Saturday, July 9

11:15am EDT

Budgets for Black Lives
How can we #FundBlackFutures? Take control of your $ with participatory budgeting (PB). Our session will explore how integrating demands for PB in your campaigns could advance your goals. We'll highlight campaigns for economic justice led by Black Youth and discuss whether PB could be a tool used to achieve movement goals at the local level. We hope participants will leave with a new tool to use in their struggles for liberation and a bit more empowered to take control of their public funds. NOTE: All will be welcome in this space but the voices of Black identified folks and people of color will be given priority in this session.

avatar for Maria Hadden

Maria Hadden

Project Manager, Participatory Budgeting Project
Maria first became involved in participatory budgeting (PB) during the very first PB cycle in the U.S. in 2009. Inspired by the experience, she took on a leadership role as a founding board member of the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP). She is currently PBP's Project Manager... Read More →

Biola Jeje

Biola Jeje is currently at the American Postal Workers Union doing social media and communications work. Biola was previously the Statewide Coordinator of New York Students Rising, a statewide network of students dedicated to defending public higher education in New York State. A... Read More →

Natasha Soto

Natasha D. Soto is a Community Organizer for the Clean Air Coalition of WNY for the past 5 years. CA is an Environmental Health and Justice Organization that believes in democratic decision making; CA knowing s that when residents have the capacity to make real decisions that impact... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Ketchum Hall 113

11:15am EDT

Building Rain Resilience and Green Jobs
It's raining opportunities to stop flooding from rain while building a new economic system. Join experts working to organize communities and build policy to end the inequitable impact of flooding from rain while creating good local jobs in green infrastructure. Participants will learn about strategies and programs that can be applied in their own neighborhoods and cities.


Satya Rhodes-Conway, Managing Director, Mayors Innovation Project

Maris Grundy, Sustainable Landscaping Project Manager, PUSH Buffalo.

Julie Barrett O'Neill, General Counsel, Buffalo Sewer Authority.

Burrell Poe, Member Emerging Leaders Board, Mikva Challenge


avatar for Satya Rhodes-Conway

Satya Rhodes-Conway

Managing Director, Mayors Innovation Project
Satya Rhodes-Conway is the Managing Director of the Mayors Innovation Project and a senior associate at COWS. She works with cities across the country to implement innovative policy that promotes environmental and economic sustainability and builds strong, democratically accountable... Read More →


Maris Grundy

Maris Grundy is interested in all elements of the botanical world, especially the intersections of human plant-use in stormwater management and urban ecological restoration. Maris focuses her work on ecological, social, and economic justice in her current role as the Sustainable Landscaping... Read More →

Julie Barrett ONeill

Julie Barrett O'Neill serves as General Counsel for the Buffalo Sewer Authority. In addition to legal work, Julie oversees the implementation of the Authority's $93 million green infrastructure combined sewer overflow reduction program. Julie also assists the City of Buffalo Mayor's... Read More →

Burrell Poe

Burrell Poe heads up RainReady's national advocacy and community organizing work, including recruiting, educating and convening people affected by flooding and drought; and advocating for legislative changes to help protect victims and their communities. Burrell is on the Emerging... Read More →
avatar for Emily Sladek

Emily Sladek

Manager for Higher Education Engagement, The Democracy Collaborative
Assisting with the New Economy Action Project at CommonBound in Buffalo, NY 2016

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Bulger Communication Center East 2

11:15am EDT

Building WealthWorks Food Value Chains
WealthWorks (WW) value chains create deep collaborations between all members of a food system to create eight forms of wealth and ensure a just, locally controlled and inclusive economy. They interconnect rural and urban economies to benefit both. We will draw on the experience of ten WW coordinators at the conference to provide training on the many WW tools. We will learn how to leverage existing food system players by integrating them in a value chain and jointly filling the gaps. Utilize this unique opportunity to learn about WealthWorks.

avatar for Andrew Crosson

Andrew Crosson

Director of Regional Initiatives, Rural Support Partners
Andrew has been at Rural Support Partners since June of 2012. A native of Appalachia, his path to sustainable economic development work began in a small farming community in the mountains of rural Western North Carolina. As Director of Regional Initiatives at RSP, Andrew works with... Read More →

Roger Gonzalez

Mr. Gonzales is Prs of the Los De Mora Local Growers' Cooperative, Inc., a 35-member agricultural coop designed to serve as an economic conduit between local agricultural producers and emerging commercial markets. He utilized the WW framework to connect the cooperative to consumers... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Bulger Communication Center West 2

11:15am EDT

Challenging Entrenched Power Through New Economy Work in Red and Rural Communities
Participants will consider how to effectively challenge entrenched power, by building a base of economic and political power among people historically marginalized by race and class.  Cooperation Jackson (Jackson, MS) the Black Mesa Water Coalition (Navajo Nation, Arizona) and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, or MACED (Berea, KY) will launch the discussion with lessons learned from their work in Native American, African American and Appalachian communities.  Cooperatives, community wealth building and capturing traditional knowledge will be among the tools discussed.  This session will be highly participatory.


Ivy Brashear

Ivy Brashear is the Appalachian Transition and Communications Associate at the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Berea, Ky. Before joining MACED, she was chief blogger at The Rural Blog, which is a product of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community... Read More →
avatar for brandon king

brandon king

Cooperation Jackson
Brandon is a founder and organizing coordinator of Cooperation Jackson, which is an emerging network of worker cooperative and supporting institutions. Cooperation Jackson is fighting to create economic democracy by creating a vibrant solidarity economy in Jackson, Mississippi, that... Read More →

Roberto Nutlouis

Roberto Nutlouis is Diné (Navajo) from Pinon, Navajo Nation. He is of the Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, born for the Tótsohnii (Big Water) clan. Through his involvement with Native Movement, the Indigenous Youth Coalition of Pinon, Indigenous Community Enterprises, and... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Hall 201

11:15am EDT

Community Benefits Agreements: Making Them Solid, Making Them Stick
Community Benefits Agreements are an important tool for making sure that all residents benefit from the large-scale development projects. Community Benefits Agreements can make the difference between projects that benefit a few and projects that can further the cause of racial and economic justice. The speakers on the panel will present research that addresses some of the issues in negotiating strong, accountable Community Benefits Agreements and what it takes to enforce them once the projects are under way.


Sam McGavern

Sam McGavern is a writer and public interest lawyer, currently serving as co-director of the Partnership for the Public Good. He also teaches at the University at Buffalo Law School. He has written non-fiction, poetry, fiction, scholarly articles, a movie screenplay, and comic books... Read More →

Carl Nightingale

Board of Directors, PUSH Buffalo
Cities, Buffalo, PUSH Buffalo, Gentrification, Anything!

John Washington

John Washington is a Community Organizer with PUSH Buffalo and the Community Economic Empowerment Task Force co-ordinator for the WNY Peace Center

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Hall 306

11:15am EDT

Community Investing Innovations & Challenges
In recent years, we've witnessed an unprecedented array of innovations in our financial system that are transforming how people in communities invest in each other. We'll examine the tools, both fringe and mainstream, with the greatest potential for building the New Economy, and share practical examples of how they can work. Then, bring your real-world community funding challenges to share with our session, and we'll collectively brainstorm solutions to help move you forward. We hope you'll be inspired and invigorated by the possibilities!

avatar for Brian J. Beckon

Brian J. Beckon

Vice President, Cutting Edge Capital, Oakland, CA
Brian is an attorney with over twenty-five years of experience serving nonprofits, start-ups, and publicly-traded companies. As a principal of Oakland-based Cutting Edge Capital and its sister law firm Cutting Edge Counsel, Brian’s work is focused on direct public offerings, corporate... Read More →
avatar for James Frazier, Natural Investments

James Frazier, Natural Investments

Certified Financial Planner, Natural Investments
My mission is to help progressive investors achieve their long-term financial goals and make the world a better place using Socially Responsible Investing.Certified Financial Planner™ with 20+ years of experience in the investment industryBachelor’s degree in finance from the... Read More →

Glynn Lloyd

Glynn Lloyd is the Managing Director of The Boston Impact Initiative, a social impact investment fund utilizing an integrated capital approach investing in enterprises throughout Eastern Massachusetts that address the wealth gap and ecological challenges of our time. In addition... Read More →
avatar for Marnie Thompson

Marnie Thompson

Co-Managing Director, Fund for Democratic Communities
Marnie Thompson is co-Managing Director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC), where she focuses on building the capacity of social justice activists and organizations, spreading the gospel of grassroots fundraising, and building a new economy based on cooperation, democracy... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Hall 302

11:15am EDT

Divesting from a Corrupt System: Lessons Across Movements
How can divestment movements share strategy and tactics to scale up our winning campaigns? Activists from three divestment movements–private prisons, fossil fuels, and Palestine Solidarity–will explore their different stages, reactions they're generating, and cross-movement points of similarity. Presenters will discuss the connections between these movements, sharing lessons learned through campaign wins and losses. Participants will leave with intersections between these movements and ideas on how to better link our struggles.


Natalie Casal

Natalie is a National Organizer for the Responsible Endowment Coalition, where she focuses on private prison divestment.
avatar for Alana Krivo-Kaufman

Alana Krivo-Kaufman

Alana is the East Coast Organizer for Jewish Voice for Peace.

Zakaria Kronemer

Zakaria is a National Organizer with the Responsible Endowments Coalition.
avatar for Iliana Salazar-Dodge

Iliana Salazar-Dodge

Iliana Salazar-Dodge is a recent graduate from Columbia University. She co-founded Columbia Divest for Climate Justice and organized around fossil fuel divestment for four years. Iliana is currently engaged in the Reinvest in Our Power project through the Divestment Student Netwo... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Bulger Communication Center West

11:15am EDT

Economic Autonomy in the Immigrants' Rights Movement/ Economia autonoma en el movimiento de derechos a los inmigrantes
As we build a more robust movement towards economic autonomy, it is necessary for us to build accountability to different people's struggles for self-determination. As the fight for immigrants' rights continues, it is necessary for us to explore the capitalist exploitation of immigrants and how to overcome it. This will be a space to consider these and other topics pertaining to the crossover between the new economy and immigrants' rights.

A medida que vamos construyendo un movimiento más fuerte para la autonomía económica, es necesario  que desarrollemos la transparencia de los desafíos que otras personas enfrentan para obtener su autodeterminación. A medida que la lucha por derechos a los inmigrantes continúa, es necesario que nosotros exploremos la explotación capitalista de los inmigrantes y cómo vencerla. Este será un espacio para considerar estos y otras temas pertinentes a la mezcla entre la nueva economía y derechos al inmigrante.

Este taller se llevará a cabo en Inglés y en Español. Todos son bienvenidos; todos los participantes no bilingües se les proporcionaran equipo auriculares de interpretación. Límite: 40 participantes no bilingües.


Esme Baltazar

Artist, Educator, Organizer. Originally from San Antonio, TX, Esmeralda worked with Fuerza Unida, a Latina-led organization that empowers women workers and their families to organize for justice. It’s through that work that she came to Highlander, first through the Southern Grassroots Economies Project. An accomplished visual artist, Esmeralda also holds an MA in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy from New York University... Read More →


Francisco (Pancho) Argüelles Paz y Puente

Pancho is director of Living Hope Wheelchair Association, a grassroots organization of immigrants with spinal cord injuries. He is one of the founders of Fe y Justicia Worker Center, a community organization in Houston for low-wage immigrant workers. Since coming to the U.S. from... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Ketchum Hall 111

11:15am EDT

Listening to Those Working in America's Fields
Every year, farm workers harvest 80% to 90% of the hand-picked produce we eat in this country – what happens to them and what do they propose to change the system in which they work? In any discussion of economic systems, we need to hear the voices of farm workers. This session will feature an overview by the National Farm Worker Ministry, a faith-based organization which supports farm workers as they organize for justice and empowerment around the country. It will be co-led by a farm worker organizing partner.


Jeannie Economos

Jeannie Economos serves as the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida, a 33-year old, statewide, grassroots, farmworker membership organization with five offices in different rural agricultural areas in the state. Her... Read More →
avatar for Julie Taylor

Julie Taylor

Julie Taylor is Executive Director for The National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM) a faith-based organization which supports farm workers as they organize for justice and empowerment. NFWM helps to connect this country’s major farm worker organizing groups to denominations, religious... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Hall 301

11:15am EDT

New Systems: Possibilities and Proposals
Want to understand the alternatives to business as usual? We know the current system does exactly what it was designed to do: line corporate pockets at the expense of real people’s health and livelihoods, destroying the environment while fueling the war machine. But we also know that another world is possible. Many models for radically different, sustainable, inclusive and democratic societies exist and we have invited a few of their proponents to present their ideas, debate the options and answer your questions about what a better world looks like in detail. Join us for a deep dive into next system solutions for a better future!

avatar for Dana Brown

Dana Brown

Deputy Director, The Next System Project
System change! Finding ways to radically transform the architecture of the current political-economic system in order to produce a more sustainable, equitable and just future.

avatar for Emily Kawano

Emily Kawano

Coordinator, US Solidarity Economy Network
Emily Kawano is an economist and the co-director of Wellspring Cooperative, a non-profit working to build a network of worker co-operatives in low income communities of Springfield, MA. She is also the coordinator of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network and a Board member of RIPESS... Read More →

Michael Lewis

Mike Lewis is the Founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. Lewis is an author, practitioner, researcher, educator and organizer. He has a diverse base of experience building businesses, CED organizations, national and international networks and... Read More →

Gus Speth

Gus Speth: Co-chair of the Next System Project and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, Speth is a also faculty at the Vermont School of Law and an award-winning author. Bringing decades of experience in sustainable development and environmental advocacy from organizations like... Read More →
avatar for Edward Whitfield

Edward Whitfield

Ed Whitfeld is co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC). A long time social justice activist, Ed had been involved in labor, community organizing and peace work since the late 60‘s when he was a student activist at Cornell University. He was the chairman of the Greensboro Redevelopment Commission for 9 years and formerly board chairman of Greensboro’s Triad Minority Development Corporation. In his work with F4DC, Ed helped initiate the formation of the Southern Grassroots Economies Project (SGEP) and their annual CoopEcon conferences aimed at networking and training among people interested in developing a cooperative new economy in the US South. He has visited and studied worker cooperative activities from the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, OH to the massive Mondragon Cooperatives Corporation in the Basque region of Spain. For Ed, helping people in communities engaged in meaningful, democratic, just, sustainable and productive activities is a key motivation., Fund for Democratic Communities
Ed Whitfield is a long time social justice activist who came through the late sixties black student movement to do labor, community and anti - war organizing in the South. In 2007, Ed Co-founded The Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC) whose mission is to strengthen authentic democracy... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Theater

11:15am EDT

Power to the Parents: Building Strong Caregiver Networks Through Popular Education
Caregivers do crucial work, but often feel exhausted, isolated, & invisible. How can we build stronger support networks & tap into our tremendous economic & political power? Using principles of popular education - everyone teaches, everyone learns - we'll engage in thought-provoking games, storytelling, & brainstorming. How can building self-worth help to confront a system that ignores our worth? How can we rouse gentle souls to fight the good fight? We'll leave with new connections, ideas, & practical tools for community organizing.

avatar for Kate    O'Rourke

Kate O'Rourke

a, a
Kate O'Rourke aka Kate Duva is a mama, teacher, Early Intervention therapist, & community organizer. She facilitates developmental playgroups for families of children with & without disabilities, where parents grow as teachers & leaders, & self-care comes first. She is a Caring Economy... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Ketchum 320

11:15am EDT

Queering Labor: Worker Cooperatives as a Model for Leadership Development and Economic Stability
This session will be situated from an explicitly queer and feminist lens, examining how worker coops "queer" and problematize status-quo (patriarchal, heteronormative and capitalist) notions of labor, hierarchy, profit, leadership, ownership, power and relationships. We will discuss how worker coops provide benefits - and value labor - that are traditionally not identified as such, and thus serve as a socially just economic and organizing strategy for all people, especially those whose voices and experiences are historically marginalized.


Rachel Isreeli

Center for Family Life
Rachel Isreeli is a cooperative developer at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park where she cultivates worker leadership and anti-exploitative work opportunities through direct work with coops and training community organizations to develop coops in their communities. She is... Read More →

Maria Lopez-Nunez

Maria is the Leadership Developer for Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) in the Environmental Justice and Community Development Department. Maria has over 10 years of experience as a facilitator, specializing in conflict resolution, racial and gender justice, and community building... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Ketchum 315

11:15am EDT

Race, Power, and Energy Democracy
This session will explore race, privilege and equity and their connections to the energy democracy movement. Using popular education techniques this session will define concepts of Just Transition and local control of energy infrastructure to address energy and economic issues at the intersection of the global climate crisis and social inequity. This session lays a foundation for participants to develop an internal analysis around power, privilege and accountability to assist participants strengthen partnerships with communities on the frontline of climate change.

avatar for Colette Pichon Battle

Colette Pichon Battle

Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. serves as Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) developing programs focused on Global Migration, Community Economic Development, Climate Justice, and Equitable Disaster Recovery. In 2015 Colette was selected as an Echoing... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Ketchum Hall 118

11:15am EDT

The Shocking Impact of Boring Energy Policy
How can communities seize the opportunities of a decades-old energy system being rocked by distributed power? We will explain how boring-sounding policy and regulatory decisions about "net metering" and the grid are shaping the future of the electricity system, and how these boring-sounding issues have serious implications for an equitable energy economy. Participants will leave armed with knowledge of key issues and prepared to hear stories of communities taking charge, in "Grassroots Community Meets Energy Technocracy."

avatar for John Farrell

John Farrell

Co-director, Institute for Local Self Reliance
John Farrell is a co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs the Energy Democracy Initiative. Widely known as the guru of distributed energy, he has received accolades for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Hall 304

11:15am EDT

Updating Cuba's Economic Model: The Role for Social and Solidarity Economy Practices
Cuba has been transforming its economic model since 2011, and re established relations with the U.S. in 2014. By engaging in an active question and answer format we will explore what these profound changes mean for a socialist economy and the challenges of protecting the social gains of the Cuban revolution while creating a more robust, efficient economy Our goals are to provide a realistic appraisal of events, often not available in US media, and to foster opportunities of exchange between Cuban and US practitioners of New Economy strategies.

avatar for Rafael Betancourt

Rafael Betancourt

Consultant, Colegio Universitario San Gerónimo de La Habana, SOL² ECONOMICS
Rafael J. Betancourt, PhD (ABD) in Economics (University of Florida, USA) and MSc in Urban & Regional Planning (ISPJAE, Cuba) is an economist with 30 years of employment and academic experience in international cooperation, business administration, local development, strategic urban... Read More →
avatar for Eric Leenson

Eric Leenson

President, SOL Economics
Eric Leenson is President of Sol Economics, a firm that builds strong links between socially responsible enterprises throughout the Americas – North and South. He has been involved in the fields of socially responsible investing (SRI) and business for more than 30 years, serving... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Hall 204

11:15am EDT

Urban Gardens: Growing Health, Wellness and Justice in Diverse Communities
Urban gardens are providing fresh food and other services to increase community wellness, especially in underserved and food desert areas –addressing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other illnesses, creating new jobs and providing green space for outdoor activities. Some of these are innovative "water farms", versatile gardens that are space and energy efficient and recycle and re-use water and waste. Meet the women making all this happen and join the discussion about the green future of urban farming and its contribution to healthier communities.


Yemi Amu

Yemi Amu is co-founder of Oko Farms and Farm Manager at Moore Street, an aquaponics production and education farm in Brooklyn. She leads Oko Farms' design/build projects and directs its education programs. Yemi began as a nutrition educator, using hands-on education and culinary skills... Read More →

Marianne Cufone

Executive Director, Recirculating Farms Coalition
Marianne Cufone is the Founder/Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition, a national non-profit organization that supports farms and farmers from hands on training to policy advocacy, in innovative, eco-efficient "water based" agriculture. Farming methods include hydroponics... Read More →
avatar for Allison Dehonney

Allison Dehonney

CEO, Buffalo Go Green Inc.
Allison DeHonney is the owner and operator of Buffalo Go Green, Inc. and Urban Fruits & Veggies mobile food truck, which services several food desert communities. She possesses certification in "Good Agricultural Practices" (GAPS), which Allison obtained through the Cornell Cooperative... Read More →
avatar for Vivian  Logan

Vivian Logan

Owner/CEO, VDL enterprises , Inc.
Vivian D. Logan: is the owner and CEO of VDL enterprises, Inc. a human service consulting company and serves as the Coordinator for the Nutritional Eating & Living Project. She has worked in the Human Service field for over 25 years and in the field of social work for 21 years, as... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Rockwell Hall 305

11:15am EDT

When Coal Plants Retire, Who Should Pay?
The energy economy is shifting. Coal fired power plants are closing due to lack of growth in electricity demand and noncompetitive prices. This shift has impacted private and public sector jobs and communities where these plants are located. This session highlights a campaign between an environmental justice organization and organized labor to face the challenge of a coal plant retirement. We will share strategies and success in our fight for a just transition. Participants will analyze how lessons learned can impact national organizing.


Peter De Jesús

Peter is an Organizer and Director of Communications for the Western New York Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. As a union member for 17 years he has served in a number of roles, including site diversity trainer, co-chair of the United Way Committee for the United Auto Workers Local 686... Read More →

Richard Lipsitz

Richard Lipsitz is the President of the Western New York Area Labor Federation. During his career, he has worked for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Service Employees International Union. Richard also served as the Director of the Buffalo Labor Studies Program for the... Read More →

Rebecca Newberry

Executive Director, Clean Air Coalition: Organizing for Health and Justice
Rebecca has organized win the Clean Air Coalition since 2011, supporting residents to run and win environmental justice and public health campaigns. Rebecca serves on the board of the Western New York Council for Occupational Safety and Health, and for over a decade has been involved... Read More →

Peter Stuhlmiller

Peter Stuhlmiller is a teacher and elected President for the Kenmore Teachers Association. The KTA is a local union representing over 688 in-service and 400 retired members. Peter is active in the governance and committee structures of the state and national affiliates – NYSUT and... Read More →

Saturday July 9, 2016 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Bulger Communication Center East

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