CoFED inspiregizes future food co-op leaders across North America. We support students with training and tools, and connect them with peers, mentors, and allies in a solidarity network.

Board of Directors

Steve Dubb, Research Director, Democracy Collaborative
Steve Dubb is Research Director of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, where he has led the development of the Community-Wealth.org web-based information portal and has been lead author or co-author of a number of publications including Building Wealth: The New Asset-Based Approach to Solving Social and Economic Problems (Aspen, 2005), Linking Colleges to Communities: Engaging the University for Community Development (2007), Growing a Green Economy for All: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership (with Deborah Warren, 2010) and co-author (with Rita Axelroth Hodges) of The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads (MSU Press, 2012). Dubb also conducted (with Ted Howard) the initial strategic planning that led to the development of the Evergreen Cooperative initiative in Cleveland, Ohio and currently helps guide efforts to adopt that model to meet the needs of other cities. Previously, Dubb was Executive Director of the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), a U.S. and Canadian nonprofit association that provides education and technical assistance to university and community-based housing and retail cooperatives. Dubb received his Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and his Bachelor’s in Economics (with honors) and Spanish from the University of California, Berkeley. While in college, Dubb was also a member of cooperatives, being a member of the Berkeley Student Co-op from 1986 to 1989 and a member of the Groundwork Books collective from 1989 to 1998.
 
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Michael Roberts, 11th Hour Project
Michael came to know CoFED through his work at The 11th Hour Project of the Schmidt Family Foundation, where he is an associate in the Ecological Agriculture and Regional Food System grant making program. At 11th Hour, Michael works with projects across the country devoted to reforming the food system, providing financial resources, strategic advice, and connections with other activists and leaders necessary to scale innovation.  Relatively new to philanthropy, he brings with him the values of community empowerment and local actors as the most important agents of change. Michael holds a Master of Science from University College London (UK) in Environment and Sustainable Development, where he focused on the transformative nature of community food projects and urban agriculture.  While at UCL in 2009, he was a regular volunteer at Organic Lea, a worker-owned cooperative and home of the largest certified organic farm within Greater London’s city limits.  Michael’s MSc dissertation explored the role of community-driven entrepreneurship in supporting alternative models and policies for food, agriculture, and trade.  A section devoted to local community food projects was published in the UCL compilation The Food Junctions Cookbook: Living Recipes for Social Innovation.  He also used Participatory Action Research methods to work alongside rural migrant farmers in Ashaiman, Ghana to organize as a cooperative and assert their right to their land just outside the capital city of Accra. Though he grew up in South Carolina and Georgia, Michael has lived and worked all over.  He has worked as an organizer for the League of Conservation Voters in Salem, Oregon during the 2004 presidential campaign and in 2008, became the production manager at Piedmont Biofuels Cooperative in Moncure, North Carolina.  He currently resides in Oakland, CA where he has the pleasure of interacting with some of the most exciting entrepreneurial projects in the food system both as a funder and an engaged citizen.
 
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Caridad Souza, Director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, Colorado State University
Caridad Souza is director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado where she is also a faculty member in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Her teaching and research interests include intersectional theories and methods, women, children and poverty, the narratives and cultural logics of domination, and racialized gender and sexuality. Dr. Souza is the recipient of various fellowships and grants and has written articles and guest-edited journal volumes on teenage pregnancy, feminist ethnography, Latina adolescent sexualities, and pedagogical issues in the feminist classroom.  She co-authored with seventeen other Latina Feminists the book Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonials that documents the journey of Latina scholar activists in higher education. Currently, Dr. Souza compiling an anthology on multiracial/decolonial feminism and writing about women of color feminists as philosophers of social healing. She also wants to write about and do social and political work around the concept of social healing as a way to move us towards a more equitable, just and free future. Her interests in food justice and cooperative food systems stems from her understanding that those most marginalized experience the most food insecurity and thus benefit most from cooperative processes involving community control food and food heritages.
 
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Maru Bautista, Cooperative Developer, Center for Family Life
Maru Bautista is a Cooperative Developer at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. She has a M.A. in International Development from the New School. While in grad school, she focused her studies and work in community development. This passion led her to Riosucio –a small town in Caldas, Colombia, where she worked with a group of farmers striving to become food secure. Through this work, she understood firsthand the challenges farmers face while growing their own food and their plight for having full ownership of their crops and their processes. She now works with the Hispanic immigrant community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, providing training and technical assistance to existing worker cooperatives, developing one new worker cooperative, and training community based organizations across the city on how to start worker cooperatives. She is thrilled to join CoFED’s Board and is looking forward to sharing her experience in cooperative development with everyone!
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