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.

Our Team

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Farzana Serang, Executive Director - farzana@cofed.org

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Farzana Serang is proud to join CoFED as its first Executive Director. She brings a diverse set of skills and advocacy expertise rooted in 10 years of cultivating and managing strategic cross-sector relationships, coalitions, and partnerships. She has used her leadership development experience to strengthen the impact of triple bottom line initiatives that provide equitable benefit for people, the planet, and the economy.

Most recently Farzana worked with PolicyLink, where she helped build a national online platform to showcase asset-building strategies, best practices, and efforts to build lifelong economic security. She also recently worked as a consultant for the Democracy Collaborative, researching innovations in anchor institutions that generate community wealth, and supported local food business development with the national enterprise Milk & Honey.

In 2012, Farzana graduated from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, where she received a Masters in City Planning focused on community and economic development. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate of Arts degree in early childhood education.

Along with her partner, she is the proud parent of a 2-month old urban garden.

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Rachel Vernon, Program & Operations Director - rachel@cofed.org

Rachel is of Yaqui, Mescalero Apache, Mexicana and Caucasian descent and has spent most of her life in Northern Colorado. She has a Master's Degree in Ethnic Studies which focuses on community-owned food systems among American Indians living in Oakland, California. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 2008, with a major in Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity.

Prior to joining CoFED, Rachel has worked predominantly in development. Most recently she worked as a Program Officer at First Nations Development Institute previous to First Nations she spent several years as a development associate at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. She currently resides in Oakland, CA.

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Sho'mane Touré, Field Director - shomane@cofed.org

Sho'mane is Black/African American, of African descent, and was born in Oakland, California and raised in San Francisco Bay Area. Sho'mane received his Masters of Arts Degree from the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University with a focus on Critical Race Theory, Racial Equity, and Social Work emphasizing Social Administration and Direct Practice. Sho’mane received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from SFSU in Creative Writing and Cinema Studies. Sho’mane has several years experience in communications, leadership training, community organizing, and managerial coordination for non-profits.

Prior to joining CoFED Sho’mane graduated from the Center for Third World Organizing cutting edge MAAP program, co-Founded Afrocentric Films Collaborative, and was an Office Manager at Meiklejohn Civil Liberities Institute. He currently resides in West Oakland, CA.

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Yahya Alazrak, East Coast Field Staff - yahya@cofed.org

Yahya is an organizer and cooperator based in the south out of Greensboro, NC. Having spent 4 years as a part of the Greenleaf Coffee Cooperative at Guilford College, and moving into his second year with CoFED, it's turning out he might be working with co-ops for life! And he couldn't be more excited. Pulling from his background as a student body president/clerk, Community and Justice Studies degree, and love for the cooperative model; he brings passion and skill to the field for CoFED. Yahya firmly believes that if this work is going to be successful it has to be intersectional and build equity for all. If you want to talk about co-ops, food, or organizing (mostly on the east coast) feel free to give him a holler!

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Anna Isaacs, West Coast Field Staff - anna@cofed.org

Anna has worked with CoFED since January 2012, and is excited to see the organization grow in new ways! Anna worked in CECOSESOLA, an association of 80 cooperatives that serves about 55,000 families weekly in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. At Evergreen State College, she was a member of the worker-run restaurant, The Flaming Eggplant Cafe. After graduating, she worked with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center doing business and financial feasibility planning for a cooperatively-owned food processing facility. This year, Anna lives in California and is thrilled to support and organize with students all over the West Coast! Through this work, Anna hopes to build power that enables communities to have agency over making some of the most important economic and political decisions for themselves. Feel free to get in touch! 

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