CoFED partners with young people of color from poor and working-class backgrounds to build food and land co-ops.

Team

Staff

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Hnin W. Hnin, Director (pronouns: they/them, she/her)

Email hnin@cofed.org about funding, partnerships and speaking opportunities.

Hnin brings to CoFED over 12 years of experience in social justice, solidarity economy, and collective liberation work. Their approach to cooperative development is informed by the ancestors, mother earth, and a multidisciplinary analysis that forefronts race, class, and gender. They are called to heal, love, and educate for social change. They live in the "yes, and", within the questions, and in between the no longer and the not yet. Before CoFED, Hnin worked with World Learning as a human rights educator and with Slow Food USA and ROC United building power to transform the food system. They hold a BA in Political Economy, with a concentration in International Studies, from Williams College. They were born in Burma and raised in Brooklyn, with ancestral roots tracing back to Toisan, China. They currently live in Queens with their two cats, Spring and Summer.


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Suparna Kudesia, Education Director (pronouns: she/her)

Email suparna@cofed.org about CoFED's Summer Co-op Academy + Racial Justice Fellowship.

Suparna’s tryst with education began on the streets of New Delhi, where she began her work as a community educator with children experiencing homelessness and survivors of violence in schools and colleges. After her undergraduate work in Delhi University, she packed her bags and left on a jet plane to the University of Northern Colorado to pursue her Masters of Arts in Teaching. She brings with her over 15 years of experience imagining and breathing life into educational programs. Apart from her work with children from ages 4 to 14, she has built empowerment education, ESL, and violence-prevention programs for immigrant womxn in the Bay Area. Suparna believes in the power of story telling and listening to bring lasting change in who controls the narrative. She’s excited to bring to CoFED her love for capturing and co-visioning stories of and by radical YPoC as they grow into change-makers and advocates for our earth. A fairly new mother, Suparna thinks everyday about how to nourish a better tomorrow for and with her little humxn; she has found some success in impromptu dance parties and dramatic reads of activist children’s books. She navigates the world through poetry, radical love, authentic dialogue, and transformation. Suparna lives in San Diego with her partner, toddler, and numerous bunches of coriander and chard.


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Maya Corinne, Communications Director (pronouns: she/her, they/them)

Email maya@cofed.org about creative partnerships, collective magic, gathering online, & the crazy ideas that keep you up at night. YES.

Maya lives in mesmerized devotion to the community artists that honor earth and society as their canvas, training cross-sector, global youth leadership in ceremony-based strategy and creative collaboration. As a curious, grateful, and delighted social economist that moves towards life, beauty, and magic, she’s obsessed with the emergent collective genius at the intersections of culture, justice, and sacred exchange. As an unschooled daughter and granddaughter of traditional Filipino farmers, founders, and medicine keepers, she was raised to organize culture, live in ritual, and collectively strategize to magnify genius. She believes completely that the most important product of any business, initiative, community, or movement is the wellbeing of the community landscape, so she’s crazy honored to play part and witness to our ever dope community here at CoFED. You can also find her speaking at companies, convening cross-sector organizations, and jamming with POC youth in the arts. She’s here in deep partnership with Earth, who dreams thru us, the Eternal that informs our gesture, and the ancestors evolving thru us. Head-to-floor.


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Anna Isaacs, Operations Manager (pronouns: she/her)

Anna has been working in and developing cooperatives for 10 years. She is passionate about systems that build power and enable communities to have agency over making some of the most important economic and political decisions for themselves. Her experience started as a worker-member of the student-run restaurant, The Flaming Eggplant Cafe. She also traveled to Venezuela to research and work in CECOSESOLA, a cross-sector association of 80 cooperatives that serve 55,000 families weekly. Before coming to CoFED, she worked with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center doing business and financial feasibility planning for a cooperatively-owned food processing facility.


 

2018 Racial Justice Fellows

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Jazmin Martinez, 2018 Racial Justice Fellow (pronouns: they/them)

Jazmin is a queer, gender non-conforming, immigrant living in La Villita, Chicago who comes from a lineage of Mexican campesinos. They are currently working on establishing Catatumbo Cooperative Farm along with two amazing co-creators, Ireri Unzueta Carrasco and Vivi Moreno. They are committed to creating connections between farming/cooperative work with broader social justice movements to envision and create other possible worlds.


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Merelis Catalina Ortiz, 2018 Racial Justice Fellow (pronouns: she/her)

Merelis is a Black and Latina Community Chef, visionary, educator and daughter of immigrants with roots in the Dominican Republic. Merelis recognizes the knowledge and strength that Black and Brown people hold and is committed to being a vessel that reminds her people of this wisdom. In the summer of 2018, she launched PAS - People y Alimentos Solidarity program, a bilingual and intergenerational offering with a focus on building solidarity among Black, Indigenous, and Latinx-heritage people through land and food at community gardens in NYC. She was previously a worker-owner of Woke Foods, a cooperatively owned afro-caribbean food business. Merelis enjoys dance-offs, preparing remedio caseros, and helping her parent's restaurant address health disparities and be more eco-friendly!