Senior Advisory Board - Cooperative Development

Earth Equity recognizes that economic prosperity for all is foundational to social justice, public safety, and the depolarization of America. This is why we create policies and programs which support wealth generation for system-impacted people, BIPOC and poor communities, and other groups that are not cared for by the present system. 
Our Senior Advisory Board lends their expertise in solidarity economics, cooperative development, and community based research to create policy and resources which proliferate worker-owned business models in prisons and beyond. Such solutions present a path to true economic stability, enjoy popularity with both liberals and conservatives, and must be promoted effectively.

Earth Equity is proud to introduce the founding members of this Board

Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard

 Author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice (2014), and 2016 inductee into the U.S. Cooperative Hall of Fame, Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D., is Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development, in the Department of Africana Studies, John Jay College, City University of NY. Dr. Gordon-Nembhard is an internationally recognized and widely published political economist specializing in cooperative economics, community economic development and community-based asset building, racial wealth inequality, solidarity economics, Black Political Economy, and community-based approaches to justice. Additionally, she is a member of the Cooperative Economics Council of NCBA/CLUSA and a Faculty Fellow and Mentor with the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.

Most recently, recipient of the Association for Social Economics’ 2022 Thomas F. Divine Award for lifetime contributions to social economics; the Association of Co-operative Educators 2021 award for Outstanding Contribution to Co-operative Education and Training (award was named for her in 2022); and the 2017 CASC Merit Award for exemplary contributions to the field of co-operative studies (from the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation).

Please visit her webpage to learn more about Dr Gordon Nembhard and her work.

Ricardo Samir Nuñez 

Ricardo Samir Nuñez is a worker cooperative ecosystem development specialist supporting cultural practices, policies, organizations, and systemic changes that allow communities to build beyond the interlocking systems of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. He is currently the Director of Economic Democracy and a Staff Attorney at the Sustainable Economies Law Center where he collaborates on educational programs, legal services, policy advocacy, and regional and national ecosystem development to restore human labor to right relationship with people and the planet. He is board president of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and at-large board member at the California Center for Cooperative Development and the Southern California Focus on Cooperation.

Ricardo became a lawyer without going to law school through California’s Law Office Study Program.

Please visit The Sustainable Economies Law Center website to learn more about Ricardo Nuñez and his work.

Kelton Packard O'Connor

Kelton O’Connor is an incarcerated person who writes about the modern day asylum, the friends he has made in these places, and a range of public policy issues. He is a co-founder of Earth Equity, a food policy organizer, and the creator of Earth Equity's Diabetes Justice Workshop curriculum – a course designed to help incarcerated people explore links between healing foods and healing the planet. He is also the author of the Right 2 Heal (R2H) Strategy, a food justice proposal he was invited to submit as part of an advisory report to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s current prison reform project.  

Kelton is a student at Mount Tamalpais College and is pursuing an Associate degree in Liberal Arts. He is generating scholarship related to the role of meaningful work in anti-recidivism, and has been invited to present his work at the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) as well as the Sustainable Economies Law Center Conference. His activism focuses on systems that heal both people and ecology. He is working to connect incarcerated people and people in reentry to career paths that increase opportunity for self actualization, community formation, and discovery of life mission. Presently this includes work in the area of ocean stewardship and public advocacy. Kelton is particularly passionate about programmatic design and the advancement of Food Is Medicine systems.

To learn more about his views on this subject, please read the R2H Strategy

Daniel Sheehan, Esq.

Daniel Sheehan is president and co-founder of the Romero Institute and former president and co-founder of the Christic Institute.

Carrying degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Danny has helped lead multiple lawsuits of historic importance, including three Supreme Court cases. Prior to forming the Christic Institute, he litigated a number of high-profile social justice cases, including the judgment on behalf of nuclear worker and whistleblower Karen Silkwood that effectively ended construction of all new nuclear power plants in the United States. 

Danny formed the Romero Institute in 1992 with Christic Institute co-founder Sara Nelson. A law and policy center based in Santa Cruz, CA, the Institute exposes and implements solutions to serious threats to the environment, structural injustice, and human and constitutional rights violations.

Please visit the Romero Institute website to learn more about Danny Sheehan and his work.

Mary Sutton

Mary Sutton was an activist in the anti-apartheid movement in Minneapolis. More recently, she has been active in Los Angeles as part of the local and statewide coalition work to stop prison and jail expansion. Mary designed Collective REMAKE in the MA in Urban Sustainability program at Antioch University Los Angeles; and now works full-time to move Collective REMAKE forward through cooperative education and development programs, the implementation of democratic participatory practices, and diverse fundraising efforts.

Collective REMAKE Board Co-Chair, Mary has over 20 years experience in non-profit management, development, and programming. She is also a graphic designer and print production artist. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Graduate School for Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Please visit the Collective REMAKE website to learn more about           Mary Sutton and her work.

Julian M Hill

Julian Hill (they/them/he/him), is an assistant professor at Georgia State University College of Law. Hill is a teacher, lifelong learner, community organizer, artist, and attorney. His research focuses on how lawyers can leverage corporate, local government, and contract law to build a solidarity economy that prioritizes people and the planet over profits.

 Hill regularly advises worker cooperatives, collectives, nonprofits, and small businesses on a range of matters, including governance, leasing, and contracts. Hill is also known to partner with community-based organizations to co-facilitate political education and co-develop policies and campaigns. They have facilitated workshops, both in English and Spanish, on worker cooperatives and the solidarity economy with Law 4 Black Lives, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Democracy at Work Institute, and the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives, among others.

 Please visit his webpage to learn more about Julian Hill and his work.