Jenna Peters-Golden is an organizer, trainer, anti-Zionist Jewish rabble-rouser and artist with an inexhaustible amount of energy for exploring, taking things apart, and putting them back together. Firmly planted in West Philadelphia, Jenna was raised in southeastern Michigan. Politicized around the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2001, she came out of her shell by way of youth-led anti war organizing. As national intern for the Young Democratic Socialists of America Jenna became committed to radical participatory democracy in all of its forms.
She has organized regionally and nationally for the new Students for a Democratic Society, the Rainforest Action Network and Student Environmental Action Coalition around PowerShift. She has been inspired by working with organizations like Casino Free Philadelphia and the Ruckus Society, and is a member of the political study group Marginal Notes. Jenna is also a core member of Philly Stands Up, a transformative justice collective.
In 2010, Jenna was a recipient of the the Leeway Foundation's Art and Change grant.
Jenna also served as a track coordinator for the Growing Safer Communities Track at the 2011 Allied Media Conference. Jenna has presented at events such as the U.S. Social Forum 2010, NASCO Institute, Communities United Against Violence’s Safety Fest 2011, and the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy 2011.
Currently Jenna’s favorite workshops to facilitate are: Radical Human Resources, Anti-Oppression Meeting Facilitation, Strategic Planning, Anti-Oppression Fundamentals, National Organizing and Large Scale Campaigns, and Democratic Education.
You can contact Jenna at: jenna(at)aortacollective(dot)org
Roan Boucher is an organizer, facilitator, writer, and artist currently based in Austin, Texas. He is passionate about grassroots healing and cultural work, transformative justice, and anticapitalist, community-rooted models of resource sharing.
He first become politicized through queer, trans, and feminist organizing, and now finds his political home in broad-based movements for liberation; he believes that all of our liberation is bound up together, and that true social change is a collective process. He works closely with the Bay Area based POOR Magazine, a poor and indigenous people-led grassroots organization, doing economic justice work through art, organizing, grassroots media, education, and multigenerational community building.
In 2008, Roan co-founded the website Enough: The Personal Politics of Resisting Capitalism, a space to share strategies for creating more just and economically sustainable movements, with Dean Spade. Building off the critical conversations Enough inspired, Roan and Dean are now co-editing a new anthology of the same title.
Roan has facilitated workshops and consulted for a wide range of organizations and conferences including Resource Generation, Catalyst Project, the 2010 Making Money for Our Movements Conference, Close to Home, ICC Austin, the Beehive Design Collective, United World College, Quilted Co-op, Madison Community Co-operative, AVODAH, NASCO Institute, and Lucy Stone Cooperative. He worked in food co-ops for five years, most recently at the Mariposa Food Coop in Philadelphia where he co-founded the Food Justice and Anti-Racism working group.
Roan was named one of UTNE Reader's 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World in 2009 and is featured in the book Do It Anyway: Portraits of the Next Generation of Activists, from Beacon Press. His writing appears regularly in Make/shift Magazine.
You can contact Roan at: roan(at)aortacollective(dot)org
Esteban Kelly is a Jamaican-American educator, community organizer, and radical geographer who makes his home in the City of Brotherly Love.
Homeboy has been devoted to the North American cooperative movement since 1999. First introduced through his experience in student cooperative housing, Esteban has served NASCO's Director of Education and Training was inducted into the NASCO Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2011. He is also a worker-owner at Mariposa Food Coop in West Philadelphia and was recently hired as co-organizer of the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy. Homeboy served on the Boards of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the US Solidarity Economy Network and the Democracy at Work Institute, and is currently a Board member of the National Cooperative Business Association and NASCO. In 2005, Esteban was a youth delegate to the International Cooperative Alliance Youth Council. Furthermore, he enjoys living in a land trust with his family and friends.
Esteban’s training skills are grounded in his local community organizing work with Philly Stands Up and the Philly Dude's Collective around issues of transformative justice and sexual assault, gender analysis, and male accountability. Esteban is pursuing a doctoral degree in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Since 2009, Esteban has been blogging at Black Maps, reflecting on science & science fiction, feminism, cartography, humor, comics, and Black identity. Additionally, homeboy’s writing has appeared in Left Turn, Whirlwind - Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, Clamor Magazine, Grassroots Economic Organizing Newsletter, and Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict, and World Order.
You can contact Esteban at: esteban(at)aortacollective(dot)org
Radicalized through the Unitarian Universalist youth movement as a teenager, Lydia’s politics are grounded in the revolutionary possibilities of transformative love and compassion. Currently splitting her time between Brooklyn and New Orleans, Lydia has organized in various movements for social and economic justice including supporting community-based struggles for affordable housing and prison reform/abolition. She is deeply committed to strengthening solidarity economies and served on the Board of the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) from 2007-2012.
Additionally, Lydia has brought her leadership towards the anti-racist/anti-oppressive transformation of several organizations including the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU), the Oberlin College Student Cooperative Association (OSCA), Common Ground Relief, and NASCO. Most recently she is energized about interrogating and disrupting institutionalized patriarchy within organizations as crucial for collective liberation.
In addition, she dreams of building a radical left intellectualism grounded in and relevant to social movements. To that end, she is actively researching and writing untold stories of Southern antiprison organizing and white anti-racist activism through her doctoral work in Geography and American Studies.
She has facilitated workshops for a range of conferences and organizations including the Allied Media Conference, White Privilege Conference, the National Worker Cooperative Conference, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, Better Future Project, and Madison Community Co-op. Lydia's writing has appeared in Left Turn Magazine, The Indypendent, and Monthly Review.
You can contact Lydia at: lydia(at)aortacollective(dot)org
Based in Oakland, kiran nigam is an educator, facilitator, and artist with roots in California, Michigan, Iowa and Uttar Pradesh. Politicized through the Riot Grrrl movement in the mid-90s, kiran coordinated women's empowerment festivals and organized district- and county-wide for the right to high school gay straight alliances.
After living in the Berkeley Student Co-ops, kiran worked as the Director of Education and Training for NASCO, where she facilitated workshops for housing cooperatives across the US and Canada. Kiran spent three years teaching at a democratically run school, and has served on the Boards of NASCO and the US Solidarity Economy Network. She was a participant in the Cooperation Works! week-long training on the Art and Science of Cooperative Business Development. In 2010, kiran was inducted into the NASCO Cooperative Hall of Fame for her contribution and commitment to cooperative education and training.
Passionate about building healthy and sustainable organizations, kiran loves facilitating organizational retreats, strategic planning sessions and longer camps and trainings that allow for deeper growth, strategizing, and skills development.
Kiran was a core organizer of the 2010 US Social Forum as co-chair of the national Program and Culture Working Group. Kiran has also organized cooperative educational conferences, including the National Worker Cooperative Conference and NASCO's Cooperative Education and Training Institute and Anti-Oppression Action Camp.
Kiran has presented at many conferences, events and campuses, including the University of British Columbia, Evergreen College, the Rouge Forum, and the Philly Stands Up Transformative Justice and Sexual Assault Action Camp.
You can contact kiran at: kiran(at)aortacollective(dot)org