About NEC

Our Story

What is the New Economy Coalition?

The New Economy Coalition is a membership-based network representing the solidarity economy movement in the United States. We exist to organize our members into a more powerful and united force, in order to accelerate the transition of our economic system from capitalism to a solidarity economy.

NEC’s members are a cross section of nonprofits, mission-driven businesses, grassroots community organizations, and sectoral associations. While many groups are focused on a particular strategy or are based in a specific geographic region, they join NEC to be part of a network that is cross-sectoral and national in scope. Together, we understand ourselves as part of an international social movement ecosystem that includes tens of thousands of groups using varied and different strategies to build a more just, liberatory, and democratic world.

Our Mission

Regional Solidarity economies

NEC exists to support a just transition from an extractive to a regenerative economy by building the scale and power of the solidarity economy movement in Black, Indigenous, and working class communities in every region of the United States.

Our Vision

We envision a world…

We envision a world where our lives are no longer dominated or determined by capitalism nor any other extractive system. We envision a world in which everyone has what they need, where people have collective agency and self-determination. 

To get there, we must be interconnected and powerful together. In our vision, global economic transformation is built and led by regional solidarity economy ecosystems. 

A solidarity economy ecosystem is an environment in which all of the things a community needs — like housing, schools, farms and food production, local governance, art and culture, healthcare, and transportation — are controlled and governed by the people, led by those most marginalized by our current economy, and building strong community roots.

Regions can be defined ecologically by land, climate, or watershed, politically through borders and voting boundaries, economically by markets and shared material conditions, or culturally, by our traditions, ethnicities, and migration pathways

Our Values

How We Approach Work

Values are not just ideas written on paper, they are a daily practice. In order to make our vision real, we need to practice the following values — informed by the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing and Solidarity Economy Principles —  in our work and everyday lives:

 

  • Be rooted in history, culture, and tradition
  • Embody a culture of reparations and restoration to self, each other, and the earth
  • Practice responsive, participatory governance
  • Follow the leadership of communities that have been most harmed by our current economic system
  • Be adaptable to crisis and embrace changing conditions

Our History

Nearly a decade of growth & change

NEC was founded in 2012 on the heels of the Great Recession, in response to growing national interest in solidarity economy practices, values, and strategies for systemic change. It began as a think tank, modeled after the New Economics Foundation in the UK, based on the framework of “new economics” popularized by leaders at what had previously been the E.F. Schumacher Society in Western Massachusetts.

Over the course of several years and multiple rounds of internal organizing by staff, board, and members, NEC has evolved as an organization. In 2016, we began to shift from being a largely white, upper class organization to one whose staff and board are majority people of color, and significantly more geographically and socioeconomically diverse. We started to understand ourselves as a post-capitalist project on the political left, and we shifted our external communication and internal strategies accordingly. That same year, we shifted our membership governance structure to be more democratic, with board elections, and a deeper integration of members into our programmatic work.

In 2018, we began to shift our internal staff structure and policies to be more in line with our external values, including transitioning from a traditional hierarchical non-profit to a four-person co-directorship. In 2020, we are exploring what it would look like to become a fully democratic staff collective.

We see ourselves as on a journey together with our members to continue the work of building a truly liberatory and impactful organization that puts into practice the values of the solidarity economy.

Governance

Our Members

NEC is a member-based coalition of organizations with shared vision, values, and work.

staff

meet our team

Kelly Baker

Kelly Baker

Pronouns: she/her/any
Title: Network Organizer
Location: Massachusett land / Boston, MA
Email: kelly@neweconomy.net

Kelly was born and raised in Boston, where she still makes a home despite the long winters. She was a part of the solidarity economy years before she knew what to call it: from living in intentional collective housing in her 20s to doing participatory grantmaking with the Haymarket People’s Fund. At New Economy Coalition, she supports with fundraising, network organizing, financial management, and tending to the well-being of the staff. She is an artist, zine maker, avid reader, cat parent, and proud auntie to two wonderful niblings.

Eli Feghali

Eli Feghali

Pronouns: he/him
Title: Network Organizer
Location: Massachusett land / Cambridge, MA
Email: eli@neweconomy.net

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Eli Feghali immigrated to the United States with his parents to escape the civil war. For the past eight years at NEC, Eli has directed its communications programs, served on the staff leadership team, and co-edited a book project called Beautiful Solutions. Before joining NEC, Eli organized in Tennessee for the migrant justice movement, then on the streets of Boston during the Occupy Wall Street uprising. It was on those streets where he first chanted “another world is possible,” and was introduced to cooperatives and the solidarity economy. Through NEC and Beautiful Solutions, Eli works to tell the story of what another world could look like — and how we get there. Eli is also Co-Chair of the Board of YES! Magazine. He lives with his life partner Rachel in Cambridge, MA.

Sachie Hayakawa

Sachie Hayakawa

Pronouns: she/her
Title: Network Organizer
Location: Duwamish land / Seattle, WA
Email: sachie@neweconomy.net

Sachie comes from four generations rooted in the Pacific Northwest. Her commitment to social justice is fueled by deep histories of resistance and resilience in her Japanese-American family. Starting in 2011, as a student organizer, Sachie worked with groups fighting dangerous energy extraction and helped organize the country’s first fossil fuel divestment campaign. After school, Sachie continued her climate and economic justice organizing work in West Philly. Since 2014, her work with NEC has focused on youth organizing, participatory grant-making, divestment and community reinvestment, and climate justice. In addition to NEC, Sachie is a trainer/facilitator with the Wildfire Project and has worked with groups across social movements. Through all of her work, Sachie is committed to building community and fighting for the restoration of land, labor, and livelihoods. Sachie lives in Seattle, which means she obviously loves the Seattle Storm, white-water rafting, and ultimate frisbee.

Gabby Henrie

Gabby Henrie

Pronouns: she/they
Title: Digital Organizer
Location: Duwamish land / Seattle, WA
Email: gabby@neweconomy.net

Born and raised on O’ahu, Gabby now spends her time between Oaxaca and the Pacific Northwest. Gabby began doing fossil fuel divestment and environmental justice organizing as a student in Portland, OR. They come to the solidarity economy movement after years spent working as cartographer, teacher, and designer while traveling and learning about peoples’ movements in Mexico and the Caribbean. Gabby joined NEC in 2019. She is excited to be settling into a role bridging digital storytelling, design, and popular education in service of systems change. Gabby is a lifelong student, an auntie to six, a wildly mediocre bike mechanic, and a huge nerd about maps.

Tori Kuper

Tori Kuper

Pronouns: she/her
Title: Network Organizer
Location: Haudenosaunee land / Buffalo, NY
Email: tori@neweconomy.net

Tori was born and raised in a working class Rust Belt community. As a second generation Holocaust survivor, she has committed her life to building resilient communities grounded in mutual aid, collective determination, and empathy. As a mother, she is committed to building a world that she is proud to pass on to her son. She comes to the solidarity economy movement from the co-op sector, where she has been  involved in stewarding and building various housing co-ops, worker co-ops, and co-op loan funds over the last decade. She is honored to serve the movement locally and nationally through boards of PUSH Buffalo and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Since 2016, Tori has been at NEC weaving relationships, aggregating resources, and figuring out practical ways to make our wildest dreams logistically feasible. She copes with the current state of the world through panic baking, stress gardening, and listening to paranormal podcasts.

Nati Linares

Nati Linares

Pronouns: she/her/ella/we
Title: Communications Organizer
Location: Nipmuc land / Northampton, MA
Email: nati@neweconomy.net

Nati grew up on the island of Shaolin, also known as Staten Island, New York City — close to both the world’s largest garbage dump and the oldest continuously inhabited free Black community in the United States. She’s the child of Cuban and Colombian immigrants who landed in Queens in the late 1960s, benefited from low-cost public college and raised her with a love of learning, exploration and music. As a mami, she strives to raise a son who can resist the patriarchy to become a full human being and embrace life’s contradictions. She comes to the solidarity economy movement after a decade witnessing inequities in the music and media industry while working with diasporadical and misrepresented artists. Nati tells the stories of people resisting Capitalism and building new systems, especially those creating a culture of revolution.

Melody Martínez

Melody Martínez

Pronouns: she/her/ella
Title: Individual Giving Manager
Location: Chinook and Clackamas land / Portland, OR
Email: melody@neweconomy.net

Melody Martínez is the proud first-generation daughter of Afro-Caribbean, working-class immigrants from the Dominican Republic. She was born and raised in Massachusetts. Revolutionary politics run deep in her maternal family line and she was politicized from a young age, particularly growing up as one of the few working class Black children in a predominantly white, middle class community. She has been at NEC since 2019. At NEC, Melody participates in development and fundraising, communications, and organizational culture activities. She enjoys dancing to a merengue beat, eating vegan food, exploring the mountains and forests of the Northwest, and spending time with her family, including her partner, three cats, and their emotionally-sensitive beagle.

René Pérez

René Pérez

Pronouns: he/him
Title: IT Manager
Location: Massachusett land / Boston, MA

René Pérez is the IT Manager for the New Economy Coalition. He first became politically active during the anti-war movement in 2003. He later became deeply involved with Occupy Boston. He joined NEC in 2013. Since then, he’s focused on developing digital security trainings for organizers. René is a Chicano from Texas but today, you can find him on the internet because he is actually from the internet.

Our Board

Julia Ho

Co-Chair

Solidarity Economy St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
she/her

Leslie Lindo

Co-Chair

Candide Group
Oakland, CA
she/her

Kate Poole

Treasurer

Chordata Capital
she/her

Harper Bishop

PUSH Buffalo
Buffalo, NY
he/him

Hildegarde Hannum

Schumacher Center for New Economics
Old Lyme, CT
she/her

Renee Hatcher

Business Enterprise Law Clinic, John Marshall Law School
Chicago, IL
she/her

Michelle Mascarenhas-swan

Movement Generation
Berkeley, CA
she/they

Chris Tittle

Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC)
Charleston, SC
he/him

Ed Whitfield

Fund for Democratic Communities
Greensboro, NC
he/him