Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Carmen Dixon -NAACP LDF / BLM-NYC

Carmen Dixon is currently the Race and Policing Reform Organizer at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Carmen was introduced to organizing as the daughter of two union workers and spent her childhood experiencing the impact of organized people power in the fight for worker justice. Previously she worked as a Faith and Policy Organizer at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA). At FPWA, Carmen organized clergy to advocate for economic equity policy issues and launched the Women of Faith initiative, a network of women coming together across denominations to support various reforms impacting women and girls in New York City. Before joining FPWA, Carmen successfully directed the field campaign for the re-election of Melissa Mark Viverito, New York City Council Speaker. She received her Masters of Divinity with a concentration in children and family ministry at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Additionally, after journeying to Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the Michael Brown police shooting, Carmen became involved in the Black Lives Matter movement and now helps lead the efforts of its New York City Chapter.

[Español] Carmen Dixon es actualmente el organizador de la reforma de la raza y la policía en el Fondo de Defensa Legal de la NAACP. Carmen fue presentada a Organizándose como hija de dos sindicalistas y pasando su infancia experimentando el impacto del poder organizado de las personas en la lucha por la justicia obrera. Anteriormente trabajó como Organizadora de Fe y Políticas en la Federación de Agencias de Bienestar Protestante (FPWA). En la FPWA, Carmen organizó clérigos para abogar por cuestiones de política de equidad económica y lanzó la iniciativa Women of Faith, una red de mujeres que se unen a través de denominaciones para apoyar varias reformas que afectan a mujeres y niñas en la ciudad de Nueva York. Antes de unirse a la FPWA, Carmen dirigió con éxito la campaña de campo para la reelección de Melissa Mark Viverito, Presidenta del Consejo de la Ciudad de Nueva York. Ella recibió su Maestro de Divinidad con una concentración en los niños y el ministerio familiar en el Seminario Bethel en St. Paul, Minnesota. Además, después de viajar a Ferguson, Missouri después del tiroteo policial de Michael Brown, Carmen se involucró en el movimiento Black Lives Matter y ahora ayuda a dirigir los esfuerzos de su Capítulo de la Ciudad de Nueva York.

Telesh Lopez – Caracol Interpreters

Telesh Pascual López (Maya/Kanjobal, Guatemala) co-founded Caracol Interpreters Cooperative in 2011 to bring her vision of culturally competent and highly skilled translation and interpretation to projects and organizations creating positive change in the world. The inspiration for Caracol came from Telesh’s participation in the groundbreaking work to secure rights for domestic workers in NYC, struck by the role that language access played in building powerful coalitions and policy change. In 2013, Caracol was recognized for its work by receiving a Champions of Economic Justice Award from the Brandworkers. In Spring 2012, Telesh completed a medical interpreting intensive course at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and now provides simultaneous interpreting services to various hospitals in NYC. She also provides interpretation for leadership development trainings, plays, movie documentaries, board meetings, and various national and international conferences for non-profit, social justice organizations. She has been an interpreter for 9 years and brings her full experience to Caracol. Prior to Caracol, Telesh worked in philanthropy, building her commitment to social justice organizations that focused on labor, education, community organizing, and coalition building. Additionally, Telesh was a co-op member for the Thirdroot Community Health Center in Brooklyn where she offered Reiki, carrying on her family’s multi-generational tradition of healing practices. As a child, Telesh emigrated from Guatemala to Los Angeles where she grew up, and later moved to NY, graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in International Marketing and Trade for the Fashion Industries

[Español] Telesh Lopez (Maya/Kanjobal, Guatemala) co-fundadora de Caracol Interpreters Cooperative en el 2011 para llevar su visión de la traducción y interpretación culturalmente competente y altamente calificado para proyectos y organizaciones que crean un cambio positivo en el mundo. Antes de Caracol, Telesh trabajó en la filantropía, construyendo su compromiso a organizaciones de justicia social que se enfocan en cuestiones laborales, de educación, organización comunitaria y la formación de coaliciones. Además, Telesh fue un miembro cooperativa de Third Root Community Health Center en Brooklyn donde ofrecia Reiki, continuando la tradición multi-generacional de su familia en las prácticas curativas. Cuando niña, Telesh emigró de Guatemala a Los Ángeles donde se crió, y más tarde se trasladó a Nueva York, donde se graduó en el Instituto de Tecnología de Moda con un grado en Marketing y Comercio Internacional para Industrias de Moda.

Adriana Mendoza – Sunset Scholars Tutoring Cooperative

I was part of the cooperative development team at CFL from April 2015 to October 2016. During my time at CFL, I took on the role of office manager for 4 worker cooperatives (Trusty Amigos, Sunset Scholars, Emigre and Maharlika) and as coop developer assistant. I was the main developer working with Cooperatives United for Sunset Park, a network of 6 worker coops in Sunset I’m a founding member of Sunset Scholars Tutoring Cooperative and have served in their General Advisory Committee (equivalent of a board). I’m also a part of their legal committee, where we oversee that the cooperative remains true to their mission, vision and operating agreement.

[Español] Fui parte del equipo de desarrollo cooperativo de la CFL de abril de 2015 a octubre de 2016. Durante mi tiempo en CFL, asumí el cargo de gerente de oficina para 4 cooperativas de trabajadores (Trusty Amigos, Sunset Estudiosos, Emigre y Maharlika) y como cooperativista asistente. Yo era el desarrollador principal trabajando con Cooperativas Unidas para Sunset Park, una red de 6 cooperativas de trabajo en Sunset Soy miembro fundador de Sunset Cooperative Cooperativa de Estudiantes y han servido en su Comité Asesor General (equivalente a un consejo). También soy parte de su comité legal, donde supervisamos que la cooperativa permanezca fiel a su misión, visión y acuerdo operativo.

Raybblin Vargas – Green Worker Cooperatives

Raybblin Vargas has a strong background organizing in grassroots, nonprofits, and labor. As a grassroots organizer, she has worked on local and national social justice campaigns that include immigration, education, and criminal justice reform. Her nonprofit work includes grant writing, research and policy analysis, and capacity building. As a union organizer, she has led legislative and political campaigns for 1199 SEIU/Healthcare Education Project and TWU Local 100. She is a graduate of the Green Worker Co-op Academy and has launched Bits and Bites Tech Café in 2015. Currently, she serves on the Board of Green Workers Cooperative and is the Communications Coordinator, while she and her team work on growing Bits and Bites Tech Café.

[Español] Raybblin Vargas tiene una sólida formación en organizaciones de base, organizaciones sin fines de lucro y mano de obra. Como organizadora de base, ha trabajado en campañas de justicia social locales y nacionales que incluyen la inmigración, la educación y la reforma de la justicia penal. Su trabajo sin fines de lucro incluye la escritura de subvenciones, investigación y análisis de políticas y desarrollo de capacidades. Como organizadora sindical, ha dirigido campañas legislativas y políticas para el 1199 SEIU / Healthcare Education Project y el TWU Local 100.Ella es graduada de la Academia Cooperativa de Trabajadores Verdes y ha lanzado Bits and Bites Tech Café en 2015. Actualmente, ella sirve en la Junta de Cooperativa de Trabajadores Verde y es la Coordinadora de Comunicaciones, mientras ella y su equipo trabajan en el crecimiento de Bits y Bites Tech Café.

Jamila Kahn, Palante Technology Cooperative

Jamila Khan is a geek in everything they do; including theater, activism, comics, puppetry, and technology. They have been part of Palante Technology Cooperative since 2010, and a co-owner since incorporation as a cooperative in 2011. A queer trans Muslim punk, Jamila loves that they get to use their geeky skills in support of so many wonderful organizations.

[Español] Jamila Khan es unx geek en todo lo que hacen; incluyendo teatro, activismo, cómics, títeres y tecnología. Han sido parte de Palante Technology Cooperative desde 2010, y copropietario desde su incorporación como cooperativa en 2011. Unx punk trans musulmán queer, Jamila ama que puedan usar sus habilidades geek en apoyo de tantas organizaciones maravillosas.

Zara Serabian-Arthur, Meerkat Media

Zara Serabian-Arthur is a non-fiction filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. In both her independent and commissioned work, she is committed to helping others tell their stories and using media strategically as a means to shift narratives and support social justice movements.

Zara is a co-writer/co-director of the collective’s award-winning feature documentaries, Stages and Brasslands, as well as many independent documentary shorts, including Consensus and Into the Streets. She has also directed, produced and edited dozens of commissioned short films, collaborating closely with non-profits, foundations and grassroots organizations, including the Tenement Museum, the Participatory Budgeting ProjectFord FoundationRosa Luxembourg Stiftung and Make the Road New York among many others. Alongside her filmmaking work, Zara worked as a teaching artist and arts program administrator in schools and community centers across New York City for over ten years. She has been a member of Meerkat Media Collective since 2006.

[Español] 

Zara Serabian-Arthur es una cineasta con sede en Brooklyn, Nueva York. Tanto en su trabajo independiente como por encargo, está comprometida a ayudar a otros a contar sus historias y utilizar los medios estratégicamente como un medio para cambiar las narrativas y apoyar los movimientos de justicia social.

Zara es coguionista y codirectora de los galardonados documentales del colectivo, Stages y Brasslands, así como de numerosos cortometrajes documentales independientes, incluidos Consensus e Into the Streets. También ha dirigido, producido y editado docenas de cortometrajes encargados, colaborando estrechamente con organizaciones sin fines de lucro, fundaciones y organizaciones de base, incluido el Museo de Vivienda, el Proyecto de Presupuesto Participativo, la Fundación Ford, Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung y Make the Road New York entre muchos otros. Junto con su trabajo de realización cinematográfica, Zara trabajó durante más de diez años como artista docente y administradora de programas de arte en escuelas y centros comunitarios en toda la ciudad de Nueva York. Ella ha sido miembro de Meerkat Media Collective desde 2006.

Rachel Isreeli, Center for Family Life

Rachel is a Brooklynite, social worker and cooperative developer at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park. Rachel brings a feminist and trauma lens to the cultivation of worker leadership and anti-exploitative work opportunities through direct work with coops and training community organizations to develop coops in their communities. Rachel has been organizing for over a decade at the intersection of gender, labor and sexuality, including around sex work, gender-based violence, LGBTQ homelessness, transgender migrant workers, and immigrant-led worker cooperatives.

[Español] Rachel es una trabajadora social y cooperativa de Brooklyn en el Centro para la Vida Familiar en Sunset Park. Rachel aporta una perspectiva feminista y de trauma al cultivo del liderazgo de los trabajadores y las oportunidades de trabajo anti-explotación a través del trabajo directo con las cooperativas y la capacitación de organizaciones comunitarias para desarrollar cooperativas en sus comunidades. Rachel se ha estado organizando durante más de una década en la intersección de género, trabajo y sexualidad, incluido el trabajo sexual, la violencia de género, la falta de vivienda LGBTQ, los trabajadores migrantes transgénero y las cooperativas de trabajadores dirigidas por inmigrantes.

Staff

Saduf Syal, Coordinating Director, NYC NoWC

Saduf has worked within various community-based organizations throughout New York City for over a decade as a community organizer, direct service provider, and cooperative developer.   Prior to joining NYC NOWC, she focused on building competent workforce development services that aimed to address the needs of immigrants through integrating workers’ rights and occupational health and safety training, narrowing the gap between communities and other workforce organizations, government agencies, unions, and academic institutions, and finally, through working with community members for the development of worker cooperatives that seek to create quality jobs with living wages.

In her current role at NYC NoWC, she hopes to contribute to building a strong network and movement of worker cooperatives in the city.  Saduf holds a BA from New York University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University where she focused on Latin American, Caribbean and South Asian studies, economic and political development, and global labor issues.  She is Pakistani-American and a strong believer in worker control and workplace democracy.

Tamara Shapiro, Director of Programs

Tamara Shapiro is co-creator of the InterOccupy network, which has facilitated democratic, interactive conference calls that have led to regional and national actions, conferences and multi-city events. Later, Tammy helped initiate Occupy Sandy and now works on two projects that grew out of that network: Rockaway Wildfire, and Worker-Owned Rockaway Cooperatives (WORCs) a worker-owned coop incubation project with residents hit by the hurricane. She also works for the Murphy Institute for Labor Studies.

Pablo Benson-Silva, Director of Membership & Communications

Director of Membership and Communications at the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives, the trade association of worker-owned business in the New York metropolitan area and the local affiliate of the USFWC. Born and raised in San Juan Puerto Rico, he moved to the New York City more than a decade ago. He is also a partner at Movement Netlab, a cooperatively governed think-do-learn tank on network social movements. Since summer 2017, Pablo serves on the Board of Directors of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. He studied Sociology at the University of Puerto Rico and at the New School for Social Research and more than occasionally dabbles in teaching.

Christina Fox, Operations Manager

Christina is an industrial social worker who is passionate about grassroots labor organizing, with a dedication to anti-oppressive practice. She holds an MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work, focused in social enterprise administration, international social welfare, and services to immigrants and refugees. Just before joining NYC NOWC, she collaborated with migrant workers in Queens to form a successful Community Job Center; there she collaborated with workers to create democratic and collective operating structures, as well develop creative strategies and popular education tools to improve wages, health and safety, and job quality in the construction industry.
Christina was born and raised in Southern California and comes from a mixed Dominican/American background; spending much of her youth in the Dominican Republic, she is ultimately “ni de aqui, ni de alla.” She is enthusiastic about joining the NYC NOWC team and excited to put her interest in cooperative economics into practice in the trade association. Christina is a nerd for systems and human resources, and is committed to making sure that the back end of the network is poised to reflect and support the magic of its members, the local cooperative movement, and beyond.”

Officers

Telesh Lopez, Chairperson

Zara Serabian-Arthur, Vice-Chairperson

Jamila Kahn, Treasurer

Saduf Syal, Secretary