Snapshot: Pamela Owens

Senior Vice President, Organizational Development and Capacity Building at the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions How did you first get into this work? I kind of fell into it by accident. I had worked at a university for ten years and I had done basically curriculum design. When I was at the very beginning stages of a PhD program and knew I wanted some more experience, the opportunity came up to deveop the Community Development Credit Union Training Institute which was to help CDCUs. It was supposed to be two years, it’s turned into eighteen. But it’s been a good eighteen years. This was the opportunity to work specifically with adults who were all experts but needed to fine-tune their skills, so I love that idea. What does ‘Solidarity Economy’ mean to you? It’s kind of a tricky question because I look at everything through the lens of community development. I would love to see, in an ideal world, all the cooperatives come together and work together promoting engagement, sustainability, independence, asset development in a way that doesn’t depend […]

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Snapshot: Alicia Portada

Director of Communications and Community Engagement at the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union How did you first get into this work? 12 years ago, I was a new immigrant looking for jobs but I lacked referrals and job history since they were all in Peru. I decided to try the AmeriCorps Program to build my network from scratch. The opportunity was to be a volunteer in a small credit union in East Harlem and what attracted me to it was the cooperative model. My dad always talked, very proudly, about his cooperative in Peru, his participation in it, and how they helped him in times of need. I volunteered through AmeriCorps for one year and after that, the CEO offered me a new position in marketing. I remember that as soon as I started I had a lot of things to do, and there were always more things to be done ASAP, and that never changed. I took that as a sign that this was the place where I belonged. What does ‘Solidarity Economy’ mean to you? It […]

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