For Samamkaya, our embracing of yoga therapy extends to more than just how we teach yoga but also to how we run our organization. Yoga Therapeutics means approaching yoga as a method, a tool, and a philosophy to heal. Running a therapeutics business encourages us to consider more than just yoga itself, but how we are going to survive economically while maintaining the integrity of an organization that prioritizes healing. Business entities are increasingly becoming the sole drivers of social progress, or social regression, depending upon the company in question. The decisions that they make can be as influential or more than government policies. Given this situation, it is imperative to our studio that we create an organization which makes a positive social impact and is legally committed to do so as a worker cooperative. Many of our teachers have been involved with or observed similarly intended mind-body wellness businesses that struggle, either because they lose sight of their own healing identity when they adopt mainstream business principles, or they fail to find a way to adequately thrive in […]

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CEANYC Joins the Healthy Food Financing Initiative!

CEANYC is excited to join the American Heart Association and other organizations in the fight for healthy food access in New York. As food cooperatives, community gardens, CSA programs, and other solidarity economy groups, we know that access to healthy food can revitalize local economies, create jobs, and improve the health of New Yorkers. This is why we are partnering with folks that want to expand financing to help local food retail thrive! We are calling on Mayor Bill De Blasio to fund: $15 million to help New Yorkers afford fresh fruits and vegetables by expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) incentives such as Health Bucks; $10 million to create a Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) to help local food retail to open, expand, and improve in neighborhoods that need food and jobs the most; and $3 million to expand healthy corner store initiatives so that existing corner stores can offer healthier food options to their customers. How can CEANYC members support? As the Mayor and City Council decide on the city budget for the coming year, we are encouraging our members to ask them to include funding to ensure every family has access to the foods that help support a balanced diet and a healthier life. Call […]

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CLI Cohort 2018

  Ali Soofi Currently pursuing his bachelors degree in Environmental Science, Ali is an aspiring ecologist and conservation researcher. With experience managing both the Black Seed Farmers Market and the Regional Environmental Council’s Mobile Farmers Market in Worcester, Massachusetts, Ali hopes to engage and encourage the community to create healthy, food secure communities. When Ali isn’t on his bicycle, pedicab or skateboard, he can be found in one of the many urban community and school gardens planting seeds and giving lessons in garden education. WooRides is an opportunity for him to not only engage with the community at large outside of the garden, but to also show the community what a fair, just, and equitable workplace can look like.       Ashleigh Eubanks Ashleigh is currently the Food Justice Organizer at NEBHDCo in Bed-Stuy for their Communities for Healthy Food Initiative, a holistic food justice program. Ashleigh has been engaged in social change work for nearly a decade and believes that food and land sovereignty are core values to all movement and organizing work. She also serves as co-chair of […]

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Snapshot: Samira Rajan

CEO, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union How did you get into this work? I had been interested in issues around the distribution of wealth since undergrad when I studied economics. It seemed that the banking system, given the ability of banks to determine where investment flows, had a central role in determining that distribution. After undergrad I worked at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, thinking that helping to determine banking regulation would be a good path towards ensuring more equitable banking policy. While I was in graduate school, however, my advisor suggested that spending some time in banking at the street level would be quite useful in seeing what truly affects economic growth. So after I graduated, I volunteered at a start-up credit union not far from my home in Queens, New York. I ended up being an Americorp*VISTA and thought I would be there no more than a year, and then return to policy and regulation. But I ended up loving it!  First, as a start-up business, you have to do everything, wear all hats, and that […]

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Snapshot: Ysanet Batista

Worker-Owner of Woke Foods Co-op Academy Teaching Assistant at Green Worker Cooperatives How did you get into this work? In 2015 I moved back to NYC after working in my home country of the Dominican Republic. I returned to NYC to work in education and was an AmeriCorps volunteer but after experiencing different challenges with the nonprofit I was placed in, I decided to leave. Some of the challenges I faced where lack of “diversity” or openness to talk about racial dynamics, not being paid enough, which affected my mental and physical health. I decided to start Woke Foods days after leaving the nonprofit as a way to make money and support my livelihood. Simultaneously, I was exploring ways to heal my mind and body with food & herbs, immersing myself in urban agriculture and food sovereignty, organizing with friends and facilitating workshops centering racial equity. Given where I was in my life I wanted to create a project or be in space that was prioritizing racial and gender equity, economic justice, and food sovereignty. A few months later, I […]

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