Stacey Cordeiro is a grassroots organizer and technical assistance provider for groups of people forming cooperative businesses. She subscribes to the principles articulated by Cooperation Works! that cooperatives must both be market-driven and member-led. To that end, she guides groups of cooperators through a development process that uses popular education methods to draw on the knowledge and experience of the members; includes team building and leadership development to build personal and collective power; and translates complex business and economic concepts into plain language so that co-op members can be responsible and savvy entrepreneurs.
Since earning a Masters’ Degree from MIT in Community Economic Development in 2000, Stacey has worked as an organizer and consultant for co-op development organizations such as Cooperative Economics for Women, the Cooperative Development Institute, and the Vermont Center for Employee Ownership. In addition, she has several years of experience working in the day to day management of small businesses, including financial management, sales & marketing, and personnel management. Consulting with a wide variety of worker, consumer, and producer owned cooperatives throughout New England, she has had the pleasure of learning about many different industries, including restaurants & catering, garment manufacturing, coin operated laundries, grocery co-ops, housing co-ops, home and office cleaning, value-added manufacturing, weatherization, and biofuels processing. With a deep commitment to social and economic justice, much of Stacey’s experience as a Co-op Organizer has been in support of workers with barriers to employment, including women, youth, immigrants, and former prisoners. She has worked on co-op development projects with immigrant groups from Eritrea, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Haiti, El Salvador, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, as well as US-born cooperators in both urban and rural settings.
Aisha Shillingford is the former Director of Organizing for the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative at the New Economy Coalition, where she worked to develop a shared race and class analysis of the new economy and to build collective power among communities of color and low-wealth communities engaging in restorative economy work. Early on Aisha was conscientized on systems change work by her parents and gained her first formal community organizing experiences on the small island of Trinidad where she learned first hand the importance of facilitating the empowerment of community members in developing priorities for action that impacts their wellbeing.
An immigrant to the United States, Aisha earned her BA in Environmental Analysis and Policy from Boston University in 2002, and her Masters in Social Work in Community Organizing from Boston College in 2009. She recently completed her MBA in Social Entrepreneurship at Simmons College where she was a co-chair of the first annual Gender, Justice and Social Entrepreneurship Conference. She has worked extensively within Boston’s communities and teaches Field Education at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. In her free time Aisha does 3-D collages with found objects, makes short films, cultivates a small garden, and rides her bike to far away places.