Here is a presentation of the speakers who will participate in the events of the “From the Ground Up” conference in April 2019.

Lorena Zarate, Habitat International Coalition (Mexico)

Lorena Zarate is the Président of the HIC, a global and independent network for rights related to habitat. Lorena Zarate will speak about community-led housing justice in Latin America and the Right to the City as an international movement.

Saki Hall, Founding Member of Cooperation Jackson (Jackson, Mississippi, US)

Saki Hall is one of the founding members of the Cooperation Jackson, an African-American led organization promoting economic democracy, community ownership, and ecology through a network of cooperatives and citizen assemblies.

Emily Kawano, US Solidarity Economy Network

Emily Kawano is a founder of the US Solidarity Economy Network. She served on the RIPESS (the Intercontinental Social Solidarity Economy Network) board for eight years, and co-directs Wellspring Cooperative. She has a PhD in economics from UMass, Amherst where she joined the Center for Popular Economics and served as director for nine years.

Stéphan Corriveau, Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation

Stéphan Corriveau has a long history as an activist in international solidarity and social development. He is the Director General of the Quebec federation of non-profit housing organizations (RQOH), with 1.200 member groups, which collectively provide 50.000 housing units.

Athena Bernkopf, East Harlem-El Barrio Community Land Trust (NYC, USA)

Athena Bernkopf is a cross-pollinator flexing at the intersections of healing justice, land sovereignty, and black and queer liberation. They work in tenant rights and anti-displacement advocate at the Legal Aid Society and as a project coordinator at the East Harlem-El Barrio Community Land Trust.

Joshua Barndt, Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust
(Toronto, Canada)

Joshua Barndt is the Executive Director of Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, a community-based non-profit organisation that acquires land for economic development and social housing. He will talk about the major advances and innovations in the community land trust movement in Canada.

Thom Armstrong (CHF BC, BC CLT)
(Vancouver, Canada)

Thom Armstrong is the executive director of The Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia (CHF BC) and the British Columbia Community Land Trust (BC CLT) which are currently constructing 2000 units of housing on land donated by the City of Vancouver.

Yvon Poirier, Réseau canadien de développement économique communautaire (Quebec city)

Yvon Poirier is a board member of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) and of the international social and solidarity network RIPESS. He is an important representative of the social and solidarity economy in Quebec, including at an international level.

Nakuset, Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal

Nakuset is the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. She was featured in Real Talk on Race, the award winning CBC series. She will be discussing forced displacement and Indigenous-led solutions to support and empower Indigenous people, particularly with the Cabot Square Project and the Native Women’s Shelter’s project to develop housing for indigenous women and children.

Jean-Pierre Racette (SHAPEM, East End of Montreal) and Louis Beriau (Inter-loge, Centre-Sud, Montreal)

Jean-Pierre Racette is the Director of the Société d’habitation populaire de l’Est de Montréal (SHAPEM) and Louis Bériau is the co-founder of Inter-Loge, two social economy organizations an organization that develop community housing while prioritizing social diversity, combating poverty, and social exclusion. Jean-Pierre and Louis will present how their two organizations succeed in making alliances and acquiring more than 2500 housing units, with the objective of removing them from the speculative market and turning them into collective property.