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About Us

WE ARE MORE THAN STAFF - WE ARE A TEAM!

 

ILEIA BURGOS - OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Ileia Burgos is a Bronx resident continuing the efforts to have a solidarity economy within the borough, where residents control and create their own wealth in a network of cooperatives.

Ileia began as an education organizer focused on issues affecting young folks in Bronx schools, then joined climate justice campaigns led by residents of a Sandy affected neighborhood in the Rockaways in Queens. Her efforts for economic justice in the Bronx has been motivated by the growing displacement of decades long residents targeted by greedy landlords & developers.

Ileia has been leading organizing workshops and political education with groups fighting for justice on environmental, climate, economic, and gender front-lines across the country. Currently, Ileia organizes as a member of a coalition fighting to protect small businesses on Kingsbridge Road from being harassed and displaced by their landlords.

Ileia began as a hip hop head, nerding out about the histories of the 'hood, and becoming a photographer and visual artist, documenting her life in the Hunt's Point and Mott Haven sections of the South Bronx. 

You can reach Ileia at (718) 617 - 7807 ext. 704, ileia@greenworker.coop


OMAR FREILLA - FOUNDER, COORDINATOR

Omar Freilla has a knack for blazing trails and a passion for community self-determination; personal transformation; and creating solutions to social injustice. He is the founder of Green Worker Cooperatives and creator of the academy model of cooperative development.

Omar has over 13 years of experience in cooperative & green business development with an equal number of years as an organizer challenging environmental racism, classism, and sexism.

  • He was a founding board member of both Sustainable South Bronx and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and founding advisory board member of the Democracy At Work Institute and the Story of Stuff Project.
  • He co-curated the NYC portion of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a project of the Guggenheim Museum.
  • His writings have appeared in numerous books, blogs, and articles and he has been featured in several documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental documentary “The 11th Hour”.
  • Omar has received numerous awards for his work, including the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism and inclusion in various “Power 100” lists published by magazines such as Ebony, Essence, and The Root.
  • He holds a Masters degree in Environmental Science from Miami University of Ohio and a B.S. from Morehouse College where he also founded the organization Black Men for the Eradication of Sexism.

Omar enjoys making things grow as a loving father, husband and gardener - inspiration for his latest project, co-founding The Bronx Unschool School - the Bronx's soon-to-be first democratic free school and parent-teacher cooperative.

You can reach Omar at (718) 617 - 7807 ext. 700, omar@greenworker.coop.


RAFIAH VITALIS - ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

Rafiah Vitalis is a Bronxite that has a long history of work in the nonprofit sector and is profoundly committed to the areas of community development, sustainable solutions and social initiatives.

This dedication has led her to a number of community leadership roles and international partnerships, since she believes in making an impact that results in implementing long lasting, transformative change in underserved communities, by building prosperity for the lives within them.

Previous examples of her work include co-founding “Daughters of the Diaspora” a rites of passage program for African American girls, organizing tutoring and teaching test preparation for continuing education adults at Bronx Community College and recently she became the co-founder and worker-owner of The Bronx-based worker cooperative Diaspora Destinations, a travel planning service for socially conscious and community-based travel experiences throughout the African diaspora. Rafiah was thrilled to lend her expertise and assistance to the Green Worker team and references the quote by Ghandi which states “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Mathematics from Lehman College and holds a M.P.A. from The College of New Rochelle where she received The Nelson Mandela Award.

You can reach Rafiah at (718) 617 - 7807 ext. 703, rafiah@greenworker.coop.


RAYBBLIN VARGAS - COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

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 Worker Cooperative, and is the Co-op Academy Communication Coordinator, while she and her team work on growing Bits and Bites Tech Café.

You can reach Raybblin at (718) 617 - 7807 ext. 701, raybblin@greenworker.coop.


SANJANA KHAN - CO-OP DEVELOPER AND CO-OP TEACHING ASSISTANT

Sanjana Khan joins Green Worker Cooperatives with a love and passion to turn the South Bronx greener and more economically just.
She did most of her undergrad at The Evergreen Sate College, where she studied in the middle of 1000 acres of woods, and was politically and environmentally very active.
Her first co-op experience was with the Olympia Food Co-op, who boycotted all Israeli goods. She worked closely with the BDS movement and worked with PalestineMonitor in San Francisco.
She spend eight months in South Asia working with FIVDB, where she recorded women's literacy rates, and worked with economic empowerment at tea and garment factories, in Bangladesh.
She also worked at Sapna NYC, where she helped incubate the child care cooperative and coordinated programs that empowered South Asian women economically. Born and raised in the Bronx,Sanjana enjoys cooking, traveling, painting and spending time with her family, friends, and her cat, Raja.

You can reach Sanjana at (718) 617 - 7807 ext. 702, sanjana@greenworker.coop.