Danielle LeBlanc: Co-op Developer
Danielle LeBlanc is invested in promoting financial inclusion, entrepreneurship and community development. Currently, she consults with small businesses, start-ups and nonprofits on such matters as marketing and proposal development. She worked at the microfinance nonprofit, Grameen America for 4 years as a fundraiser and project manager. Danielle’s first encounter with microfinance was when she did an analysis of microfinance provision in the Philippines for Catholic Relief Services. At LISC, Ms. LeBlanc provided capital loans to nonprofit organizations. She also managed a grant program for capacity building and capital projects while at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.
Ms. LeBlanc has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University. She is a 2010 Leadership Newark Fellow. Danielle was deployed as a Red Cross volunteer to Gulfport, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and served as a volunteer disaster responder for four years.
Ysanet Batista: Co-op Academy Teaching Assistant
Ysanet Batista is a queer Afro-Dominican chef, farmer, community organizer, writer, and educator born in NYC and raised in between the Dominican Republic and Florida.
She graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and spent a couple of years working in major hotel companies before transitioning to community-based work.
Today, she lives and works in NYC as the chef and worker-owner of Woke Foods, a women-owned cooperative that taps into the healing traditions of Dominican food. Ysanet is currently earning a certificate in Urban Agriculture at Farm School NYC.
Zahra Chevannes - Development Coordinator
Zahra is a Caribbean, Brooklyn-born, Bronx resident committed to serving Black, brown, immigrant and queer communities in NYC.
Before joining Green Worker Cooperatives, Zahra worked in development at the Community Development Project (2016-2018) and served as a Peace Corps Education Volunteer in rural China (2014-2016).
Zahra believes in the power of community, collectivity and cooperative economics, and takes a unique, holistic approach to development and fundraising in the nonprofit sector. While interning at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Zahra explored the intersections of Diasporic art, fundraising, advocacy and visual dialogue.
She is currently a member of Black Youth Project 100 planning and organizing for the liberation for Black people. Zahra practices healing and self-care by drinking tea, walking and carving out space for yoga. She graduated from Cornell University in 2013 with a degree in psychology and art history.
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 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.
You can reach Ileia at (718) 617 - 7807 ext. 704, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com.
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.
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.