From Cells to Liberation: Could Cooperatives Controlled by Incarcerated Persons Be Part of an Abolitionist Strategy? (MCLE).

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This MCLE examines how cooperatives led by incarcerated individuals can serve as a transformative abolitionist strategy. The workshop will delve into the California Prison Industry Authority's (CALPIA) Joint Venture Program, as well as efforts to draft legislation supportive of these cooperatives. We will also examine case studies and examples from around the world of models of incarcerated-led  cooperatives, illustrating their effectiveness in societal benefits, and reduced recidivism. The panel will include Kelton O'Connor from Earth Equity, currently imprisoned in San Quentin, who will highlight the work being done to create cooperatives at San Quentin and the critical intersection of law, economic empowerment, and social justice.

If you need Spanish Language interpretation, please email Hope ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

If the ticket pricing is a barrier to entry, email hasmik [@] to be added to the RSVP list.

This activity has been approved for 1 MCLE credit by the California Bar.


Hasmik Geghamyam
Hasmik presenter photo
Hasmik Geghamyan has joined the Sustainable Economies Law Center as a Staff Attorney, deepening her relationship with the organization where she has been a fellow since 2014 and the Board's Secretary since 2020. An interdisciplinary and community-focused lawyer, Hasmik's practice areas include democratic transitions of land into various models of community ownership, general labor law compliance, and services tailored to cooperatives, small democratically-led businesses, and nonprofits. She believes that a cross-functional model of activism, policy, organizing, and law, led by frontline communities, can be effectively used to bring about a just and ecological society.

Kelton O'Connor
Kelton O'Connor presenter photo
Kelton O’Connor is an incarcerated person who writes about the modern day asylum, the friends he has made in these places, and a range of public policy issues. He is a co-founder of Earth Equity, Ambassador of Food Policy for The People In Blue (T-PIB), and the creator of the Diabetes Justice Workshop curriculum – a course designed to help incarcerated people explore links between healing foods and healing the planet. He is also the author of the Right 2 Heal (R2H) Strategy, a food justice proposal he was invited to submit as part of T-PIB’s advisory report to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s current prison reform project.

Ricardo Nuñez

Ricardo Nuñez presenter photo
Ricardo Samir Nuñez is a worker cooperative ecosystem development specialist supporting cultural practices, policies, organizations, and systemic changes that allow communities to build beyond the interlocking systems of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. He is currently the Director of Economic Democracy and a Staff Attorney at the Sustainable Economies Law Center where he collaborates on educational programs, legal services, policy advocacy, and regional and national ecosystem development to restore human labor to right relationship with people and the planet. He is board president of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and an at-large board member at the California Center for Cooperative Development and the Southern California Focus on Cooperation. He also became a lawyer without going to law school through California’s Law Office Study Program!

Veryl Pow
Veryl Pow presenter photo

Veryl aspires to be, in the words of Joy James, a “guerrilla” teacher and scholar. Veryl’s politics developed from his grassroots organizing experiences in Seattle around Palestine and Third World solidarity, abolition, and anti-austerity campaigns; and refined through his rebellious lawyering experiences in South Los Angeles around traffic court debt. As a teacher of law, Veryl challenges his students to critique black letter legal doctrines in their origins and material outcomes, while simultaneously reimagine and repurpose the law towards collective liberation. His scholarly musings center on racial capitalism, critical race theory, and destituent power.

A lawyer by training, Veryl’s conception of movement lawyering has been inspired by his tenure in Baltimore, where grassroots community members have creatively and resiliently built urban farms, cooperatives, and community land trusts in response to neoliberal conditions of disinvestment, immiseration, and death.



The Future of Work: Nourishing Life Giving Labor Sponsors

The Future of Work Sponsors

May 23, 2024 at 10:00am - 11:30am PDT
Ricardo Nuñez
Itzel Nuno Hasmik Geghamyan Deborah Denne' Em Piro

Will you come?

$75.00 Ticket for MCLE Credit (for California Lawyers)
$5.00 Ticket for non-lawyers or lawyers making less than $30k a year

Showing 5 reactions

  • Itzel Nuno
    rsvped 2024-05-20 20:04:29 -0700
  • Hasmik Geghamyan
    rsvped 2024-05-20 13:48:02 -0700
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    rsvped 2024-05-20 13:46:02 -0700
  • Em Piro
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  • Mwende Hinojosa
    published this page in The Future Of Work Events Calendar 2024-04-19 07:20:29 -0700

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