Kate is a co-founder and worker-owner of Red Emma’s, a cooperatively-owned restaurant and bookstore in Baltimore that helped to catalyze a city-wide ecosystem of worker-owned businesses over the last decade. In 2015, she helped to found the Seed Commons cooperative and its Baltimore peer, the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy, and in 2018, became co-director of the Seed Commons network, with Brendan Martin. She currently serves as BRED’s Executive Director and a member of the staff collective. She received her PhD from The Johns Hopkins University, her MPhil and MA from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and her BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Bolton Hill with her partner, her son, a border collie, and three bad cats.
Website/Social Media Coordinator
Originally from Colorado, Nia (they/them) has lived in Baltimore since 2005. BRED has been a part of their life since 2017 and they are also a worker-owner of Red Emma’s. Red Emma’s is a cooperatively-owned bookstore, coffee house, and restaurant located in Baltimore Maryland. Through both types of work they hope to provide spaces where statistically marginalized groups of people can feel safe, be seen, and grow through the resources provided by both businesses. Nia does side work as a muralist and a custom art maker, centering her art around wild and domesticated animals, queerness, and nature. They are a graduate of University of Maryland Baltimore County and currently live in Seton Hill with their daughter and their rescue animals.
Ro is a founding member and currently works as a part-time Project Officer for Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy. Their love for co-ops started at Guilford College where they were a student member of The Greenleaf Coffee Cooperative (shout out!) for 4 years. After this they landed their dream job at Red Emma’s Coffeehouse & Bookstore and was a worker-owner there from 2014-2018. During this time they helped to convene BRED and transitioned into working full-time as Managing Director in 2018. Now they are a full-time parent and a part time co-operator!
Emily is a co-founder and worker-owner at Mera Kitchen Collective, a cooperative built for and by refugees and immigrants in Baltimore, serving story-worthy food from our newest neighbors. Mera focuses on the empowerment of newcomers through food entrepreneurship, hosting pop-ups and catering events throughout Baltimore and DC. Before moving to Baltimore, Emily spent 7 years with Doctors Without Borders, engaged in field operations throughout Central and East Africa and Southern Asia. She received her Masters in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and her Masters in Accounting from the University of Colorado. Emily intended on her stay in Baltimore to be a short one, but that quickly changed as the city became her favorite place to live.
Joyell Arvella, J.D.
Joyell Arvella, J.D. (she/her) is a multicultural cis-woman, raced as Black, who grew up in the United States and Europe. As a womanist, Joyell centers the experiences of Black and Brown women and femmes throughout her lectures, workshops, and writings. By focusing on how our layered identities shape how society interacts with us, she believes we can address every barrier rooted in oppression (i.e., racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, mental capacity, etc.). Joyell will explore these concepts during her creative residency in Oaxaca, Mexico Summer 2020. Joyell’s professional background is in education, reproductive justice, international civil and human rights law, race and equity, transitional justice. She has worked with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Stanford University, government agencies, nonprofits, and public schools in the United States and abroad to disrupt rape culture, terrorism, and state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown people. Joyell has more than 12 years experience in racial and gender justice. Additionally, she serves as a board member for FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture in Baltimore, Maryland.
Intake & Conversions Officer
Joseph Cureton is the Intake and conversions officer at the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy. Joseph works to bring new worker enterprises to life within the cooperative sector. He is a founding member of The Staffing Co-op (the first worker-owned cooperative holding company), Core Staffing, Bmore Black Techies, and Tribe Works. All projects that fight to overcome the challenges faced by modern workers. He lives in Baltimore City and is a software engineer and classically trained Chef.
Jim has worked in small businesses and micro-enterprises for over forty years, and has spent over twenty of those years working with and for worker co-ops and other types of co-ops. From 1999 thru 2009 he served at a DC-area worker co-op as a software engineer, worker-owner, and co-facilitator of its conversion from a conventional enterprise. He’s been a full-time free-lance co-op developer since 2009, actively providing technical assistance to worker co-ops, start-ups, and conventional businesses exploring conversion to worker-ownership. Jim is also a co-founder of the Democracy at Work Network, the technical assistance service of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives from 2011 thru 2018, and supported DAWN as a Peer Advisor and Governor.