CEJJES Trustee - Professor Jessica Gordon Nembhard
I am an Associate Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of African American Studies at John Jay College, of the City University of New York (CUNY). I recently completed a year as a visiting scholar in the Economics Department's Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University, and was Master Teacher (July 2007 and 2009) at the Center's Summer Institute for Research on Race and Wealth. I also was a visiting scholar at the Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada (academic year 2008-09), and a research affiliate for that Centre's "Linking, Leverage, Learning: Social Enterprises, Knowledgeable Economies and Sustainable Communities" project.
I also am a political economist specializing in economic development policy, Black political economy, popular economic literacy, and community justice. My research has focused on community- and asset- based economic development and democratic community economics; cooperative economics and worker ownership; alternative urban economic and youth educational development strategies; and racial and economic wealth inequality and wealth accumulation in communities of color. Future research and policy analyses will connect community-based economic development, asset building, and economic justice strategies with community-based approaches to justice.
I was previously Assistant Professor of African American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park; Research Director of the Preamble Center (Washington, DC); Senior Economist at the Institute for Urban Research, Morgan State University; and Acting Deputy Director and Economic Development Analyst for the Black Community Crusade for Children at the Children's Defense Fund. I am the recipient of a Henry C. Welcome Fellowship Grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (2001-2004), and a 2008 USDA grant on the economic impact of cooperatives distributed through the University of Wisconsin's Center for Cooperatives, to study wealth accumulation through cooperative ownership. I was a Visiting Scholar and Senior Urban Fellow at Brown University's Annenberg Institute for School Reform from June 1998-June 2000. I was Treasurer of the National Economic Association (NEA) from 2001-2008, and continue as a member of the board of directors of the NEA. In addition, I am a board member of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In addition I began my appointment to the Black Enterprise Board of Economists in October 1999.
My community work is as follows: a co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, College Park; the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network; and the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy. In addition, I was a founding member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Currently, I am a member of Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) Newsletter Collective (of the Ecological Democracy Institute of North America), The Association of Cooperative Educators, the Canadian Association for the Study of Cooperatives, The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, CEJJES Institute, and Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE) DC.
I earned both a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1992 and 1989, respectively). I earned my B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in Literature and African American Studies from Yale University (1978); and an M.A.T. in Elementary Curriculum and Teaching from Howard University (1982).
My recent publications include Wealth Accumulation and Communities of Color in the US: Current Issues (University of Michigan Press 2006, co-edited with Ngina Chiteji); "Theorizing and Practicing Democratic Community Economics: Engaged Scholarship, Economic Justice, and the Academy" (In Engaging Contradictions: Theory, Politics and Methods of Activist Scholarship, University of California Press, 2008); "Growing Transformative Businesses: Community-Based Economic Development" (in the Solidarity Economy proceedings published by ChangeMaker Publications 2008). In addition, I am the author of "Cooperatives and Wealth Accumulation" in the American Economic Review; "Non Traditional Analyses of Cooperative Economic Impacts," in the Review of International Co-operation; "Cooperative Ownership in the Struggle for African American Economic Empowerment" in Humanity & Society; "Alternative Economics, a Missing Component in the African American Studies Curriculum" (in a special issue co-edited by Gordon Nembhard and Mathew Forstater of the Journal of Black Studies, May 2008);and "Educating Black Youth for Economic Empowerment: Democratic Economic Participation and School Reform Practices and Policies" (in Handbook of African American Education, Sage 2008). My current work is completing a manuscript on the history of African American cooperative businesses.
My greatest accomplishment is being the proud mother of two children (Stephen and Susan), and a grandmother to Stephon.