Posted on 10/21/13
Board BiographiesHarriet Applegate, Executive Secretary, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor Harriet Applegate is the first woman to serve as executive secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor, which represents the needs of workers in Northeast Ohio. Harriet brings to her job a passion for educating rank-and-file members on common sense economics and for involving working people in politics and policy. She is committed to advocating for fairer trade, a renewable jobs economy, and high standards for Ohio's workers. She is working on strengthening the labor movement's political infrastructure, involving union members in the policy process, and continuing to build a vibrant, diverse labor movement. Harriet, a graduate of the University of Rochester, has a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati. She lives in Cleveland Heights, has two grown sons, and is the proud grandmother of Ian Sequoia Thompson Applegate. Stephen Crowley, Professor, Oberlin College (on leave) Stephen Crowley is Professor of Politics at Oberlin College, where he also chairs the program in Peace and Conflict Studies. His research has focused on labor politics in post-communist Russia and Eastern Europe, examining the challenges unions in the region face from the institutional and ideological legacies of communism on the one hand, and from international institutions and global capitalism on the other. His teaching focuses on Russia and Eastern Europe, peace & conflict studies, revolutions, and globalization. He received his B.A. from Hamilton College and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In addition to books, his articles have appeared in World Politics, Politics & Society, Eastern European Politics and Societies, Post-Soviet Affairs, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and Demokratizatsiya.
Susan Helper, Professor, Case Western Reserve University (currently on leave from board) Susan Helper is the chief economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce, on leave from her position as AT&T Professor and chair of the Department of Economics at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to her appointment at Commerce, Susan spent a year as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisors, an agency within the U.S. president's office. Susan's research has focused on the impact of collaborative relationships between suppliers and customers and management and labor; she has studied how globalization of supply chains affects development and innovation in the US, Mexico, and India. Susan has published in journals such as American Economic Review, Sloan Management Review, and Journal of Economics and Management Strategy. She has a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a BA from Oberlin College. In 2005-06 she was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Oxford.Yvonne C. Freeman, Project Manager, Ohio Urban Resource Center, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies. Yvonne C. Freeman is former executive director of the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County, an association of human service organizations dedicated to working collaboratively to improve the quality of human services by advocating for the needs of their clients and impacting public policy. As the former Youth Development Policy Associate for Voices for Ohio ’s Children, Yvonne has more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit administrative and direct services. Her work includes research, coalition building and testimony for legislation regarding juvenile justice and youth development focus areas. Yvonne was instrumental in the research and analysis of key juvenile justice provisions featured in HB 235 in 2009 and later included in the passage of HB 86 in 2012. Yvonne remains committed to her work on youth development matters ranging from child welfare and youth aging out of the foster care system to eliminating the overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. Yvonne serves on the Governor’s Council for Juvenile Justice. She is the former First Vice-President of the Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections. Her advocacy priorities have afforded her a significant role as trainer and policy facilitator for the MyCom youth development initiative of Cuyahoga County, the Ohio Afterschool Network of Central Ohio, the National Child Study, the Ohio Juvenile Justice Alliance, Juvenile Justice Coalition and guest lecturer at Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University-Schubert Center for Child Studies. Yvonne is a graduate of the Cleveland Leadership Center-Bridge Builders program; an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and a graduate of Wilberforce University. She lives in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and has one son, Chris, a student at Kentucky State University. Bakari Kitwana, Author Bakari Kitwana is co-founder of the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention and the author of The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture (Basic Books, 2002). The former executive editor of The Source, Kitwana’s writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Savoy, The Nation, the Village Voice, Black Book and other publications. Bakaria also writes a column on hip-hop and youth culture called "Do the Knowledge" for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and is a consultant on hip-hop for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The author of The Rap on Gangsta Rap (Third World Press, 1994), he's been a visiting scholar in the political science department at Kent State University and has lectured on hip-hop at colleges and universities across the country for the last decade, including Harvard University, New York University, Columbia University and Stanford University. His new book Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes and the New Reality of Race in America (Basic Books, June 2005) is about race and hip-hop culture. Bakari holds Master's degrees in English and Education from the University of Rochester. Kamla Lewis, Director of Neighborhood Revitalization, Shaker Heights, Ohio Kamla Lewis has worked for the city of Shaker Heights since 2001. She has also worked for the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, for the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, for a city and food bank in California, and for the United Nations, working in Jamaica where she grew up. Kamla serves as co-chair of the First Suburbs Consortium housing committee and as a member of the vacant and abandoned properties action committee. She has a BA from Princeton and a graduate diploma from Cambridge University in England. Kirk Noden, Director, Ohio Organizing Collaborative Kirk Noden is veteran community organizer who has successfully built community organizations in Chicago, Birmingham England, and Ohio. Kirk currently directs the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a statewide alliance of 14 labor, community, and faith groups across the state. Kirk also founded the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, a broad based multi issue organization working on issues of racial and economic justice in Northeast Ohio since 2007. Kirk serves as a Community Affiliate of the Center for Working Class Studies at Youngstown State University. In his fourteen years as an organizer, he’s led campaigns on a variety of issues such as living wage, vacant properties, education reform, immigrant rights, and health equity. He’s the grandson of a New Castle steelworker and a Westinghouse factory union steward and was born and raised in Ohio and now lives in the city of Kent, Ohio with his wife Rosi and two boys Roberto and Emiliano. Earl Pike, nonprofit consultant Earl Pike has been a nonprofit leader for the last 25 years. After serving 13 years as the CEO at the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, Ohio’s oldest HIV/AIDS service, prevention, and advocacy organization, he is now a nonprofit consultant. He is currently conducting a national assessment project for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the sustainability of HIV/AIDS organizations in the United States. Earl has served as adjunct faculty and guest lecturer at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, CWRU Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, John Carroll University, Baldwin-Wallace College, and Cleveland State University. Earl is co-author of the 2009 volume, Case Studies in Ethics and HIV Research, reviewed in the Journal of the American Medical Association as an essential contribution to the field. He is also widely published in fiction and poetry, Earl has received many awards for his social justice work and writing. In social justice: the 2011 Eleanor Gerson Award for Social Justice Leadership, from Community Shares of Greater Cleveland; a 2009 Upstander Award from Facing History, Facing Ourselves, for a commitment to social equality and human rights; and the 2008 Homer Wadsworth Award from The Cleveland Foundation, given to a single northeast Ohio individual annually who embodies courage and conviction in innovative leadership; and in writing: the Washington Prize for Fiction; the Tamarack Award (Fiction); the Anna B. Janzen Poetry Award; the Giralt Short Fiction Award; and a Hackney Literary Award. Jeff Rechenbach, Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus, Communications Workers of America Jeff Rechenbach directed CWA’s political and legislative programs, and under his leadership, the union played leading policy roles in Virginia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Indiana, Louisiana and Mississippi. He works to advance the issues most important to working families