Njuguna Gishuru, Lab Leader for People’s Economy Lab, is a Seattle-based community economic development leader who specializes in advancing economic models that shift power to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. He is passionately committed to building thriving communities by ending systems of white supremacy and the extractive economy. Njuguna drives transformative change by supporting the development of initiatives, institutions, and individuals that are leading the just transition to a regenerative economy. He is deeply committed to the legacy of leadership he has inherited from his parents, Njambi & Peter Gishuru, pioneering organizers in Seattle’s African immigrant communities. Njuguna currently serves as a Director on the Boards of Urban Family, Nehemiah Initiative, African Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce, and One Vibe Africa.


Shereese Rhodes is a member of the Poverty Reduction Work Group Steering Committee, a HeadStart/ECEAP Parent Ambassador, a member of United Parent Leaders Action Network, coordinator for South King County Discipline Coalition, Community & Family Resiliency Lead for Supporting Partnerships for Education and Beyond, and a facilitator at the Community Café Collaborative. She is a survivor, a parent, and a dedicated community leader who works to ensure that the people who come behind her will live in a more just world and have the opportunity to be the writers of their own stories.


Ben Yisrael is an artist, writer, and awarded performance poet. He is a founder and curator at Alchemy Poetry Series in Seattle. Ben is also an organizer and community builder who earned a PhD in political science from Texas A&M University. In Seattle and King County, he works on a number of issues ranging from health equity, drug policy, food justice, and city planning, and serves as Healthy King County Coalition Coordinator.

Check out his published poetry collection, A Gorgeous New Language.