Jessica is Associate Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, of the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City, USA. She is an Affiliate Scholar at Howard University’s Center on Race and Wealth (Washington, DC) and at the Centre for the Study of Cooperatives (University of Saskatchewan).
Dr. Gordon Nembhard is a political economist specializing in community economic development and economic justice, particularly cooperative economic development and worker ownership. Other areas of expertise include Black political economy, racial wealth inequality, and popular economic literacy. She is completing a book on the history of African American cooperatives called Collective Courage.
She is a member of the board of directors of Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE) DC, the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE), Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) Newsletter, the CEJJES Institute, and the National Economic Association. She is a co-founder of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network; the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy; and the Democracy Collaborative. In addition, she is a charter member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives; and a member of The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund.
Dr. Gordon Nembhard is a visiting scholar at the Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. She received 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. Previously, she was 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 (Washington, DC). She completed a year as a visiting scholar in the Economics Department’s Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University (2008-9), and was Master Teacher (July 2007 and 2009) and developer of the Center’s Summer Institute for Research on Race and Wealth. She is the recipient of a Henry C. Welcome Fellowship Grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (2001-2004). Dr. Gordon Nembhard was a Visiting Scholar and Senior Urban Fellow at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform from June 1998-June 2000. She began her appointment to the Black Enterprise Board of Economists in October 1999.
Jessica Gordon Nembhard earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1992 and 1989, respectively). She earned her 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). She is the proud mother of two children (Stephen and Susan) and one grandson (Stephon).