Russell is an organizer whose insistence on global justice and a livable/healthy planet has… caused his feet to get put down on an array of geographies/journeys. His current journey is to steer Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, which he takes as an honor and an excitement. Among places he’s lived, Russell is most familiar with California, having been raised in its Northern realm, and having earned his degree in its Southern realm, in Los Angeles. Oregon, and its shapes/contours, needs, and populations, are growing in heart-space, inside of him (and, as propulsion/motivation, for doing the work that needs to be done).
Russell worked on trade issues in his days in Occupy Wall Street in New York City, by virtue of: helping to educate ( / raise awareness) around the now-famous Trans-Pacific Partnership. His time in New York was spent in dedication to a few Occupy projects, including climate/eco organizing and immigrant-worker-justice organizing. He represented the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation office of an order of Catholic sisters — the Little Sisters of the Assumption — also at the time, in NYC.
Overwhelmingly, his original influences/training in social and eco justice have come from faith environments, such as the Jesuits’ work “on the margins” and the story of liberationist Catholic perspectives/impacts in Latin America. With this in mind, Russell has been a campus minister at John Carroll University.
More recently, Russell was employed in the field organizing operations of Bernie 2016. In the days of the Bernie movement, you could have found him in northwest Iowa and, later, the northern reaches of the San Francisco Bay Area. Russell believes “all our grievances are connected.” He believes the big, bad forces of economic orthodoxy demand/beg that we join arms, and come from and bring whatever story we have to tell (in our reality of being squeezed by business as usual).
Trade and free-trade agreements are a special occasion for this, and Russell’s delighted to be in coalition work with labor, environmentalists, community groups and more, to win policy to the actual benefit of the rest of us — we who stand on either side of national borders.
Board of Directors
Madelyn Elder – Chief Financial Officer, Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. and formerly, President, CWA Local 7901
Julia DeGraw – formerly, Northwest Senior Organizer, Food & Water Watch
Elizabeth Swager – formerly, National Organizing Director, Citizens Trade Campaign