Photo of Gregory Jackson

Gregory Jackson

  • Hosted by The Sustainable Economies Law Center
  • Sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Service location Oakland, California
  • Law school Golden Gate State University School of Law
  • Issue area Community Economic Development/Microfinance and Related Transactional Legal Projects
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Educate, organize, and empower low income Black youth in the Bay Area to launch cooperative (“co-op”) enterprises for sustainable economic security through shared ownership and control of housing and businesses.

Oakland and San Francisco, once thriving Black communities, have witnessed mass exoduses in the past two decades. Between 2000 and 2014, approximately 44,000 black residents were displaced from Oakland and approximately 22,000 from San Francisco. With an unemployment rate of 14.8 percent and a poverty rate of 22 percent, most Black households do not come close to the $83,018 required for a family of four to live in the Bay Area. Limited access to capital compounds the problem. In California, Black youth between the ages of 16-19 have an unemployment rate of 25.9 percent and, except for Native Americans, Black men continue to have the highest unemployment rate at every age. Although the Bay Area has a high concentration of co-ops, co-ops have largely been viewed as enterprises for the white middle class, and Black communities have yet to realize their valuable benefits.

The Right Person For This Project

Gregory is the right person for the project because:

  • He is an Oakland Native, rooted in the community
  • A majority of his law school career was spent researching cooperative development and community land trusts
  • As an intern, he piloted a cooperative development program in a local high school
  • Family businesses gave him an understanding of what obstacles low-income entrepreneurs face
  • He is driven to correct economic injustices born from the profit motive found in slavery and colonialism
  • Ultimately, he aims to transmute economic relationships by re-directing capital and legal assistance for cooperative development and collective ownership

Fellowship Plans

In the first six months, Gregory will:

  • Host workshops and trainings to educate the community on tax, employment, securities, and corporations law regarding co-ops
  • Begin book clubs to offer interested community members a space to learn cooperative principles at their own pace
  • Provide legal services to the community at bi-monthly legal clinics
  • Develop connections with, and provide legal assistance to, groups interested or engaged in cooperative development

Meet Other Fellows Like Gregory

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Photo of Gregory Kimble

Gregory Kimble

Host: Pro Bono Partnership

Sponsor: Hogan Lovells LLP

Current Fellow

Kelsey Ripper

Host: Lawyers Alliance for New York

Sponsor: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP