Staff

Roseann (Rose) Cohen
Roseann (Rose) CohenExecutive Director of CAN
Rose is the Executive Director of the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and a passionate advocate for amplifying the voices of youth and women to lead grassroots social change. At CAN, Rose engages in participatory community-based learning and action, and establishing strategic partnerships to further agroecology and food sovereignty at the intersection of gender justice, alternative economies and immigration. She is a bicultural, bilingual Latina and daughter of Colombian immigrants. Her doctoral research in Colombia focused on campesino and indigenous land claims under conditions of insecure land tenure, forced displacement and violence. This experience shaped her decision to work at an organization committed to co-creating knowledge with small farmers, migrant communities and the people most deeply connected to soil, land, plants, animals and growing food. Rose holds a Ph.D. from the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a specialization in Latin American and Latino Studies. Rose was a fellow at the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University, and serves as a Research Associate at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at the University of California, and the Agroecology Livelihoods Collaborative at the University of Vermont.
Carmen J. Cortez
Carmen J. CortezAssociate Director of CAN
Carmen is the Associate Director of CAN and is driven by her deep commitment to community processes of exchange, food sovereignty, and the connection of land, culture, and community self-governance. Through her involvement in research, community organizing and teaching, Carmen has developed extensive collaborations with farmers, scientists, and community member by co-creating and co-teaching agroecology courses in Belize and Santa Ana California. By creating collective learning experiences, students and community members in her courses complimented their own traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with scientific knowledge when studying traditional farm management, land use, indigenous self-governance, alternative economies, and the economic and political realities of community land tenure in a globalized market.

Prior to CAN, Carmen facilitated the development of COO-PERA a worker-owned fruit and vegetable cooperative and co-developed the organizational infrastructure to create a community land trust and cooperative incubation program for the East side of Los Angeles.

Carmen holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California Davis Graduate Group in Ecology (GGE). Her dissertation work on human ecology focused on examining agroecological strategies used for intensifying milpa farming by Mayan farmers and the impact of the formalized school system on time spent acquiring TEK by young people in the Mayan region of Southern Belize.

At CAN Carmen will be supporting the strategic planning and fund development of CAN while assisting in facilitating projects for the production of knowledge relevant to international and local work on food sovereignty, alternative economies and the use of participatory action research methods for the co-creation of knowledge among scientist, community organizations, and small holder farmers.

Sophia Bassett
Sophia Bassett Growing Justice Coordinator
Sophia is CAN’s Youth Network Coordinator, working with Growing Justice, FoCAN, and UCSC students. She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Politics and Latin American & Latino Studies. Through CAN she has worked as an advocate for international alternative trade markets, youth empowerment and local and global food justice.
Maria Eugenia Flores
Maria Eugenia Flores Las Segovias Project Manager
María Eugenia Flores was born in Nicaragua in 1976 and grew up during a time of social conflict, struggle and changes. She studied popular theater as tool to help communities recover from the impact of natural disasters and graduated in 1998 from the UCA, Nicaragua with bachelors’ degrees in social psychology and humanities. She also has post-graduate certificates in anthropology and community development and sustainable organizational management. Finally, she has more than 15 years of experiences as a professional working for peace, women rights and participatory social development in Nicaragua and Central America.
Linda Lönnqvist
Linda Lönnqvist Project Manager
Linda manages the “Learning Community for Food Security and Sovereignty in Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula” project with a team of researchers and activists. This project is a collaboration between CAN and the research center ECOSUR in Chiapas, Mexico, where she is currently based. Linda has a background in organizational development and policy research for advocacy. Before moving to Mexico she has worked on civil society strengthening in Cyprus and Bangladesh; corporate accountability, trade- and tax policy with partners in Tanzania, and economic justice activism wherever she finds herself. She comes from Finland and holds an MSc in Trade Policy and Industrial Strategy from the University of Manchester, UK.
Yadira Montenegro
Yadira MontenegroProject Manager
Yadira manages AgroEco® Coffee and the Youth Network Project in Nicaragua. She first learned of CAN’s work in 2008 and by 2011, she was coordinating the Youth Leadership for Food Security and Food Sovereignty Project with CAN’s network partner, UCA San Ramón. She also has coordinated CAN Field Studies with UCA San Ramón and oversees the AgroEco® Coffee’s Funds for Sustainable Agriculture and the Unpaid Work of Women. She graduated in 1993 as an Engineering Agronomist.

Friends of CAN (FoCAN) Leadership Team

Izamar Sanchez
Izamar SanchezMarketing Assistant
Izamar is a third year UCSC anthropology major with a minor in sustainability. After participating in Alternative Spring Break 2014 in Quintana Roo, she became FoCAN’s marketing assistant.