Neily Jennings holds a deep commitment to lending her detail-oriented skills to support work for collective liberation, and is honored to do that work as AORTA’s behind-the-scenes administrator. Neily’s role with AORTA grew as our business developed from a very part-time support role in the fall of 2013 to a core candidate position in 2017, and Neily officially became a worker-owner in January 2018. Neily is passionate about facilitating AORTA’s ongoing work to align our political values with our internal pay scale, policies, and workplace dynamics.
A white, able-bodied, class-privileged woman, it wasn’t until 2005 that Neily really began the process of unwinding the narratives that she had internalized about race, class, gender, and ability. Among other influences, a series of week-long Anti-Oppression Action Camps led by AORTA co-founders kiran nigam and Esteban Kelly helped Neily to develop a lifelong commitment to repairing harms caused by white supremacy, patriarchy, and other forms of oppression.
Neily has organized several conferences related to cooperatives and the solidarity economy, including the North American Students of Cooperation’s Cooperative Education and Training Institute and their Anti-Oppression Action Camp (2007-2010) and the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD) (2011, 2013, 2015). Neily continues to serve on the ECWD’s governing council and also serves on the board of an affordable housing cooperative in Burlington, Vermont.
Prior to joining AORTA, Neily spent 5 years as Operations Director at Common Ground Center, a non-profit retreat center in rural Vermont where she still lives with her husband and their son, who was born at home in November 2015. When she’s not making business magic happen, Neily’s into parenting, art, podcasts, books, and wilderness. She takes frequent trips to Montreal, QC and Hartford, CT to visit extended family.