The Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan is an alliance of grassroots organizations committed to building power in low-wage and working class communities to advance economic justice and racial equity in our state and local cities. These partner organizations work together to develop economic justice advocacy and policy campaigns to improve the economic conditions for the people they serve and others.
Dessa Cosma, EJAM Director
Dessa Cosma is Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan’s first Director. Along with some of EJAM’s current Partners, Dessa helped EJAM go from an idea to a strong, sustainable reality. Before the creation of EJAM, Dessa served as CPL’s Michigan Program Director, helping to train hundreds of progressive leaders throughout the state.
Dessa grew up in the Deep South, splitting her time between New Orleans, LA and Augusta, GA. She’s been a social justice advocate for as long as she can remember, starting her environmental, LGBT, and reproductive justice efforts in high school. She attended the University of Georgia, and earned bachelors degrees in International Affairs, Women’s Studies, and Anthropology. After graduation, Dessa moved to Michigan to work as the Senior Field Organizer for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan. Not only does she love organizing, but she loves Michigan! Dessa helped organize the US Social Forum, which brought nearly 20,000 people to Detroit in 2010 and also helped organize the 2012 Michigan Women’s Power Assembly, which drew 175 activists together for training and strategizing. In 2014, Dessa graduated with a Masters in Social Justice from Marygrove College. In her spare time, she writes for Shetroit.com, a Detroit women’s blog, and works on various disability justice organizing projects.
Dave Woodward, EJAM Strategic Advisor
Dave Woodward is a former member Michigan House of Representatives, and currently serves on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. With a focus on advancing social and economic justice, his 20-year political and public service career includes senior leadership roles in political party organizations, candidate and political training programs, policy advocacy, and leadership development. Today, he is one of the most sought after progressive political strategist and trainers in the state.
In 2006, under Dave’s leadership, the Center for Progressive Leadership started in Michigan. Since then, he has helped train hundreds of activists, organizers, campaign staff and folks who have successfully later run for office. Dave continues to support the training of future value-driven progressive leaders through comprehensive programs that help others realize their full power to bring about change in their community.
Dave and his wife Stacie, a high school social studies teacher and education consultant, have two daughters, Alice and Eleanor, and live in Royal Oak, MI.
Tameka Ramsey, EJAM Director of Leadership Development
While Tameka is new to the position of Program Director for the Center for Progressive Leadership- Michigan, she is not new to the programs or the mission of the organization. As a graduate of the Civic Engagement Academy in 2012 and the Candidate and Campaign Manager Trainer in 2013, Tameka has found her calling- working to move progressive polices forward.
Tameka is a native of Pontiac, MI. After receiving her Associates Degree in Mental Health/Social Work from Oakland Community College, she then went on to Wayne State University where she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Tameka then spent the next ten years as a Social Worker serving predominately urban communities. During this time she advocated for individuals from various walks of life— the chronically homeless, children and families living in poverty, and newly released felons. Though their stories were vastly different, the one thing that remained the same was the fact that there were polices in place that created barriers for each demographic. Because of this, Tameka enrolled at Oakland University where she received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She is excited to now use her education and experience to advocate for policy and system change.
Tameka is married to Michael, an auto worker for GM and they have three children.
Sally Kim, Director of Strategic Alliances
Sally Kim’s supported a variety of immigrant, worker, tenant, and youth, campaigns and projects. She’s passionate and dedicated to advancing economic justice. Sally graduated from the Center for Progressive Leadership’s Civic Engagement Academy in 2011.
Sally’s served on local to national groups over the years in different capacities, including a women’s group, an immigrants’ rights worker center, and Asian American groups. She studied Globalization and Labor as a college student and received scholarships to pursue certificates in Labor Studies and Strategic Corporate Research.