DaMareo Cooper, 2008, Executive Director of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative

DaMareo is the executive director of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a statewide organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyday Ohioans. He has played an integral role in shaping and developing the OOC’s electoral and community organizing campaigns across the state since 2008. His passion for organizing grew out of the love for the community in which he was raised, and currently lives (Akron, Ohio). DaMareo has spent his career working with leaders in communities of color, and developing campaigns to address issues of race and economic inequality in grassroots communities. Over the last decade, he has worked on statewide and local electoral campaigns by training hundreds of low-income grassroots activists. In an effort to integrate community organizing and civic engagement models, he conducted training in traditional organizing, movement building, and running effective civic engagement programs to create a larger community impact.

“The Department of Pan-African Studies gave me the knowledge, tools, and confidence I needed in order to understand systemic inequality and its impact on my community. Knowing my history was crucial for me to have the mental fortitude and confidence in my own ability to build alliances, lead and advocate for social change.”