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WASHINGTON, DC— Sustainable Economies Law Center Co-Founder Janelle Orsi, a visionary leader in the movement for a more resilient and equitable economy, has joined the nonprofit funders’ network Rachel’s Network as an advisor.

The Sustainable Economies Law Center engages in coalition-building, education, research, legal work, and policy advocacy so communities across the US can create sustainable and equitable sources of food, housing, land, energy, jobs, financial services, and other vital aspects of a thriving community. Janelle leads Law Center’s strategy and provides guidance and support to programs.

“We were proud to support Janelle’s work through our fellowship program with Ashoka for three years,” said Rachel’s Network President Fern Shepard. “We knew from the start that Janelle’s vision of the future deserved support, but our esteem has only grown. Her positive, pragmatic, and replicable approach is just what we need to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems.”

After law school, Janelle ignored the advice of professors, lawyers, and classmates and started a law practice that would specialize in “sharing law,” helping people share housing, share cars, share land to grow food, and other cooperative endeavors. She recognized this was a big risk, but believed strongly that the legal profession desperately needed to reinvent itself in service of community wellbeing.

Since then, the Law Center’s programming has grown substantially and Janelle has become a thought-leader on the “sharing economy” as it has emerged from the grassroots in communities across the country. She is frequently interviewed in the press and was one of a select few chosen to participate in the White House Roundtable on Labor and the Sharing Economy, advising the Obama administration on policy considerations related to the sharing economy. In 2012, the American Bar Association published her book Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy.

“Support from Rachel’s Network came at the perfect time in the development of my work,” said Janelle. “It confirmed to me that I was on the right path, and it gave me the boost I needed to double the size of my organization and grow our visibility and impact exponentially. I have also been privileged to spend time with and be inspired by many Rachel’s Network members.”

Rachel’s Network Circle of Advisors — prominent women environmental leaders — provide high-level expertise and keep Rachel’s Network members connected to nonprofits that share our goals. This esteemed roster includes Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, Alice Waters, Terry Tempest Williams, and Debbie Walsh.


Rachel’s Network, a nonprofit organization named in Rachel Carson’s honor, promotes women as impassioned leaders and agents of change dedicated to the stewardship of the earth. The Network builds productive alliances among members and offers services that empower them to lead.

The Sustainable Economies Law Center cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment.

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