Ruth Sawyer

Ruth Sawyer dreams of building healthy, resilient, and community-centered economies that work for everyone. Over the course of a varied career across several disciplines and sectors, they have consistently worked on issues at the intersection of equity, environment, and community and economic development. With a background in community organizing, academic research, program management, curriculum development, and facilitation, Ruth brings their attention to navigating structures and systems in ways that help groups do more effective work to build a just world. Ruth currently works as an organizer for clean, affordable energy campaigns and just transition work in Washington state. In addition to their climate work, Ruth works with diverse leaders to build the new economy through the People’s Economy Lab in Seattle. As a member of the Community Capital Working Group, Ruth works with other leaders to increase access to affordable capital, incubate community-based finance projects, redistribute wealth, and democratize and shift what it means to invest in the local ecosystem. They are especially energized by the emergence of social justice finance and philanthropy, and have found great meaning working with various projects that build investment structures for the solidarity economy. Previous to their work with the People’s Economy Lab, they worked with Regenerative Finance, Be Invested, and as a Seattle chapter leader for Resource Generation, which equips young people with wealth and class privilege to become leaders working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power.​ Ruth earned a Bachelor of Arts in geography at Vassar College, and went on to complete a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies from the University of Washington, Bothell. In their spare time, Ruth can be found nerding out about plants, practicing martial arts, drinking tea, and playing the guitar.