Cedric Diakabana




Sheena joins NCRC with nearly fifteen years of experience working as a faith-based social and economic justice activist, organizer, researcher, negotiator and non-profit administrator within the labor movement, where her work spans five continents.
Sheena recently served a labor research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa where she conducted research on migrant sugar cane and banana farmers in Mpumalanga, South Africa, and participatory research with tea farmers in the Honde Valley, Zimbabwe. Her research contributed to two published works, the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center’s report titled “African Trade Unions and Africa’s Future: Strategic Choices in a Changing World” and “The Transformation of Work: Challenges and Strategies; Restriction and Solidarity in the New South Africa: COSATU’s Complex Response to Migration and Migrant Workers in the Post-Apartheid Era”
Sheena is very active within the cooperative movement and she has done study tours of cooperatives in Europe, India, Cuba, Mexico, South America, West Africa and throughout the United States, where she annually convenes cooperative experts to discuss reclaiming economic democracy through worker cooperatives and serves  as a speaker and incubator consultant. Sheena currently serves on the board of the (LRAN) Labor Research Action Network, a project of Jobs with Justice Education Fund, on the board of directors of a North Carolina based credit union, and is an emerging leader within the credit union arena.
She is committed to promoting economic justice through workforce development, wealth and asset building opportunities for those who are within under-served and disadvantaged communities, immigrants and ex-offenders while vigorously fighting predatory lending. She has a deep passion for accelerating workforce development through innovation within STEM fields to prepare low wage and low skilled workers for the age of the robot and digital revolution. When she is not working or serving her community, she is engaged in ministry work supporting her local ELCA Congregations, mentoring, engaging in anti-poverty and solidarity work within the interfaith community, hiking, cooking Louisiana Creole and Cajun inspired dishes, playing kickball, flag football, or hosting fundraisers for non-profits she’s passionate about.
Her favorite quote is “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Gandhi

Regional Organizer Northeast Region
cdiakabana@ncrc.org  202-464-2712

Cedric is NCRC’s Regional Organizer. He brings community organizing, city planning, and Congressional staff experience to NCRC’s team. He is dedicated to promoting access to economic opportunity.

Previous to NCRC, Cedric served for over five years as a staff member in the office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. During his time in the Senate, Cedric helped coordinate key Senate offices in the passage of Senate Resolutions pertaining to conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Nigeria. He served on the Board and as President of the Congressional African Staff Association. He was also a Truman National Security Scholar, and earned a certification in Nonviolent Civic Mobilization and U.S. Foreign Policy from the United States Institute of Peace. In addition to his Congressional work, Cedric has worked on both local and national political campaigns, most recently in the Obama campaigns (2008, 2012). He is also a co-founder of the Georgia Avenue Business Alliance, in Washington, D.C. Prior to Washington, Cedric spent roughly a year with the City of St. Louis’ Planning Agency, where he conducted research for the City’s Five-Year Strategic Consolidated Plan.

A Congolese American raised in Rhode Island, Cedric immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 8. His story is the American story and dream – of access to opportunity. He speaks both Lingala and French conversationally.

Cedric has a B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University (OH). His senior capstone-thesis at Miami University focused on ShoreBank’s bold step to combat racial segregation of redlining and invest in Chicago’s South Side South Shore neighborhood.


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