Gilda Haas

Core Faculty, MA in Urban Sustainability


Gilda Haas is an organizer, educator, and urban planner who has been helping grassroots organizations build economies from the ground up for thirty years. She has also taught economic development at UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning for over 25 years, where she was also the founding Director of their Community Scholars Program.

Haas recently transitioned out of her position as the founding director of Strategic Actions for A Just Economy (SAJE), an economic justice and development organization that is dedicated to building economic power for working-class people in Los Angeles. SAJE’s achievements include leading the effort to negotiate the “Staples Agreement” between the Figueroa Corridor Coalition for Economic Justice and the Anschutz Entertainment Group; creating the nation’s first welfare-to-work bank account; and organizing the autonomous Figueroa Corridor Community Land Trust.

“As the dual crises of rampant inequality and climate change threaten the future of democracy and the future of our planet, Einstein's notion that ‘We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’ becomes the challenge of the day.” Gilda Haas