Robert is a second-year Masters of Public Policy student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He hopes to become the first person in his family to obtain an advanced degree. In 2016, he received his B.A. in Sociology with a Minor in Criminal Justice from Augsburg University. Growing up on the Southside of Chicago motivated him to combat racial inequality in all forms. His professional experience includes working to ensure equal opportunity in public procurement for large organizations such as the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, which is the fourth largest college system in the U.S. He strives to continue building cross-sector relationships to collaboratively create socio-economic solutions through public policy.
Executive Director at Ubuntu Care Services and Director of Family and Community Engagement at Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative, Marika is a strong business development professional with a master’s degree focused on education from Augsburg College. She has worked diligently in the individual and family services industry with skills in nonprofit leadership, coaching, volunteer management, and public speaking. Ubuntu was created by Marika as a Mental Health Practitioner who wanted to offer a more person-centered approach to educate and assist those in need with the tools to remain home.
She was awarded the “Better Government” award by Governor Dayton for her contribution to improving how state government services are delivered. Now, at the Center for Prevention, she focuses on changes that reduce commercial tobacco use, increasing access to healthy food, and opportunities for physical activity – especially those that impact communities of color. She is co-chair of the D&I Committee and the first Women’s ERG. JoAnna holds a Political Science degree from Tuskegee University.
She is the program manager for the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. As a champion for educational success, she recently co-authored a children’s book – “Amazing Africa: A to Z”. Monica facilitates heritage trips to Ghana. Originally from Ghana, she is a 2015 MILEAD Fellowship and 2016 Luann Dummer Center for Women Graduate Student Fellowship recipient. She is an active volunteer in K-12 settings and community organizations (African Immigration Services, Ujamaa Place, Books for Africa). She aspires to become an attorney and entrepreneur.
Kenneth J. Scales
Donor and Government Relations Manager at Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), Kenneth was born in Oceanside, California, in 1987. He now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has remained here for the last 13 years. Founder and CEO of The BowTie Billionaire brand and Billion Beard Oil, he is an ambitious entrepreneur and highly engaged community member. Kenneth has a deep passion for community and business.
A former engagement manager at a non-profit organization, she defines herself as a community builder. She is currently pursuing an A.S. in the Accounting Transfer Pathway Program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and transferring to Metropolitan State University in 2020 to complete her Accounting, B.S. She has a variety of professional experiences including a background in health and wellness as a certified fitness instructor with the YWCA Women’s Wellness community coach initiative. Opal has a firm love and passion for all of God’s children and is deeply connected to a spiritual foundation that has been a catalyst for the actions she takes in her life to grow personally, professionally, and to serve her community.
Anika is a daughter of Rondo and currently running for St. Paul City Council Ward 1 to represent our collective voice at city hall. She is the current Vice President of Minneapolis NAACP, where she fights for civil rights on both sides of the river. She is an honorary graduate from Hamline University majoring in Criminal Justice & Social Justice. Within five years after graduating, her alma matter awarded her with the Carrying the Torch & Decade Award for her leadership and service to community. Bowie is a lead consultant for Darris Group Consulting and lead organizer for the Restore the Vote Campaign. Anika continues to strive for excellence while paving the way for people who come from adverse backgrounds.
Cheniqua is the youngest DFL-endorsed woman and one of the first women of color to run for state office in her district in Southwest Minnesota. She is a University of Minnesota graduate with a background in public service and community organizing, including serving as a political organizer for the DFL Party, a legislative intern for the U.S. Senate, and policy intern for Gov. Mark Dayton. She is currently the District Outreach Coordinator & Scheduler at Hennepin County. On her decision to run for House District 22B, Cheniqua explained that she felt it was necessary for our community to start being able to speak up and have people listen.
Leslie became the youngest president of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP when she was elected to the position in March 2018. Redmond is pursuing her law degree and Master of Business Administration at St. Thomas University. In her career, she identifies as an advocate, public speaker, and problem solver. She believes that Black people in Minnesota are reclaiming their greatness and are making sure that their voices are being heard.
As the Employment Director/Evening Coordinator at Ujamaa Place the contributions of Stevenson have been integral in advancing the organization’s theory of transformation programming. Stevenson graduated from Troy State University in 1989 with a B.S. in Resource Management then went on to obtain a certification in Business Process Improvement from the University of Minnesota in 2014.