Autumn Brown is a mother, organizer, theologian, artist, and facilitator. She is a worker-owner of AORTA, the Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance, a cooperative devoted to strengthening movements for social justice and a solidarity economy through facilitation, political education, and consulting. Previous to AORTA, Autumn served as the Executive Director of RECLAIM! and the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project. She is the co-host of the podcast, How to Survive the End of the World, with her sister, adrienne maree brown. Autumn writes speculative fiction and creative non-fiction, and her work has been published in Revolutionary Mothering, Octavia’s Brood, and the Procyon Science Fiction Anthology. Autumn lives in South Minneapolis with her three brilliant children.
Kay Adam is an experienced twin cities based facilitator and organizational change practitioner. They currently work as a Principal Organizational Effectiveness Consultant at Hennepin County’s Center for Innovation & Excellence as an internal consultant. Kay believes in the transformative power of effective teamwork and collaboration. Through their practice, they aim to catalyze organizational change through the use of a wide array of established and custom made facilitation, systems thinking and organizational development tools. Kay has a bachelor’s in Economics and a Minor in Mathematics from Augsburg University and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, Development and Policy from the University of Minnesota (with a concentration in evaluation studies).
Meghan Casey is the owner of Do Better Content Consulting, a content strategy consultancy that helps organizations do good with better content. She has worked with a wide variety of clients—startups, nonprofits, colleges and universities, and everything in between—to solve the messy content problems most organizations encounter every day. With a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from Hamline University and a commitment to social justice, she’s invested in leading from the back while uplifting BIPOC voices.
Jason’s work focuses on lowering recidivism rates, creating innovative exit strategies for youth involved in gang activity, and banning the box on housing. He has been a professor at Metropolitan State University and at Hamline University. He is a national keynote speaker and trainer, drawing on his past experiences as a gang member and an incarcerated Black man. He is past president of the Minneapolis NAACP. Jason was a 2013 Bush Fellow who focused on reducing the recidivism rate among juveniles throughout the state of Minnesota. He is the author of a memoir, From Prison to Ph.D.: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances.
As Vice President of Grantmaking, Anita provides leadership and support to the grantmaking team to ensure we are doing the most possible good through our core grant programs. She is active in a wide range of community conversations, supporting equitable change across the region. Anita was previously the Leadership Programs Director where she worked to inspire, equip and connect leaders. She loves working with amazing teams in her roles.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, she spent over a decade developing leadership, equity and justice programs as Vice President for Racial Justice and Public Policy at the YWCA of Minneapolis. Her career also includes work in the domestic violence field, immigrant and refugee services and a stint as a walking molar representing her family’s dental practice in local parades.
Anita was a Change Leader in Philanthropy Fellow and Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award recipient. She was named a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and a Top Six Business Leader Under 30 by Minnesota Business Magazine.
Donna Maeda retired from Macalester College as Dean Emerita of the Kofi Annan Institute for Global
Citizenship (IGC) and Professor Emerita of American Studies in 2021. Donna worked to build community
among BIPOC faculty, staff, and student scholar activists. She connects scholarship in critical race legal
studies with transformative possibilities created by collaborative campus and community partnerships,
collective leadership practices, and building solidarity through organizing. Currently in Los Angeles,
Donna continues to support efforts to build collaborative relationships across academic and broader
communities for more just futures. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern
California; a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; and a B.A. in Music History
and Literature from St. Olaf College.
Gilbert was born and raised in Hawai’i within a family of Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Native Hawaiians, and other groups. He studied child psychology at the University of Minnesota, where he began nurturing his commitment to centering the experiences of diverse communities, particularly Asians/Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and LGBTQ people. Gilbert is an avid learner, passionate exerciser, and nature enthusiast. He is a Manager at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s Center for Prevention. Prior to Blue Cross he held staff and board member roles in national and local nonprofits, in the areas of health advocacy and youth programming.
University of Minnesota
Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019 with a BA in Global Studies concentrating on Human Rights and Justice in Latin America. My experience working with Latin American immigrant communities at James H. Binger Center for New Americans shaped my human rights interests to focus on immigrants’ rights. In 2018 I was awarded the Inna K. Meiman Human Rights Award provided by the UMN to recognize my human rights work. I am a community organizer for the Colombian community in Minnesota, and in my free time, I am a documentary producer. My latest film: Día a Día, 2020: A Day at a Time. (Published in Twin Cities PBS: TPT): A film where Colombian immigrants in Minnesota reflect on how the struggles and joys of 2020 transformed the way we celebrate culture, aid community, and attempt to thrive in overlapping crises. My mother is my only hero, and cookie-dough ice cream is my greatest weakness. I am a feminist and love playing soccer with friends.
Nopar has worked as a rural community organizer in Minnesota for forty years. For much of that time, he worked for the Land Stewardship Project (LSP). Nopar has also previously worked for Centro Campesino, and at LSP, worked to expose cases of wage theft against rural Latino workers on factory farms, and build white, rural support for immigrant rights. In the year 2000, Nopar founded the multi-racial theatre troupe, Action Theatre, to explore issues of race, class and gender in Winona, MN. He believes that artistic and cultural expression are key to social change, and wrote “Look Who’s Knockin,” LSP’s one-act touring play about new farmer access to land. For ten years, Nopar co-chaired the social action committee at B’nai Israel Synagogue in Rochester. Since 1990, he has raised sheep and cattle, and worked to build soil health, on a small farm south of Winona.