Twin Cities 2016 Fellows

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Meet the 2016 Twin Cities Fellows

Osman Ahmed, Field Representative, United States Senator


Osman Ahmed came to the United States, Minnesota in 2004 as a refugee from Somalia. Osman is a graduate of Eden Prairie High School and obtained Bachelor of Arts in political science and international studies Osman has years of experience organizing in both the political and the nonprofit world. He started his political organizing in 2008 by volunteering on presidential campaigns to register new voters. In 2012, he started working for Congressman Keith Ellison as a political organizer, which was an eye opening experience working for the first Muslim Congressman in America. In 2013-2014, Osman was a regional field director for current Mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, who won very competitive mayoral race. He also worked and volunteered many campaigns from school board members to presidential candidates in the past. He has founded many political and educational youth organizations in the past. Currently, Osman Ahmed works for United States Senator, Al Franken as a Field Representative. He is also a State Director for the Democratic Party in Minnesota and pursuing his master of education and leadership at Augsburg College. Fun facts: Osman lives with his wife in south Minneapolis, loves playing basketball, running, reading, and his motto of life is work hard and have fun.


Ashley Bailey, Associate Attorney, Gray Plant Mooty


Ashley Bailey is an Associate Attorney in the Corporate and Business group at the Minneapolis office of Gray Plant Mooty. She centers her practice on securities, mergers & acquisitions, general corporate law, and commercial transactions. Ashley is a former Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar and Extra Innings Fellow, and is passionate about helping underrepresented students thrive in law school. Ashley has served in various roles with the University of Wisconsin Law School, the University of Iowa College of Law, the William Mitchell College of Law, and Twin Cities Diversity in Practice to help prepare students of color for the rigor of law school and the practice of law.




Frances Boehnlein, Experiential Learning Associate, Project SUCCESS

twincities-Boehnlein.jpgFrances currently coordinates the college readiness component of the Experiential Learning Program at Project SUCCESS, a Twin Cities based non-profit whose mission is to motivate and support young people to dream about their future and take action to achieve their goals. Frances recently moved back to her hometown of Minneapolis after living in Chicago and the Boston area for 10 years where she graduated with a BA in Communication Studies and a minor in Peaceful Conflict Resolution, International Relations from DePaul University.  Upon graduation, she was one of the graduating recipients for the 2010 Leadership Award.  She later received a MA in International Development and Social Change from Clark University as a proud International Development, Community and Environment Fellow in 2015.  Previous to joining the Project SUCCESS family, she worked in corporate philanthropy at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, managing a $3M portfolio of 30+ corporate and non-profit accounts.  Frances also has a strong youth development and humanitarian assistance background with organizations such as The PeaceJam Foundation, UNICEF USA and The Center for Victims of Torture. Currently, Frances serves as the Co-Chair on the Board of Directors of youthrive in Minneapolis. In her free time Frances enjoys traveling, dancing, photography and volunteering at Open Arms of Minnesota. She is excited to bring her passion for community and civic engagement to the NLC Twin Cities Chapter!


Maggie Borman, 2nd Grade Teacher, Hiawatha Leadership Academy Northrop

twincities-Borman.jpgMaggie teaches 2nd grade at Hiawatha Leadership Academy Northrop. She was also recently appointed to the Teach for America Twin Cities board and serves as a Loop Group Leader for that organization. This past year, she received her master's in education with a focus on instructional leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has also been involved in Educators 4 Excellence, working as a teacher resident and participating on a Teacher Policy Team. Previously, she taught 2nd and 3rd grade at The Best Academy. She also served as a peer coach and led the workplace satisfaction committee. She is a Minneapolis native and is excited to be joining the first NLC cohort in the Twin Cities!



Geoff Buller, Director of Operations and Impact, WIN Minnesota

twincities-Buller.jpgGeoff Buller is the Director of Operations and Impact at WIN Minnesota – the fundraising arm of Minnesota’s permanent political infrastructure dedicated to driving progressive policy change in Minnesota at the ballot box and beyond. Prior to working for WIN Minnesota, he taught fifth and sixth grade math in Greenwood, Mississippi through Teach For America where he also worked on Teach For America’s Delta Institute staff. A lifelong believer in the ability to make change through elections, the only years Geoff has not worked, volunteered, or interned in a role connected to elections since eighth grade were during his years teaching. Geoff graduated from Yale University with a double major in history and political science. In his free time, he enjoys running around lakes and drinking craft beer while watching college sports or playing board games.



Sarah Clyne, Executive Director, Domestic Abuse Project

twincities-Clyne.jpgSarah Clyne took over as DAP’s Executive Director in January 2015. Sarah was most recently Executive Director of Joyce Preschool for four years, and is currently a member of Mayor Hodges’ Cradle-to-K cabinet. She brings years of experience in non-profit leadership and social justice work, having served as the Executive Director of the English Language Learner Department for the Minneapolis Public Schools and as the Principal of Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Champaign, IL. Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Spanish and her Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota.



Joshua Crosson, Advocacy Manager, MinnCAN


Josh hails from the great state of Washington, where many believe the cold shoulder was invented. To escape another year of seasonal depression, Josh moved to California to study political science and religious studies at Santa Clara University. During college, Josh spent much of his time involved with grassroots advocacy campaigns to improve public schools, combat youth homelessness, promote LGBT equality and fight hunger in San Francisco’s underserved communities. After graduating, Josh went back north and joined the public sector as a tax collector for the Washington State Department of Revenue where he perfected the art of calming people down. Eventually, Josh moved to another Washington—D.C.—to transform his passion for public policy into a fulfilling vocation or, as his friends put it, making a living doing something “activisty.” There, he landed a position with the Human Rights Campaign–the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization–where he spearheaded student outreach operations and expanded the mission to incorporate the needs of LGBT youth of color. Josh then made his way to Capitol Hill where he spent more than four years advising U.S. Representative Adam Smith as the congressman’s legislative assistant. In a successful effort to return to the grassroots advocacy side of public policy, Josh and his partner invested in a few stylish yet practical coats and made the trek to Minnesota. Josh now serves as MinnCAN's first-ever advocacy manager where he works to improve public policy through elite negotiations and social movements to ensure all kids, especially kids of color and low-income learners, have a great public education.


Phillipe Cunningham, Senior Policy Aide and Advisor to Mayor Betsy Hodges, City of Minneapolis


Phillipe Cunningham grew up in the blue-collar cornfields of Illinois. He studied and began his career in Oakland and Chicago and has since found his heart and home in Minneapolis. Since moving to Minneapolis, he has been fully committed to making the City a better home for everyone in his community. Phillipe is Mayor Betsy Hodges’ Senior Policy Aide and Advisor for Education and Youth Success. His policy work also includes issues related to racial equity, LGBT rights, and public health. He also serves as Mayor Hodges’ representative and primary cross-sector and multijurisdictional liaison for youth success and racial equity both in Minneapolis and nationally.

In addition to his policy and community/youth engagement work, Phillipe co-coordinates the Twin Cities My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Minneapolis. He supports Mayor Hodges, Mayor Chris Coleman, Minnesota Council on Foundations, and the community in their efforts to build, adapt, and implement the local action plan to improve the quality of life for boys and young men of color in the Twin Cities.

Prior to public policy work, Phillipe was a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools and has nearly ten years of youth work experience. He graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Chinese Studies. Currently, he is completing his Master’s degree in Youth Development Leadership and also teaches a graduate-level seminar on white allyship in urban youth work. Phillipe intends to pursue a doctoral degree in social policy to specialize in building authentic, sustainable equity into policymaking.


Cassidy Gardenier, Director of Equity, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights


Cassidy Gardenier serves as Assistant Director of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. As the Director of Equity, she supports and encourages efforts to develop policies, practices, and strategic investments to reverse racial disparity trends and eliminate institutional racism so that outcomes and opportunities are no longer predictable by race. Her role also includes managing Urban Scholars, a leadership and professional development program for college and graduate students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Ms. Gardenier holds a Masters of Public Policy with a focus in advance policy analysis in diversity and issues of equity from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. During this time, she began her work with the City of Minneapolis as a Results Management Fellow. Upon graduation, Cassidy was hired as a business process and data analyst and was involved in a variety of projects, most notably leading the City in the development of its four-year strategic planning process and in the creation of the City’s goals and values. Through her work managing the City’s performance management program, “Results Minneapolis,” she championed the use of data as an equity tool, working in collaboration with departments across the City to implement goals and measures based on data disaggregated by race. She also lent her analytical skills to the City’s work with many community partners on the development and ultimately successful application for a Promise Zone designation for North Minneapolis, as well as helped shape the Minneapolis Innovation Team Grant, earning the City a $2.7 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Prior to her time with the City, Ms. Gardenier provided services to people with disabilities, staffed various political campaigns, and was the Vice President of the Young Progressive Majority, Minnesota. She currently serves as a racial justice facilitator with the YWCA, volunteers with Project Homeless Connect, and is active in her neighborhood organization. In her free time, Cassidy can be found traveling and seeing music with her partner, Ben, cuddling with her pups, Boris and Fletcher, or cooking, growing, or creating something found on Pinterest. Cassidy also holds a B.F.A in Acting from the University of Montana.


Kadence Hampton, Associate, Zan Associates


Originally from Austin, Texas, Kadence attended St. Edward's University as a Holy Cross Scholar and participated in the University Honors Program and McNair Scholars Program while studying environmental science and policy. During her two years in the McNair Scholars Program, Kadence's research focused on creating equitable and sustainable cities through transit, infrastructure, and housing policies. Inspired by her research and volunteer experience in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward during the summer of 2011, Kadence’s passion for community based research and stakeholder involvement was sparked and led her to seek graduate school opportunities at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Kadence moved to Minneapolis as a Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellow in the summer of 2012 to participate in the University of Minnesota’s Community of Scholars Program and conducted independent research analyzing the racial, gender, and nationality characteristics of graduate planning student cohorts across the United States. Discovering a historic lack of diversity in the department’s planning student cohorts despite targeted recruitment practices through which Kadence herself was recruited, she was motivated to serve on the Humphrey School’s Diversity Committee and as the department’s Diversity Committee Research Assistant to better understand how our identities and experiences influence our approach to public service, policy, and public participation practices. In 2013, Kadence was a graduate student recipient of the Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) award for her efforts through the Diversity Committee and as a co-founder of the Humphrey School’s first student-run journal to provide opportunities for diverse students to publish their original research. Kadence received her master’s in urban and regional planning in 2014.


Anna Hardeman, Financial Aid Counselor, St. Catherine University


Anna Hardeman is a Financial Aid Counselor at St. Catherine University. In this role, she administers federal, state and institutional financial aid funds to students pursuing their baccalaureate degree. She has a passion for providing quality student service and a commitment to ensuring equal access to higher education. Anna finds great pride helping students overcome social, cultural and economic barriers to completing their degree. She demonstrates a deep understanding of navigating and financing the complex financial aid and higher education system from a macroeconomic systems level to a microeconomic student-to-student level. In addition to her role serving students at St. Catherine, Anna is also a member of the Advisory Board for LOCUS, an organization which seeks to serve as a meeting ground for people from historically marginalized communities in the hope that they will engage one another, share resources and together, cultivate a pool of candidates ready to serve and lead in their communities. She has co-facilitated dialogues and workshops for participants focused on identity driven leadership, microaggressions and the intersectionality of race, gender and socioeconomics. Currently, Anna is planning a conference with LOCUS to present at the Bush Foundation’s annual networking event bushCON 2016 where she has presented in affiliation with MN Rising for the past two years. As a previous Fellow in the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow Fellowship, Anna participated in six intensive workshops focused on advancing women’s leadership by developing, educating and connecting other emerging leaders. After completion of the fellowship, Anna served as an Advisory Board member and a workshop facilitator. Anna holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations from St. Catherine University. She wishes to further her education through a Masters of Public Policy program to focus on financial aid education policy and analysis. As a supporter of leadership development, active citizenship as well as social justice advocacy, Anna has collaborated with organizations such as the Minneapolis Public School District, Run Like REL, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and the MN Association of Financial Aid Administrators connecting with youth and youth workers to focus on closing the achievement gap and to navigate the college application process. Anna is thrilled to be a part of the 2016 NLC cohort and is excited to learn alongside a diverse group of leaders in the Twin Cities.


Anthony Hernandez, Teacher, Global Academy


Anthony Hernandez is an elementary school teacher in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. He currently teaches third grade and serves as a school board member at Global Academy, a K-8 International Baccalaureate charter school, which consistently ranks as one of Minnesota’s highest performing low-income schools. Prior to Global, he taught first and second grade at KIPP DC Lead Academy where he was a founding teacher and trained through the Capital Teaching Residency. In DC he taught in a predominantly African American community; in Minnesota he works with a predominantly Somali and East African community. He strongly believes in elevating the teaching profession through building a stronger voice for teachers within the policy making process. An active member of Educators 4 Excellence, a national teacher led advocacy organization, he co-wrote during the fall of 2014 a policy paper on teacher diversity, met with state legislators in Saint Paul, and has written several opinion pieces in the Twin Cities about teacher diversity, equity, and licensure. In the spring of 2015 he was asked to serve on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Steering Committee on Teacher Equity, a federally mandated planning group and in the fall of 2015 was one of eleven E4E teachers to write a set of policy recommendation on the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. He is also the 2011 Truman Scholar from Minnesota and a participant in the 2015 Truman Democracy Fellows program. One of twenty six Truman Scholars from across the United States, he participated in a series of online workshops aimed at developing familiarity with the electoral process and encouraging those working in public service to consider running for elected office. The fellowship was led by senior figures in national politics, Truman alumni holding state level office, and nonprofit leaders. Anthony is graduate from Harvard College, where he graduated in 2012 with a concentration in Government, secondary field in East Asian studies, and a language citation in Mandarin Chinese.


Margot Isman, Managing Director, Vera Solutions


Margot is originally from Massachusetts, and recently relocated to the Twin Cities. She is currently the Managing Director of Vera Solutions, a social enterprise that uses technology to help social change organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness. She gets riled up about bad data and non-strategic uses of technology. Margot has split her career so far between working in progressive politics and working to improve the data practices of social change organizations. She has served as a program manager for a non-profit in a refugee camp in Zambia, an aide to a progressive State Representative in the Massachusetts State House, and as a technology for monitoring and evaluation consultant in Kenya. Most recently, she has focused on growing Vera Solutions into a profitable and impactful social enterprise, with a team of 45 and offices on four continents. Margot holds a Master's degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a Bachelor's degree in History from Stanford University.


Alexander Jacques, Teacher, Columbia Heights Public Schools


Alexander Jacques teaches middle school and high school in the Columbia Heights Public School district, where he has worked for three years. In his first year, Alex was appointed to the position of school equity leader. He quickly built a large team of progressive teachers. This equity team works to end racial disparities in their school, while ensuring equitable outcomes for all students. In his role as equity leader, Alex facilitates professional development and racial justice training for teachers and staff throughout the school year and each summer. In 2015, Alex was granted a graduate certificate in culturally responsive teaching. Through this course of study, he was connected with other Twin Cities educational professionals who are committed to progressive education reform. Hungering to play a more active role in policy and advocacy, Alex began volunteer work with Educators 4 Excellence in the spring of 2015. At this non-profit, which works to uplift teachers to play an active role in policy making, Alex is currently collaborating with other teacher leaders to develop and produce an action guide, which will outline recommendations for the elimination of racial disparities in discipline. In addition to his professional work and volunteerism in the Twin Cities, Alex remains connected to his Alma Mater, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association. As a member of this board, Alex works closely with university administration to promote the general welfare of UW-Eau Claire and its graduates. Alex serves on the student recruitment committee, which, among other objectives, works toward achieving a more racially diverse student body Apart from his work as a public school teacher, Alex is an active choral musician, pianist, and conductor. He is the director of music at Grace-Trinity Community Church in Minneapolis. Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Alex moved to the Twin Cities with his partner, Casey, in 2013. Together, they enjoy intercultural experiences in Minneapolis, travel often, eat well, and laugh loudly with good friends and family.


Haley Kimmet, Access Consultant, University of Minnesota Disability Resource Center

twincities-Kimmet.jpgHaley’s lifelong passion has been to remove the barriers that people with disabilities face in attending school, accessing jobs and contributing as leaders in their communities around the world. She’s traveled aboard the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Legacy Tour bus to educate communities about the importance of the ADA, set up programs with Mobility International USA (MIUSA) to expose international delegations to U.S. disability laws and served as a council member with the Washington, D.C. Developmental Disabilities Council. She currently works as an access consultant with the University of Minnesota’s Disability Resource Center and will pursue her Master’s of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School in the fall of 2016.  As an individual with a disability herself, she’s immensely excited to explore the intersection of disability with race, gender and sexuality and work with the NLC to identify creative strategies for reducing disparities faced by these populations. 


James Kindle, ESL Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools

twincities-Kindle.jpgJames Kindle is an English learner (EL) teacher at Anne Sullivan Communication Center—part of Minneapolis Public Schools—working with students who’ve newly arrived in the U.S., primarily Somali speakers, in grades 3-5. He teaches in the New-to-country Accelerated Bilingual Academic Development program, or NABAD (the Somali word for “peace), which he co-developed with leaders in his building and district to target the needs of new immigrants, including students who are refugees and have limited or interrupted formal schooling. Anne Sullivan was his placement school when he entered the teaching profession through the alternative licensure program Teach For America seven years ago. For the past two summers, James has lived and taught English in Ramallah, Palestine. James is also the co-founder of Educators 4 Excellence-Minnesota, where he has worked on several policy initiatives and teams focused on ensuring college access for undocumented students, increasing the number of teachers of color in Minnesota, and reducing discipline disparities between black and white students. He is passionate about global, human rights-based education; equitable access to resources for immigrant students and their families; and culturally responsive teaching practices, which led him to travel two years ago with teaching colleagues to Djibouti and Somalia. In his free time, James likes to play rugby, eat eggs, and travel whenever possible. He was born and raised in Riverton, Wyoming, and he misses the mountains terribly.


Amanda Koonjbeharry, Senior Planning Analyst, Hennepin County

twincities-Koonjbeharry.jpgAmanda Koonjbeharry is an Indo-Guyanese American woman of color. Her family originates from Guyana, South America and she is a first generation person to be born in the United States. Amanda was born and raised in Minnesota and attended Prior Lake High School where she participated in the Postsecondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) at Normandale Community College. Amanda then went on to obtain her Bachelors of Science in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota. After completing her bachelors, Amanda started working as an Employment Counselor for Resource, Inc. working with families involved in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). This experience exposed Amanda to the many adversities that families face, such as housing and homelessness, domestic violence, mental illness, physical and cognitive disabilities, various forms of trauma, and etc. After being in this role for a year, Amanda went back to school to pursue a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Minnesota. During her first year in the MSW program, Amanda had a chance to testify at the MN Legislature on a House bill that would have had serious ramifications on the families she was working with. After this experience Amanda decided to pursue a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Amanda completed her Master’s of Social Work in May of 2014 and her Master’s of Public Policy in August 2014. Amanda currently works as a Senior Planning Analyst at Hennepin County in the Human Services and Public Health Department, where she does contract and project management work related to child protection, mental health and sexually exploited youth. Amanda is also the co-founder and Chair of the People of Color Employee Resource Group at Hennepin County. Amanda is passionate about social and racial justice and has a strong love for classical and Bollywood Indian dancing. 


Keith Mensah, Development Services Associate, Saint Paul Port Authority

twincities-Mensah.jpgA native Minnesotan, who graduated from Augsburg College in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Metro-Urban Studies with a minor in Sociology. I earned a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning with a special emphasis in Real Estate Development from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently working for the St. Paul Port Authority





Kyle Parsons, Inclusion and Community Engagement Specialist, Minnesota Historical Society


Kyle Parsons is a program specialist at the Minnesota Historical Society in the department of Inclusion and Community Engagement. For the past five years he has worked on community facing projects to try and learn how to best leverage leading Diversity and Inclusion practices to improve the institutional culture of his organization. His core work responsibilities include outreach to communities of color in MN as well as helping to support internal D&I work within the Historical Society. Kyle’s primary outreach responsibility is instructing the History Museum Fellows Program, which seeks to diversify the professional staff in the museum field by teaching undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented cultures about historical and contemporary issues facing museums around diverse narratives, representation, and inclusive practice. Internal duties include staff training and development around current barriers to inclusion within museum professional staff, common practice, and organizational culture. Outside of work he participates in the Cultural Agility Collaboration, “a diverse, cross-racial Minnesota based group,” that seeks to participate in collaborative learning and leadership across Minnesota campuses. Another passion of Kyle’s is volunteering with Youth Forum MN, a faith based organization, which runs year round programming, and summer camps for junior high and high school students. All of these endeavors are his attempts to be involved with his community and to have a positive impact on the spaces he lives in and on the people with which he interacts. He is passionate about social justice, securing agency for the voices of oppressed people, and thoroughly believes in the value of learning about the cultural differences that make people who they are, and how these differences help to build community. Kyle received his undergraduate degree from Marquette University in 2010 with a degree in Communication. He is originally from Minneapolis, where he still resides with his wife, and is a long-suffering Minnesota sports fan.


Taylor Rub, Special Education Coordinator, Bright Water Montessori Elementary

twincities-Rub.jpegTaylor is the Special Education Coordinator at Bright Water Montessori Elementary in north Minneapolis.  For the past 6 years, she has brought her passion for inspiring students and providing an excellent educational experience to the special education programs in a variety of settings at both district and charter public schools.  Taylor earned her teaching license and Masters in Teaching at Hamline University as a 2010 Twin Cities Teach for America Corps member.  She has worked with the Teach for America Twin Cities Summer Residency Program for the past two years to train and support new corps members to teach in the Twin Cities.  Taylor volunteers as the secretary on the Bright Water Elementary Board of Directors and treasurer of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association Board of Directors.  She has been involved with Educators 4 Excellence for the last 4 years working to increase teacher voice in policy decisions and elevate the prestige of the teaching profession.  In 2014, she was a member of the Quality Compensation Policy Team that advocated for and secured legislative changes to improve the program.  She is an active member of the young adult community at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis.  Taylor enjoys reading good books, drinking good wine, conversation (in English or Chinese) with interesting people, and all seasons of the Minnesota outdoors.  She lives in the Lyndale Neighborhood of south Minneapolis with her husband, Erick, four-month-old son, Aiden, and their dog and three cats.


Kalia Vang, Program Assistant, The Saint Paul Foundation


Kalia Vang is the daughter of resilient Hmong refugees who escaped genocide during the Secret War in Laos. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, her experience growing up in poverty and helping her immigrant parents raise a large family of 10 spurred her dedication to public service. Her passion for cities and social justice brought her eventually to the Twin Cities where she works at the Saint Paul Foundation as the Program Assistant on the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative community initiative. There, Kalia contributes to grantmaking efforts to ensure that all communities thrive in the Twin Cities’ Central Corridor with the construction and operation of the new green line light rail train. Kalia serves as a Board Member of Hnub Tshiab Hmong Women Achieving Together (HWAT), where she contributes to fundraising, programming, and policy research to advance gender equity and cultural change in the local and regional Hmong community. As a member of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice's inaugural Giving Project, Kalia along with 20 fellow community leaders collectively raised and granted $70,000 to seven MN organizations working towards systemic social change. Previously, Kalia worked for the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) in Washington, D.C. where she directed the Young Federal Leaders program, a national initiative to engage young workers in the Labor Movement. Kalia is a 2012 Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow and is a 2014 Hope Fellow through the Democratic National Committee's Hope Institute, a highly competitive fellowship for enthusiastic, politically-minded future leaders between the ages of 20 and 24 from diverse backgrounds all across the country. Additionally, her background includes work in national Asian Pacific Islander advocacy, immigration policy, and education policy. Kalia acquired her Bachelor of Arts in Government from Georgetown University in 2013. She was awarded the prestigious Louis McCahill Award, which recognizes the student of the graduating class who has shown perseverance and determination of a high order in pursuing his or her educational objectives at Georgetown. She will be starting a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) program in fall 2016.


Trish Welte

twincities-Welte.JPGTrish Welte has worked on campaigns in more than 25 states across the country, most recently having served as senior campaign staff at the National Education Association (NEA) where she advised state affiliate leadership on running strategic and data-driven political and legislative efforts.

Prior to the NEA, Trish supported state legislative campaigns for the AFL-CIO, served at political director at NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, ran voter protection efforts for ACTWisconsin,and worked to elect several candidates running for office around the country.

Trish will complete her Master of Social Work from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University in May 2016. She received her BA in Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and she began her career managing a state legislative race in Minnesota.