First published September 2019. Words by: Nexus Community Partners and Nichelle Brunner

Nichol Ellis-McGregor is currently the MFIP Program Manager at Rise Inc., an organization that supports people with disabilities and other barriers. From 2015 – 2016, Nichol participated in Nexus’ Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI) program. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Nichol and we discussed her current and past work, BCLI’s influence on her personal and professional decisions, and what inspires her. 

In your current work, did you learn any skills in BCLI that were transferable to your full time work?

To influence or transform movements equitably, I have to make myself present at a table or committee or board. Even just navigating myself to get to that table, that relates to BCLI in that, I can’t make change without being at that table. I also learned that we can have differing opinions, but we need to listen to each other. Before that, I thought those folks, folks with different opinions than mine, were the enemy. I realized I needed to function less out of emotion, though I am passionate about the work, and just listen and do checks and balances to make the best decisions. 

What work have you done since that was inspired by your work in BCLI? 

I sat on the Suburban Metro Area Continuum of Care Advisory Committee, where I was basically the voice for those in suburban Anoka and Hennepin counties to get affordable housing. I went back to school. I’m currently at Northwestern for my Masters in Human Services. Generally, where I can make movement, I do. 

What is your favorite memory from BCLI? 

One of the first things that comes to mind is the affordable housing project. We were divided into two groups and created housing communities. My group got really into the glamourous aspects of housing developments, but when we presented, we realized it was out of budget and unaffordable. It was so funny because it made us realize just how hard it is to create affordable and livable housing communities. It was really a learning moment. 

Another memory is definitely graduation. I initially feared going to it because I didn’t think I was worthy because I wasn’t an activist, you know. I wasn’t out there, on the frontlines, protesting. I now consider myself an undercover transformationalist agent — I can make change within policy and the work I do. 

What is one thing you would tell someone who is thinking of applying to the BCLI? 

Your life will truly be changed and you’ll learn so much. You don’t realize how much you don’t know about our government and how much it affects you. If you really want your worldview opened up, this will be the program for you. You will open up and grow.

What inspires you?

Resiliency. It’s the person who gets things done, no matter the obstacles in their way. It’s not only the people we see on tv, but it’s the grandmother up the block. It’s my mom who is raising 6 grandkids after retirement. I am truly inspired by people who don’t give up.


For Nexus 15th anniversary, staff, community members, and program participants were interviewed to reflect on the impact of Nexus. For the “Reflections from BCLI” series, participants reflect on their experience in the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. 

Opportunities for January 2021


Springboard for the Arts – Office Coordinator

Visit Lake Street

DEED Jobs DEED Jobs of the Day 1.26.2021

Jobs posted to Pollen website

Bush Foundation RFP

Current Requests


Media Relations Specialist (DFL Research)

MCH has two job openings! Would you be willing to share with your networks and/or let me know of any suggestions that I should reach out to personally? Both postings are located on our website at:


The MN Coalition for the Homeless is hiring two positions. You can find both at our website:

  • Full-time Regional
  •  Experts Organizer 
    • This job is ideal
    •  for someone who wants to organize within communities most impacted by the housing crisis and the organizations dedicated to ending homelessness.
    • First review of applications
    •  is February 7th and position is open until filled
  • Part-time Operations
  •  Manager 
    • This is a flexible,
    •  part-time position to support the operations of MCH. The ideal candidate will be a team player and detail-oriented.
    • First review of applications
    •  is February 1st.


Introduction for both positions:

Homelessness disproportionately hurts Black, Indigenous, People of Color and LGBTQIA+ people. We believe that these communities, and anyone who has experienced homelessness, are the experts and must be centered in the work we do together. We will not be able to end homelessness without these communities identifying the issues, solutions, and making decisions. We recognize that marginalized groups have different access to employment and job advancement and believe strongly in leadership development and lifting up the voices of non-traditional leadership.  We will work with the right candidate to develop the necessary skills to be successful in this position, including a budget for personal training. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities to apply.


Position Summary for Regional Experts Organizer

The Organizer will be responsible for identifying & implementing power-building goals, including but not limited to aligning issue campaigns, developing a base of advocates in the 7-County Metro area, and incorporating the work into our statewide advocacy. A growing area of our work is the Regional Expert Network. MCH currently facilitates a statewide Regional Expert Network and is expanding our work with a focus on the 7-County Metro Regional Homeless Response system. Regional Expert is defined as someone with lived experience of homelessness with support from those working in homelessness.


Position Summary for Operations Manager

MCH is seeking an individual that will support the operations of the organization. This part-time position works closely with the Executive Director and in partnership with MCH staff. MCH is seeking an individual that is a team player and is highly organized, an innovative thinker, and thrives in a dynamic, collaborative environment.

Matt Traynor, Director of Organizing

H4A Community Engagement Co-Chair

Check out MCH’s Regional Interview Videos  | c: 218-213-2054


Hennepin County

Senior Department Administrator – Child Support position is now open and is set to close on Monday, February 1st at 11:59 pm.  You may access the posting by using the link below.

Senior Department Administrator – Child Support




MN Coalition for the Homeless

Job Postings


Equity and Inclusion Manager

Northside Achievement Zone

Met Council


All Square -Fellowship Co-Director 

Senior Manager – Transit Equity (Metro Transit)

Second Harvest Heartland Jobs



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