Amoke Kubat is a HeARTIST* and Spiritual Culture Bearer, who remains curious about self, (as an older African American woman), the natural world, and the Sacred. She is reclaiming an African Indigenous Spiritual sensibility to reconnect herself and Black people to the natural world, as practice for holistic wellness.
Self-taught, she uses artmaking (weaving, dollmaking, and clay) and writing (essays, short stories, poems, and plays) to continue to define herself and hold a position of wellness in an America sick with inequalities and inequities. Her plays, ANGRY BLACK WOMAN & Well Intentioned White Girl and Old Good Kit Kat and Good Old Kit, were her first public works.
Amoke is the creator of YO MAMA’s The Art of Mothering Workshops and YO MAMA’s House Cooperative. YO MAMA’s philosophy and practice is to empower mothers by disrupting the devaluation of women’s visible and invisible labor and increasing the recognition of the ART of Mothering that highlights the legacies of maternal wisdom and know how that sustains healthy mothers, families and communities
(*Heart centered artwork. Everything is from my open heart.)
Fellowships and Grants
- 2022 McKnight Culture Bearer Fellowship
- 2021 Loft’s Mirrors and Windows Fellow
- 2021 Jerome Hill Fellowship in Theater/Performance
- 2021 Minnesota State arts Board Individual Artist Support
- 2020 Springboard for the Arts
- 2019- 2020 Naked Stages
- CURA Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative Grant, 2019
- Artist and Aging, Springboard for the Arts and The Citizen League, 2016
Writings and Publications
- Witness Writing Anthology, (Northside Community Based Writers Initiative), 2022
- Minnesota Women’s Press, contributing writer, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021
- The Garden and Letter to Herman, short stories, Imagine Fergus Falls: A Collection of Stories and Poems, 2016
- A Retiring Mind Blog at www.oops50.com, 2013-2014
- Missing Mama: My story of Loss, Sorrow and Healing, a self-published memoir, 2012
- Her Name was Ernestine, Recovering the Self: A Journal of Healing and Hope, January, 2011
- In the Spirit of Our Mothers, Recovering the Self: A Journal of Healing and Hope, April 2011
Founder & President/CEO, Forty Acre Co-Op & President, The Great Rise
Ms. Dawson is a fourth-generation farmer from the Upper Midwest and a first generation college graduate earning several degrees in business and legal education. Dawson’s business expertise has primarily focused on cooperative business development, food systems security, and public health. Over her twenty eight year career Dawson has served on several boards and committees advocating for equity, inclusion and environmental sustainability. Dawson recently co-founded The Great Rise to scale her advocacy positions and create lasting policy changes in Minnesota and beyond.
Angela and her work has been featured in several publications including the following:
- InStyle Magazine: The Badass 50 – 2021
- Fox 9: New Bill Aims to Even the Field for Black Farmers
- Mashable: Black farmers denied loans teach each other how to make money growing hemp
- BlackTech: How Angela Dawson and the 40 Acres Co-Op Are Reclaiming Black Wealth Through Farming
- KARE: 40 Acre Co-op, A Co-Op for Black Farmers
- Hemp Farmer: 40 Acre Co-op: Creating New Promise for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers
- KARE 11 News Feature of 40 Acre Co-op
- Authority: Women Of The C-Suite: Angela Dawson of 40 Acre Cooperative On The Five Things You Need To Succeed As A Senior Executive
- APLUS by Ashton Kutcher
Cheniqua Johnson (she/her) is a public servant, grant maker, and community organizer. In her current role at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Cheniqua serves as a Program Officer and supports the work of nonprofit organizations throughout the metro and in Greater Minnesota. Cheniqua is responsible for reviewing grantmaking in health and civic engagement.
Cheniqua is a first-generation college graduate and TRIO alum who received her Bachelor of Science degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota.
In addition, Cheniqua is a Co-Founder of In Sisterhood, We Brunch, a quarterly brunch series for women and gender nonbinary folks, alumna of the Twin Cities Chapter of New Leaders Council and the African American Leadership Forum’s 2019 Dr. Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy Cohort, as well as one of the taskforce members on the City of Saint Paul’s Police Chief Examining Committee.
Post-graduation, Cheniqua has worked in community organizing, politics, and Congress. Some of her previous roles include being a Legislative Assistant for the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation, Staff Assistant for former Congressman, now Attorney General, Keith Ellison, and former candidate for Minnesota State Representative.
Born and raised in Worthington, Minnesota and now a resident of East Saint Paul, she had the opportunity to learn more about the statewide Black diaspora and looks forward to being able to directly invest in Black community members in our region. Outside of work, Cheniqua can be found socializing, organizing, or tapping into anything musical. She is a huge fan of live music and loves to travel, plan events, bring people together, or enjoy time on a beach!
Chloe Clements is a diversity consultant with 6 years of experience leveraging DEI practices to create culturally inclusive learning institutions. As co-founder and executive director of ACE Academy, South Dakota’s first secular primary school rooted in anti-racist teachings, Clements is committed to healing race relations and building cultural awareness through culturally responsive education, social justice, and racial equity. Armed with firsthand experience, years in advocacy work, and the power to organize, Clements understands marginalized communities and the organizations that interact with them. She is passionate about partnering with community leaders, driving initiatives, and directing events to foster cultural competency in order to bring the power of equity to all things.
Genesia Williams is a creative social change leader. As the owner and principal of Genesia Doing Things – a design and strategy firm focused on solutions for nonprofits, small businesses, artists and individuals –Genesia’s approach reflects the resilience she learned from her community.
Genesia is from the South Side of Chicago, 4th generation and a grand-child of the Great Migration. Firmly rooted in the history, culture, and Black-centered identity given to her from her hometown, she carries this perspective forward in her Twin Cities based communications work. Also informing her works is years of grappling with systemic poverty. Though systems hurl monumental injustices at marginalized communities, Genesia knows that her friends, family, and neighbors are full of drive, hope, dreams, ambitions and ideas that have the power to shake the world. She is shaped by their struggles, their love, and their wisdom.
Genesia is a writer, designer, village member, auntie and aspiring elder who uses her work to help people on the journey to own their narratives and claim their power.
Hey, my name is Jimmy Harris. I’m 28 and I enjoy writing and making music, anime, and manga. But most importantly, I love making change or being a part of it. If you don’t take the risk, you don’t create a better future.
While I was born in Compton, California, I call San Antonio, TX my hometown because it is where I grew up since the age of seven. I have over 20 years’ experience in the Mortgage Industry. I am currently a Correspondent Mortgage Underwriting Supervisor at a local bank. I graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in History and American Studies. I earned a Master of Divinity Degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta GA, with a concentration in Christian Education. I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA and an Associate Pastor at Liberty Community Church in North Minneapolis where I am the Director of Christian Education and Community Engagement.
I am passionate about providing financial literacy to the black community. This stems from my personal financial experiences and financial services background and training. I conduct financial literacy programing at my church for adults. I started an investment club at church for youth in grades 6-12 to demystify the stock market. I am the creator and host of a financial podcast called Finance & Affirmations. It is a podcast which deals with the intersection of personal finance and every aspect of our daily lives. It also offers financial and personal affirmations to help its listeners on their daily journeys.
Frogtown born and raised, Kirstin is excited to bring her lived experience and deep Saint Paul roots to her role on the Black Community Trust Fund Advisory Committee. Kirstin leads with the values of integrity, authenticity, and transparency, and prioritizes holistic, community-driven solutions, innovation, and cross-stakeholder collaboration with a focus on equity, accountability, and results.
Kirstin Burch is the Program Director at the Family Housing Fund, where she leads program strategy and oversees the implementation of strategic initiatives. Kirstin is an experienced leader in both the local government and nonprofit sectors. Kirstin brings expertise in culturally inclusive relationship building, community engagement, policy development, regulatory and systems change, and affirmatively furthering fair housing.
Kirstin holds a B.A. in Individualized Studies, studying the intersections of Culturally Inclusive Approaches to Economic Advocacy and Leadership from Metropolitan State University and a Leadership in Affordable Housing Certificate (LAHC) from Hamline University.
Kirstin resides in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood with her partner and three children where she is comfortably known as an indoor person that you will likely find cooking a delicious meal, socializing with friends and family, or cheering her kids on a local recreation center sporting event.
Currently employed at Minneapolis Public Schools Behavior resource for Anishinabe Academy.
I have worked as a youth advocate for over 20 years in the twin cities and am also a natural self taught artist.
I am engaged in growing Electromagnetic People Art co LLC which is a family owned and operated business in hopes of establishing generational wealth as well as being able to give back to the community through education in art and culture. I believe that the answers to all the problems facing our planet reside in the people of the planet and it is supremely beneficial to us all if everyone is able to achieve their potential.
Talaya Jones is a proud mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and a woman of many talents.
In her early years she began her professional career as an assistant manager for a well-known nonprofit organization. During her time there, Talaya engaged herself in the skills she needed to become office manager and was employed in that position for 7 yrs.
Today, Talaya is a professional Black entrepreneur and exudes her creativity by creating merchandise, natural skin care products and non-toxic perfumes.
Talaya also has a deep love for people, coupled with a thriving passion for helping others be successful and love on themselves. She also enjoys motivational speaking and believes in finding maximum results with minimal confusion.
Talaya is also a creative thinker, who likes to pay close attention to detail and organization. Talaya holds a certificate in (Business Administration) accompanied with numerous certificates in (Outstanding Customer Service).
Talaya obtained many certificates while attending Black Women’s Wealth Alliance 2018.
Presently, Talaya is continuing her professional career as an entrepreneur. She is promoting herself by obtaining wisdom from experience and learning new skills set. Talaya is working passionately and consistently to advance herself as she continues prospering into Black Wealth and Black Excellence.
Tyesha N. Mitchell
As a Community Health worker and founder of Making It Official, I believe in responding to the heart of people, serving with integrity, and the collective power of partnership. These beliefs fueled my decision in applying for the Back Trust Fund Advisory Committee.
Outside of my 10 years’ experience in the healthcare field, I am University of Northwestern- St. Paul Alumna and student at Metropolitan State University completing a degree in Human Services Family studies. As a loving ambassador for Christ, devoted mother, mentor, and friend I strive to use my achievements and resources for the well-being of our community.
What excites me most about serving on the Black Fund Advisory committee is our collaborative approach, my passionate committee members, and the possibility of tangible impact. As a proud Chicago native, I aspire to be as sacrificial as my late mother, generous as my brother, courageous as Harriet Tubman, and industrious as Clarence Avant. All while being as sensible as Judge Judy. It’s an honor serving communities who are so deserving, thank you.