NLP Cohort 2021

Anh Dinh (she/her)

Hi, I’m Anh Dinh. I came from Vietnam and I want to introduce my cultures to everyone. Even though, I’m proud of where I came from, sometimes I still struggle with my identity and where I belong but I hope by being a part of this program, we can all help each other to navigate through these journeys.

Antiquika (Tika) Jones (she/her)

My name is Tika Jones, and I am from St. Paul. I come from a family of strong, powerful women who continually are gracious and loving. Because of strong women, I am a woman who wants education to be accessible and relevant for all students, and I believe literacy is a right, not a privilege. It’s imperative to be a champion for children; therefore, my place is creating a safe space to motivate young minds.

Blair Moore (she/they)

My name is Blair. I am a celestial being. I come from many a light years away. My people are brilliant stars in the sky. I am proud of being part of the Universe. I feel awesome when I shine and others can see. Home smells like a cooling breeze on a clear night sky. If the value of the sun was shared by all people, maybe all people can feel home on this precious planet. 

Chelsea Chase (she/her)

My name is Chelsea. I am queer and no, I won’t be elaborating. I come from the Arctic, Inuit, though I’ve never touched our land. My people are chosen family. I am proud of my integrity, my heart, my mind, and my commitment to growth. I feel awesome when held in community. Home feels like people, like places that only existed for a brief moment in time, like place yet to be. If the value of stewardship of the earth, radical community, radical love, and imagination was shared by all people, maybe all people can feel home on this precious planet. 

Danisa Farley (she/her) 

I am first and foremost a child of God’s. I hold a different position in different people’s lives and different aspects of community. I am mother, grandmother, Minister, advocate, leader, organizer, teacher and student. I have done many things, but I am still discovering my place on this earth and the many facets of my character and Being.

Eric Salinas (he/him)

My name is Eric Salinas. I am originally from South Texas and moved to Minnesota in 1999. I am a single father who manages a kitchen for Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters. I also DJ in my spare time and I’m also apart of several community endeavors like the Eastside skatepark taskforce, Dayton’s Bluff community garden, and Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services. I feel that community and my place in it is crucial to developing stronger bonds with all aspects of societies.

Fadumo Mohamed (she/her)

Nabad! My name name is Fadumo Mohamed. I am a community organizer in the Northwestern suburbs. I am of Somali decent and I grew up in Southern Minnesota. My conviction on what my place on earth is comes from spiritual tradition. It is to get to know the one source of goodness and to do that by being a better everyday.

Hajaratu Jaafaru (she/they)

Greetings!! My name is Hajaratu Jaafaru, my pronouns are She/Her & They/Them. I’m a local community organizer currently a part of the group Kreyatif Noir (Black Creative in Haitian Creole and French) Co-Founder and Co-Organizer and a Twin Cites Creative Artist! I come from a place of unconditional love, compassion, growth, interbeing, and the understanding of change being the only consistent thing in our lives. I’m proud of continuously putting in the inner and outer work into myself to experience the person that I’m growing and have changed to be, as well as always adapting to how that experience chooses to change. Thus, through healing myself I’ve seen how it’s helped heal others around me. I’m on a path of learning what it means to truly have unconditional love for myself and others, inner standing the belief that ‘we are all one’. I will not only just talk about how I want to move and better love this world but do so through my energy, voice, and most importantly through my actions and intentions. I feel awesome when I prioritize my spiritual, physical, mental, wellness, allowing me to be my most authentic and present self for me and for the people that I choose to love.

Jazinae Patterson (she/her)

My name is Jazinae Patterson and I am a current Business Advisor for the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance. As a native of South Minneapolis, I attended Washburn Senior High School, and upon graduation in 2016, I enrolled at the University of Northwestern St. Paul with two full scholarships. As a triple degree holder in Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Biblical Studies, I am currently studying to get certified as an Economic Development Professional. I also plan to attend Law School to become a Civil Rights Attorney and work on Criminal Justice and Prison Reform. In addition to my role as the Business Advisor for the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance, I also work with the No Kids in Prison Fellowship with the Legal Rights Center.

Kenna-Camara Cottman (Say my name. Use gender neutral pronouns)

Kenna-Camara Cottman is Black, non-binary, a cultural artist, and repping North Minneapolis. Kenna runs Voice of Culture Drum and Dance, where we create Black space for practicing cultural arts and liberation. Kenna has taught many things including Montessori elementary school, College level dance, and kickboxing. Kenna has worked many places including Franklin Middle School, TU Dance Center, and at a coffee shop. Kenna is a proud participant with BodyPrayers, The Wild Duo, and WE WIN, among other organizations. Kenna is the child of community parents Bill and Beverly Cottman, and the mother of Yonci Peaceful and Ebrima Baye. www.voiceofculture.org

Lovetee Polahnd (she/her)

My name is Lovetee Beyan Polahn. I am a full time Christian from a local church in Brooklyn Park. I was born into the union of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Beyan, from a small town called  Ziggida, Lofa County, Monrovia Liberia. I am a single Mom with six Kids, two boys and four beautiful girls, I am also a Nursing Student at Anoka Ramsey Community College. One of my codes of value in life is to serve humanity. Currently, I served as a Tenants Organizer at GeorgeTown Park in Brooklyn Center for a little over one year. I am looking forward to the success of this program.

Maria Bertrand (she/her)

I am who I am because of us, because of my friends, family, cat, trees, air, neighbors, colleagues, elders, and the list goes on. My greatest joy is making new friends. I love to sit down and listen, knowing that what I’m about to hear will rock my world. When engaging in radical imagining, I envision a future that cherishes diversity and humility, one that prioritizes rest, creativity, and storytelling, a world where humans are in right relation with the many other beings that inhabit this earth.

Mason Persons (he/him)

I am a community organizer, political advocate and a Modiste. I have been speaking on my experiences with food and housing instability since 2017. My passion for buidling community with trans/non-binary/queer, BIPOC youth motivates my work. I have a focus on sustainability and mutual aid, which you can see in all of my work including my art. As a Modiste I design, mend, tailor, alter and upcycle clothing. Everything I make is made with second hand/recycled material. I believe that healing our communities starts with authentic expression and storytelling. I am very hype to use this opportunity to build connections and continue refining my skills. Stay connected with me through My Facebook Page or Instagrams @masonmodiste and @bibbitybobbityboy find me anywhere through linktr.ee/magicmodiste

Sidney Stuart (she/her)

My name is Sid, I try to be a good listener, I enjoy gardening and learning about plants. Watching cooking shows and eating new foods. I work with young children and community. My passions are hard to pin point but I think it mostly comes down to interactions. Generally I love to learn about as many different things as I possibly can. I am a South Minneapolis born, East Saint Paul resident. I come from close family and friends. From Minnesotans and Bahamians. I know I am still learning what my place on earth means to me.

Sierra Carter (she/her)

Sierra Carter is a music executive by day and holistic counselor and healer by night! North Minneapolis resident, advocate for purpose & lover of the collective! With God’s Grace – Founding The Zen Bin in 2018, Sierra has curated a safe space for her community to have access To affordable mental and emotional health resources, holistic medicine and affordable fresh meals

Tolulope Ola  (she/her)

Dr. Tolulope Monisola Ola (She/Her/Hers) is the Founder and Executive Director of Restoration for All Inc; a nonprofit organization with the mission to nurture and empower individuals, organizations, and communities to renew, discover and restore their culture of well-being. She is a Mental Health Practitioner, African Storyteller, and an advocate for cultural healing through mind, body, and spirit practices. She is a Co-chair for the Mental Health and Wellness Action Team of Ramsey County Public Health. She is an entrepreneur and a social researcher with several journal articles, book chapters, and two books to her credit and has presented extensively on the role of culture in improving mental health and well-being at local, state, national, and international conferences. She has expertise in public health and rights-based responses to chronic diseases and their psychosocial impacts on immigrants and refugees from Africa. She is a public health expert with experience in empowering and mobilizing communities to bring about social change through health education, sensitization, and advocacy to create an environment that is physically, socially, and culturally inclusive.