Cacje Henderson, Co-Chair
Cacjectbedimi Henderson is a recent University of Minnesota graduate and 1st generation organizer. She grew up the oldest of seven children in her native South Minneapolis. Cacjectbedimi has a strong commitment to building power in low income communities of color, with a specific interest in housing equity and education. She currently works for TakeAction Minnesota as Economy Program Manager.
Nick Muhammad, Co-Chair
Nick Muhammad is an organizer, leader and respected artist in the Twin Cities music scene. He’s spent a lifetime studying the political, economic posture of African American community in relation to the dominant culture. He’s currently a coalition organizer with State Voices and is developing a philanthropic lens to his work.
Adam Robinson, Treasurer
Atom Robinson is the Director of Outreach & Campaigns for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. Before joining the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Atom led organizing efforts for social, racial, and economic justice campaigns with Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, and Catholic Charities Office for Social Justice. He is a founding board member of The Lift Garage and a musician. Atom holds a Master’s in Advocacy & Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota--Duluth and Bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter.
Merone Melekin, Secretary
Merone Melekin is a recent graduate of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota with a degree in Political Science and African American and African Studies. As an Eritrean American, she brought together her passion for civic engagement and political science with her ethnic identity in order to serve a common purpose and public good. A native to Minnesota's East Side of Saint Paul and Rondo Community, Merone has participated in local community organizing, education advocacy, and civic engagement from a very young age. She seeks to bring the skills of local cultures, local resources and working in solidarity in order to build power.
Angela Conley is a proud and passionate public servant. She has worked in Human Services for local and state government serving our most impoverished communities for over 15 years. In addition, she has volunteered with homeless shelters and other community service providers. She is currently the Operations Coordinator for the Minnesota Family Investment Program (our state’s TANF program) and key point of contact between Hennepin County and multiple community agencies that provide employment assistance. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from St. Catherine University and her graduate degree in Public Administration from Hamline University. Her purpose as a public servant is to create real, sustainable outcomes and inform policy for our chronically underserved, marginalized, oppressed and impoverished communities within Hennepin County. She is a mother, a wife, an advocate and an activist. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, her cats and at her home away from home, Lake Superior.
Kerry Jo Felder
Kerry Jo is a longtime member of NOC and has served as the Education Organizer at one time. She’s currently employed as the Community and Education Organizer at the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation and a member of the North High Community Coalition. She’s also a Sunday School teacher, an Alma Davis Unit member for her church and has volunteered with the following community based campaigns: Save the Kids, Our Vote, Our Future, the Homeowner Bill of Rights, the fast food fight for $15 and a Union, move MPS money from Wells Fargo, Payday loans, immigration reform, $9.50 minimum wage increase and a founder of POCUM (People of Color Union Members).
Manu Lewis was born in Minneapolis and raised in Atlanta, GA. He believes that organizing is the best tool available to bring people and cultures together. His firsthand experience of the criminal justice system makes him a powerful advocate in our police accountability, voting rights and corporate accountability campaigns. He volunteers for Restorative Justice and often goes back into Minnesota prisons and jails to provide resource and inspiration for those most in need. He’s a longtime community leader, organizer and staff person at the Neighborhood HUB and believes in organizing his community to be part of the solution.
Mohamed is the Assistant Director of the Council on Black Minnesotans. He has committed to working for economic and political parity for all communities of color. He has played integral roles in several political campaigns in Minnesota and Virginia including the defeat of the Voter Restriction Amendment. Mohamed is actively involved with several local community organizations and serves in the boards of the Young Somali American Advisory Council and Hayaan. He looks forward to working with the board and the membership to expand the footprint of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change.
Kandace Montgomery began organizing in college where she learned about the power of her voice when combined with the voice of her community. She is currently a community organizer at TakeAction MN where she works to build power with leaders of color in order to dismantle structural racism and corporate power. Kandace’s passion to fight injustice began while growing up low-income and one of five kids of color in her hometown in rural Maine and the experiences of oppression she and her family faced there. She is excited to be joining NOC’s board and work to grow our capacity to be a powerful organizing home for people of color and low-income people in the metro area.
Since Ryan was young he’s always cared about helping his friends, family and loved ones help themselves. This led him to become a social worker, and through his education and work experience he has gained tremendous insight into his privileges and how they can be use to improve our world. For the past six years Ryan has worked in direct social services with individuals experiencing homelessness, mental illness and chemical dependency, as well as in community organizing with individuals in poverty. He believes addressing structural change through all systems is the only way we will achieve the world we all envision, and that becoming a board member at NOC is an honor that will help him continue this fight.
Daniel Yang is a community organizer and activist from the East Side of Saint Paul. He has worked on progressive statewide campaigns on everything from fighting against Voter ID/Voter Restriction to raising the state’s minimum wage. Daniel has a BA in Political Science/Social Justice from Hamline University. He has in-depth human rights work experience in Eastern Africa, which resulted in the publishing of his first book, “Kakuma-Turkana: Africa’s Forgotten Peoples,” that includes a foreword by Nobel Peace Prize winner His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Daniel has also worked extensively throughout Latin America on indigenous rights issues with governments, indigenous communities and social movements throughout the region. Much of that work was focused in Venezuela for the government’s Misión Guaicaipuro, an indigenous anti-poverty and communal land title project that was an initiative of President Hugo Chavez. Daniel has been selected as a Wellstone Action! Organizing Fellow and a Wilder Foundation Community Equity Pipeline – Public Policy Fellow. He serves on numerous community, political and non-profit boards of directors.
Denise Hanh Huynh