Thursday, September 19, 2019
InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel
Award Ceremony & program featuring keynote address from North Dakota State Representative Ruth Buffalo and performance by ShapeShift
Meet our 2019 Facing Race Award Honorees
Tuleah Palmer is the daughter of Sid Palmer and Jill Abernathy. Her father was a lifelong resident of Ball Club and descends from the Nipissing Nation in Ontario and her mother is a lifelong advocate of social justice. Tuleah resides in Cass Lake, Minnesota, and is the mother of a blended Anishinaabe family of 7 children, ages 3 to 22.
Tuleah has spent her life and career working toward better: better after school programs, better youth development, improved public health outcomes, education, career pathways, basic needs, accessibility, policy change, racial equity and inclusion.
She serves as the executive director of Northwest Indian Community Development Center. Her career has weaved itself through many community organizing projects and programs that have made significant changes in people’s lives for better.
She serves on the Governor’s Workforce Board, Racial Equity Committee, DHS American Indian Workforce Development Initiative, DHS Mental Health Innovations Board, MDH & Wilder Healthcare Equity Leadership Team. She served as an Americorps VISTA after completing BSU as a first generation college graduate. Informally, she is claimed by her community and trusted to navigate complex narratives with truth and integrity. She believes leadership is about knowing when and how to act and creating space for others to stand in truth and justice.
Rev. Gloria Roach Thomas
In July 2018, after 20 years of pastoring and 25 years working prior to pastoring, Reverend Gloria Roach Thomas retired. As a pastor, she served Brooklyn United Methodist Church in Brooklyn Center and Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church in Saint Paul.
Prior to ordained ministry and pastoring, she worked in non-profit management. It was during these years that she began to finding her ‘voice’ in working with equity issues, which led her to advocacy and work to reduce the impact of racial disparities.
She continues to teach ‘Death and Dying Across Cultures and Religions’ as an adjunct Teaching Specialist at the University of Minnesota in the Mortuary Science Program in the School of Medicine. She also works with “Fiscally Fit,” a program working to eliminate economic disparities by fostering financial health and wellness.
She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Education from Winthrop University in South Carolina. She also holds a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. A native of South Carolina, she has resided in Minnesota for 43 years.
Meet Keynote Speaker Ruth Buffalo
About Keynote Speaker Ruth Buffalo
Ruth Buffalo's election in 2018 made history as she became the first Native American woman elected to North Dakota’s legislature, overcoming an opponent who had passed a voter ID law that made it harder for Native Americans to vote.
Ruth is a public health professional and educator. She is the former Chair of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition and recipient of National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 40 under 40 leadership award.
Her consultant and independent contract work has included: ACLU of ND, Honor the Earth, Sacred Pipe Resource Center, MHA Nation and First Nations Women’s Alliance. Her work has spanned research and advocacy, community capacity-building and continued reconciliation efforts through education. She is also a citizen of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, and descendant of the Chiricahua band of Apache.
Past awards events
2018 Facing Race awards
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations announced Bo Thao-Urabe and Otis Zanders as recipients of the 2018 Facing Race Awards. The awardees were recognized at a public ceremony on October 1 at the University of St. Thomas.Meet the 2018 recipients
2017 Facing Race awards
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations announced Hamse Warfa and the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood as recipients of the 2017 Facing Race Awards. The awardees were recognized at a public ceremony on September 18 at The Ordway Center for Performing Arts.Meet the 2017 recipients
2016 Facing Race Awards
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations hosted a celebration honoring anti-racism activists in Minnesota. We honored six individuals working to build communities where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.Meet the 2016 recipients
2015 Facing Race Awards
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations hosted a celebration honoring anti-racism activists in Minnesota. We honored six individuals working to build communities where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.Meet the 2015 recipients
2014 Facing Race Awards
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations hosted a celebration honoring anti-racism activists in Minnesota. We honored six individuals working to build communities where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.Meet the 2014 recipients
2013 Facing Race Awards