Meet Our 2019 Award Recipients
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 seven children, ages 3 to 22.
She serves as the executive director of Northwest Indian Community Development Center. Her career has woven 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. 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.
2018 Facing Race Awards
2016 Facing Race Awards
- Mary K. Murray Boyd, President & CEO, MKB & Associates
- Nieeta L. Presley, Executive Director, Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation
- Joanne Jones-Rizzi, Director of Community Engagement, Science Museum of Minnesota
- Dr. Nadarajan Sethuraju, Assistant Professor, School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Metropolitan State University
- Councilmember Dai Thao, Saint Paul - Ward 1
- Alfonso Tomás Wenker, Director of Program Strategy & Racial Equity, Minnesota Council on Foundations
2015 Facing Race Awards
- Lucila Dominguez, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha
- Nekima Levy-Pounds, University of Saint Thomas School of Law
2015 honorable mentions:
- Russel and Sarah Balenger, Circle of Peace Movement
- Delores Henderson, Ph.D., Saint Paul Public Schools
- Chaun Webster, Ancestry Books and Free Poets Press
2014 Facing Race Awards
- Jada Sherrie Mitchell, Tartan High School student and youth Leader
- Justin Terrell, TakeAction Minnesota
2014 honorable mentions:
- Jennifer Godinez, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP)
- Bukata Hayes, Greater Mankato Diversity Council
- Dr. Cecilia Martinez, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy
2013 Facing Race Awards
- Dr. Josie Johnson, Civil Rights Activist and member, Board of Regents, University of Minnesota
- Ellen O'Neill, YWCA of Duluth Executive Director
2013 honorable mentions:
- Corinth Matera, student, South Minneapolis High School
- Oluwaseyi Daniel Oyinloye, professor, University of Minnesota Duluth
- Hli Xyooj, Farmer's Action Legal Group
2012 Facing Race Awards
- Mahmoud El-Kati, Professor Emeritus of history at Macalester College
- Steve Pederson, farmer and founding member, Alexandria Cultural Inclusiveness Committee
2012 honorable mentions:
- Elizabeth A. Campbell, Emerging Business Inclusion Coordinator at Ryan Companies
- Taneeza Islam, Civil Rights Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota
- T. Gregory Stavrou, Executive Director of the Rochester Civic Theatre