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Meet Our 2019 Award Recipients

Tuleah Palmer

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

Award recipients:

  • Bo Thao-Urabe, Executive and Network Director of Coalition of Asian American Leaders
  • Otis Zanders, President and CEO of Ujamaa Place

2017 Facing Race Awards

Award recipients:

Past Award Recipients Facing Race

2016 Facing Race Awards

Award recipients:

2015 Facing Race Awards

Award recipients:

  • 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

Award recipients:

  • 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
Ambassador Awards recipients group 2

2013 Facing Race Awards

Award recipients:

  • 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

Award recipients:

  • 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
Questions about Facing Race? Send us an email.



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