Building the Equity Movement from the Inside: Boards & Commissions Leadership Institute Announces its Third Cohort!

Nexus Community Partners is thrilled to announce the selection of 15 fellows for the 2015-2016 Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI).

The BCLI is a seven-month leadership program designed to identify, train, and support placement of dynamic leaders of color and underrepresented communities onto publicly appointed boards and commissions in the Twin Cities. BCLI fellows help advance an equity agenda across several sectors and issue areas.

Nexus is proud to introduce our third cohort and welcome them into the BCLI community:

Cacje Henderson, nominated by the Office of Senator Klobuchar
Deqa Sayid, nominated by the Student, Family & Community Engagement Department, Minneapolis Public Schools
Hanna Getachew-Kreusser, nominated by Avenues for Homeless Youth
Harrison Bullard, nominated by a BCLI Alum
Jeanette Jones, nominated by District 6 Planning Council and Ramsey County Community Human Services Citizen’s Advisory Council
Joane’ McAfee, nominated by a BCLI Alum
LaCora Bradford Kesti, nominated by Hope Community, Inc.
Luis Rangel Morales, nominated by the Neighborhood Justice Center
Mustafa Jumale, nominated by a BCLI Alum
Nichol Ellis-McGregor, nominated by Project for Pride in Living
Tiphanie (PH) Copeland, nominated by the Bush Foundation
Ron Harris, Jr., nominated by Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
Thorne Bordeaux, nominated by American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center
Tonya Draughn, nominated by Frogtown Rondo Home Fund
Wakinyan LaPointe, nominated by the Native Youth Alliance of Minnesota

The BCLI is building momentum within local governing bodies, as decision makers become not only representative of, but accountable to, our communities of color and other marginalized communities in the Twin Cities. The incoming BCLI fellows join 26 alumni, 17 of which have been successfully appointed on a board or commission or hold a high level policy position, and all of whom are building and pushing racial, social and economic equity in the community. Collectively we look forward to ensuring equitable outcomes in local and regional public policies. Biographies of each fellow can be found on Nexus’ website,

Please help us welcome and celebrate the incoming cohort at the BCLI Launch Event on Thursday, October 8th from 5:30-8pm at Heritage Park Senior Services Center, 1015 N. 4th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55411. The theme of this year’s launch is an African proverb, “Many people in many small places undertaking many modest actions can transform the world.” Come meet our fellows, mingle with BCLI alum, and hear from local leaders about the equity movement. The event is free and register online:

For more information about the BCLI, or ways to become involved, please contact the program director, Ms. Terri Thao at For more information about the BCLI Launch Event, please contact the event planner, BCLI Alum Leila Paye-Baker at