Hattie Bonds – Board Member
Hattie is a retired public school administrator, a former Science teacher and community member who has served on many boards dealing with Social Justice, Human Rights and Diversity. She is one of the founding members of EJAM, The Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, and has served as president of The Minnesota Alliance of Black School Educators and president of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals Hennepin Division. She is also developing a non profit, Women United to support women in their life goals.
Tiffany Enriquez – Board Member
Tiffany earned her B.A. in Art for Social Justice from the U of M and worked 10 years in experiential education with ages ranging from preschool to college, including two years as a co-teacher in Metro Urban Studies at HECUA and as an environmental justice educator for a local nonprofit. Tiffany currently works at Achieve Mpls, the strategic non-profit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools where I coordinate Career and College readiness efforts at Roosevelt High School. Tiffany has two young children who keep her on her toes from sunup to sundown and for whom she works relentlessly to improve educational outcomes for MN youth.
Collie Graddick – Board Member
Collie is an Agricultural Consultant with the MN Department of Agriculture (MDA) managing the MDA/ US Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Pesticide Educational Initiative program. Collie has worked with MDA for 18 years. Collie earned a BS in Plant Science from Fort Valley State College in Georgia and an MS in Plant and Soil Science from Tuskegee University in Alabama. Collie is active in Afro-Eco and networks with numerous farm justice organizations.
Jen Kader – Co-Chair
Co-Chair, currently serves as the Program Manager for Freshwater Society where she works with local communities to build their capacity to address water resource issues through training, education, and facilitation. Her professional background has jointly been in community organizing and environmental sustainability, and includes a stint at WEI as the 2010 Apple Intern. She received her BA in International Relations from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, as well as a certificate in Community-Based Development from Colorado State University. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the Humphrey School for Public Affairs with a concentration in Sustainability and Resiliency. Jen is chair of the Water Subcommittee for the City of Minneapolis’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission (where she represents WEI). She is a 2013 graduate of the Freshwater Society’s Master Water Steward program. She also served on the Technical and Community Advisory Committee for the Nicollet-Central Transit Alternatives study from 2012-2013. Jen is an avid cyclist, urban gardener, and strong local foods proponent concerned about environmental justice and climate change.
Robert Lilligren – Board Member
Robert Lilligren has served as President and CEO of Little Earth of United Tribes in South Minneapolis since October, 2014. An enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Robert is a 33- year resident of the Phillips Area in South Minneapolis, and a year ‘round bike commuter.
Robert served for 12 years as the V. President of the Minneapolis City Council. While on the Council Robert was a tireless advocate for the American Indian Community, LGBT Community, and other historically disenfranchised people. He is a landlord, co-owning housing units on the block where he lives, a personal financial commitment that helped revitalize a once crime-ridden area. He is active on the board of various organizations including Native American Community Development Institute (chair), the Women’s Environmental Institute, and Lutheran Social Service.
Elizabeth Kerwin – Board Member
Elizabeth is a Sister of St. Joseph and part of the Leadership Team of Loyola Spirituality Center where she has done spiritual companioning, retreats, and workshops for more than twenty-five years. Prior to forming the leadership team, Liz was the Director of the Spirituality Center for eighteen years. She serves on the Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph. She is a founding member and continues on the Earth Partners working group of the commission. Liz is a gardener, singer, cook, and reader and is passionate about the care of the earth and the health of all that lives on the earth.
Nancy Hylden – Teasurer
Nancy joined the WEI Board in July, 2011. In addition to being an organic foodie, she is an avid runner and an enthusiastic amateur artist. Nancy practices law and government relations in Minneapolis.
Maria Regan Gonzalez – Co-Chair
Maria is a Richfield community member and health equity advocate. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Spanish Studies and is currently studying to receive her Master’s in Public Health at the U of M. Maria works as a Health Equity Program Manager at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Prevention. Over the years, she has collaborated with numerous communities on work spanning local and international food systems and has been involved in various facets of improving community health from providing direct education to supporting policy change. She is passionate about equity, food justice and the connection between identity, health, and food. She enjoys camping, backpacking, Latin jazz, and practicing yoga.
Becky Lourey – Board Member (on leave)
Becky is a retired Minnesota Senator now working as a farmer, writer, and small business owner. Senator Lourey provided 16 years of leadership in the Minnesota House and Senate, where she was an effective champion for numerous economic and social justice issues including affordable health care, sustainable agriculture, civil rights for all, disability issues, affordable housing, Native American rights, and the environment. The mother of 12 children, Becky Lourey is known for her articulate grasp of many issues and her ability to forge alliances with diverse groups.