The Alliance board of directors is elected by our members and comprised of representatives from member and allied community-based and advocacy organizations.

Hibo Abdi

Seward Redesign

Hibo joined the team at Redesign in 2021, where her work focuses on developing, implementing and growing Seward Redesign’s lending program including planning, budgeting, fundraising, implementing programs and operations, as well as program marketing. Prior to joining Redesign, she worked for African Development Center (ADC) where she was responsible for supporting a portfolio of businesses, as well as soliciting and servicing prospective and current clients to produce a variety of business loans. She was also involved with generating and managing a portfolio of non-loan business and corresponding relationships. She worked with loan officers to underwrite, structure and document loans per the ADC’s policy and assisted loan officers by offering other appropriate services provided by ADC. She maintained relationship with all loan partner organizations and supported day-to-day business lending and operations for ADC and its subsidiaries. She holds a Master’s degree (MBA) in International Business from Hamline University and a Bachelor of Arts in Health Science and Management from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. She hopes to contribute a better understanding of immigrants’ assets and contributions and how we can help them become a part of prosperous and inclusive community, as well as community wealth-building. 

Kadra Abdi

Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers

Kadra Abdi is a Minneapolis-based creative strategist and human rights activist committed to advancing racial equity in Minnesota and imagining an alternative world centered on equity. She is co-Director of Public Policy and Field Building with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers. She is also a founder and curator of Ubuntu, a platform that spotlights emergent issues impacting the global black diaspora, and Synergy, a consulting business dedicated to helping BIPOC small businesses. She is deeply connected to the black and Muslim social justice community in the Twin Cities and her work and activism uplift equity, inclusion, and accessibility issues. She currently serves as a board member of the Center for Victims of Torture and the Twin Cities Media Alliance. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree with a minor in Human Rights from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Gender Studies from Luther College. As a board member of the Alliance, she hopes to support advocacy efforts for resources and policy changes for BIPOC small businesses and work to address racial disparities in housing. 

Candy Bakion


Bright and bubbly, Candy is a constant learner who believes life lessons come from natural experiences. A life-long Minneapolis and current Heritage Park Resident, Candy has many years of customer service experience at a variety of organizations including MICAH. When she is not rolling with her entourage of five children, and a Grandson, she enjoys connecting with people through chatting and sharing knowledge.

Nichole Buehler

Harrison Neighborhood Association

Nichole is the Executive Director of the Harrison Neighborhood Association. Since 2017, she has been working to advance HNA’s mission to create a prosperous and peaceful community that equitably benefits all of Harrison neighborhood’s diverse racial, cultural, and economic groups. Nichole has nearly 20 years of experience in advocacy, policy, and community organizing work. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, she worked with the Resource Center of the America’s El Centro de Derechos Laborales, advocating for workers without documentation as they faced discrimination and abuse in the workplace. She received her law degree from Hamline University School of Law with a focus on Employment and Labor Law,  and has been a practicing attorney since 2010, working with clients on a sliding-scale fee or in a pro-bono capacity on cases involving employment discrimination, unemployment claims, tenants’ rights, and criminal defense. From 2014 to 2017, Nichole served on the boards of the West Bank Community Coalition and the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood Revitalization Program where she found her passion for place-based community organizing. In 2017, Nichole helped form the MSP Airport Rapid Response Team in response to the Muslim Travel Ban which worked nonstop to train, schedule, and deploy over 300 attorneys at the airport, meeting every affected international flight arriving at MSP for six weeks. For her work on that volunteer effort, Nichole received the Advocates for Human Rights Special Recognition Award. Nichole was also an active volunteer organizer for the 15 Now! campaign in Minneapolis, and later served on the 15 Now!–St. Paul Board of Directors where she helped organize a major win for workers in their struggle for livable wages.

Sunny Chanthanouvong

Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota

Sunny Chanthanouvong is the award-winning executive director of the nationally-recognized Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota. He began in 1991 working with his fellow refugees in Minnesota and across the United States as a Youth Specialist. He became the Executive Director in 2001. He is passionate about improving the quality of life to meet the needs of Southeast Asian refugees, their families, neighbors, and other stakeholders around the world. Among his distinctions, he holds a Bush Fellowship and a Virginia McKnight- Binger Award for Humanitarian Services. He is a certified interpreter and is fluent in Lao, Thai, and English. Sunny Chanthanouvong is also a member of the Minnesota Compulsive Gambling Advisory Committee, the Minneapolis Human Rights Commission, and the Asian Pacific Health Consortium. He recently joined the NorthStar Problem Gambling Board of Directors to bring almost 3 decades of experience addressing bicultural, multigenerational problem gambling prevention.

Charles Frempong-Longdon, Jr

Sierra Club North Star Chapter

Charles is a volunteer at the Sierra Club North Star Chapter and a founding member of the MN BIPOC EJ Table, an organizing cohort whose mission is to build a sustainable ecosystem of BIPOC community members that is values driven, radically imaginative, and generative in overall approach. He previously served as part of the Healthy Communities organizing program at the Sierra Club, working on a multitude of Environmental Justice issues across the Twin Cities including Zero Waste and recycling, land use, affordable housing & anti-displacement efforts. His work is heavily informed by his experience as the youngest son of African immigrants as well as his upbringing in rural Minnesota. Central to his work are components of community care and arts based organizing. In his time at the Sierra Club, he has been part of the development of several training modules such as “Ecopoetry- A study of Queer Ecology & Wordbuilding,” “Community Care 101,” and in collaboration with partners at the MN BIPOC EJ Table, “Intergenerational Dialogues.” He hopes to continue to lead work around housing and anti-displacement. It is his belief that housing justice is environmental justice and that an environment in many ways is a physical manifestation of culture. It is that work of “cultural organizing” that drives him to innovate, to connect, and to imagine. 

Malik Holt-Shabazz

At Large

Malik is the Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing (*NLO) Program Coordinator & Trainer for University of Minnesota – Twin Cities’ Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). His experiences include Union Organizer for the AFL-CIO; Executive Director and Economic Development Organizer of North Minneapolis’s Harrison Neighborhood Association; Director of City of Saint Paul’s District 6 Planning Council; and Statewide Director for the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office at AmeriCorps. Malik is passionate about Issues based Organizing centered around Base Building, Reparative Racial Justice, Community-led Systems Change, Community Benefits-based economic developments including CBAs, equitable development scorecard legacy work, and land use planning. Malik is also a registered Civil mediator through the Conflict Resolution Center of Minnesota. One of Malik’s favorite careers outside of CURA work was his time as an Emergency Services Director for American Red Cross – Illinois. Malik graduated from the University of Minnesota – Morris.

Margaret Kaplan, Treasurer

Housing Justice Center

Margaret Kaplan is the President of the Housing Justice Center, a non-profit public interest legal and policy advocacy organization dedicated to upholding the right to safe, stable, affordable housing free from discrimination. Margaret has over 20 years of experience in the field of affordable housing and community development, starting out as a community organizer with All Parks Alliance for Change. She began her legal career with the Housing Preservation Project, and subsequently worked for All Parks Alliance for Change and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining HJC, Margaret spent six years as the Community Development Director at Minnesota Housing. Margaret has expertise in local, state, and federal housing policy and programs and is dedicated to using law and policy as a tools to effectuate community articulated outcomes for a more just and equitable society.


Nelima Sitati-Munene, President

African Career, Education & Resource Inc

Nelima Sitati-Munene represents African Career, Education & Resource, an organization that promotes culturally competent solutions that help Africans, African Americans, and other communities of color achieve social and economic independence. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Summit Hill Association, a St. Paul district council, is a member of the Metropolitan Council’s Housing Policy Plan Work Group, and serves on the city of Brooklyn Park’s core planning team. Nelima has a long history of community organizing, including work at the North Minneapolis-based Harrison Neighborhood Association. She is a member of the Equity in Place table convened by the Alliance and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs to secure more equitable investments in the Twin Cities region.

Anthony Taylor, Vice President

Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota

Anthony Taylor is a co-founder of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, founded in 1999 with the commitment to increase the participation of the African American community in cycling for sport, transportation, and health improvement. He is also a member of the League of American Bicyclists Equity Advisory Council, co-founder and VP of the National Brotherhood of Cyclists, and the founder of Slow Roll Twin Cities. He is actively engaged in partnerships that use active living and the outdoors as a tool to build community, increase personal power, community safety, and improve the wellbeing of our youth and families with a special commitment in historically oppressed communities. He recently served as the Director of Adventures and Equity Programs for the Loppet Foundation and has been a consultant with The Sanneh Foundation, The YMCA of the North, and The Cultural Wellness Center, Minneapolis Park Board, HGA Architects and The DNR at the intersection of equity, the outdoors, youth development, and community development. He currently serves as a member of the AARP Executive Council for AARP MN and was appointed by Gov. Walz to the Governor’s Council on Age-Friendly Minnesota and as a Commissioner on the Metropolitan Council Open Space Commission, responsible for funding and policy in the Regional Park Systems and the founder of Melanin In Motion leading outdoor adventures for BIPOC families and youth. He hopes to support the Alliance in directing the power of its membership in systems change that shows up as increased community agency and equitable public policy.

José A. Zayas Caban

Our Streets Minneapolis

José is the Advocacy Director for Our Streets Minneapolis, where he works on developing reparative justice campaigns across the Twin Cities. He is also a 2023 board member at and finished serving as co-convener and Advisory Board member in a climate and mobility justice campaign that aims to increase multimodal transportation and reduce vehicle miles traveled and improve equitable access to transportation infrastructure across the state of Minnesota. In addition, as a 2022— 2023, José is a Mapping Prejudice Project Community Fellow conducting research into the intersections between racial covenants, transportation, housing and land use; a resident at the University of Minnesota Liberal Arts Engagement Hub working on an essay for the upcoming book Human Tolls: Public Histories and Community Responses to Twin Cities’ Freeways; and a McKnight Artist Fellow for his music.