Mr. Edward Lohnes Jr. Chairperson /CEO
Mr. Lohnes is currently a Case Manager with the Indigenous Peoples Task Force in Minneapolis. In addition, he is an Independent Business Agent with Primerica Financial Services. He has served as the President of the Minnesota League of Human Rights Commissions and had served on the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission for over 10 years. Also served as the president of the Minneapolis Umpires Association. He was also CEO and board member of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) held in the Twin Cities in 1995 were over 8,000 Native Youth in Olympic style athletic competition and cultural activities.
Previously he worked at American Indian OIC & Division of Indian Works in the area of job training and client placement. He came to the AIOIC after serving over 10 years with the Minnesota State Department of Human Rights as an investigator and supervisor. Mr. Lohnes and his father Ed Lohnes, Sr., are both members of the Spirit Lake Dakota Reservation of North Dakota. Both are direct descendents of early Sioux Chief Waantan from that region. Edward Jr., is also a highly decorated Marine Corp Vietnam Veteran.
Lyle Rustad Executive Director
St. Cloud, MN
Mr. Rustad has been the principal organizer and overall production manager in developing the Diversity Foundation, its network and services, to-date. For more than 30 years, he has worked and volunteered in organizations such as the American Indian Movement, St. Cloud Area Indian Center, North American Indigenous Games, US Youth Games, Boys Clubs of America, NAACP, and other human services, many related to youth and criminal justice programs, and most reflecting concern for racial justice. A graduate of the University of Minnesota where he studied social work, Mr. Rustad pursued graduate study in education and rehabilitation counseling at the University of South Carolina and, after serving in Vietnam, was a psychiatric social worker in military corrections. Later, as director of the 1,200-member Greater Columbia (SC) Boys Club, supervising more than 100 staff and volunteers, he facilitated its first racial integration, and inclusion of children with disabilities. He co-founded the South Carolina Child Abuse Council and the People Against Sexual Assault program.
In Minnesota, in addition to the Diversity Foundation, Inc., he was producer, director and co-founder with Dr. Tom Eiselt of Diversity Productions of Mankato. He has volunteered in support of Vietnam and Gulf War veterans, in chemical abuse prevention and recovery, in organizations serving persons with disabilities, in a St. Paul Police Department youth mentoring program, the St. Cloud Mayors Violence Prevention Council, the Central Minnesota Multicultural Task Force and NAACP, and in the past was member of the St. Cloud team of the Minnesota Churches Anti-Racism Initiative. He coordinated filming and assisted with the 1995 North American Indigenous Games, the 1995-98 Birch Coulee "Gathering of Kinship" healing events, and the 1997 dedication of Reconciliation Park in Mankato, honoring living Dakota elders and the memory of the 38 Dakota warriors hung at Mankato following the 1862 "Dakota Conflict." Rustad & Lohnes and their Diversity Foundation helped organize, along with the City of Winona the first annual Great Dakota Homecoming and Reconciliation events in 2004. The event is now entering its 7th season & has grown annually as it hosts & invites back Dakota descendents & other Native Americans from across the Midwest & Canada! Check out this entire site for more details covering this event as well as other Diversity Foundation activities coordinated & led by Ex. Director Rustad.
Dr. John M. Taborn, Ph.D.Vice Chairperson
Dr. Taborn is a licensed psychologist and President of J Taborn Associates Inc., a comprehensive psychological services firm in the Twin Cities. He is an Associate Professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Educational Psychology and former Chair of the Department of Afro-American and African Studies. His research reflects his interest in the mental health of minority groups as well as the impact of racism on personal and organizational functioning in the public and private sectors. Over the years, he has consulted with the leadership and staff of numerous businesses, corporations, public and private schools, colleges and universities throughout Minnesota and U.S. Dr. Taborn frequently serves as an expert witness by the courts and legal system in cases relating to discrimination and family custody issues.
In addition, various State and National law enforcement agencies and professional athletic corporations including the National Football League (NFL), the Minnesota Vikings and Timberwolves, etc. regularly utilize his Clinical expertise. John is also retired as a Captain with the U.S. Navy and is a Bush Leadership Fellow recipient. He has authored numerous articles on Diversity and Overcoming Racism in Education, and serves as a consultant to the Minnesota Supreme Courts Advisory Committee on Racial Bias, a Life-Member of Whos Who Among Black Americans and serves on the board of directors of the Stairstep Foundation. Recently Dr. Taborn was honored by the Midwest Psychologists Association as its founder and for his Lifetime service.
Dr. Sandra A. Crossett, Ph.D.Secretary/Treasurer
St. Cloud, MN
Dr. Crossett has over 30 years of experience in public education throughout the Midwest, 11 of that as a special education teacher and over 20 as a school psychologist. During her career she has worked in eight districts across Minnesota and Wisconsin with a variety of cultures and economic settings. She is currently employed in the Osseo-Maple Grove Public School District (MNs 4th largest) and completed her third term as chairperson of the Districts Psychology Department, which consists of 17 Psychologists. Her areas of specialty in the school system involve multicultural and bias free assessment and program planning and consultation for children with autism and emotional disturbances. Recently she served on the state of Minnesotas Committee on Public Education that helped develop and author the new criteria for educational autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Crossett is also a licensed psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children and trauma and abuse victims. In addition, she is Administrative Director of Family Visions, Inc., a Twin City, non-profit Community-based agency that delivers professional counseling services directed toward family preservation and/or family reunification. Besides her work and service with the Diversity Foundation, she has also served on numerous other boards and committees involving human rights, mental health services, and groups promoting community change.