Lou Schoen is a consultant/writer/educator specializing in racial equity and multicultural reconciliation, following careers as a print and broadcast journalist, health agency field representative, corporate public relations executive, ecumenical social justice program director and seminary multicultural studies consultant/facilitator. He attended Augsburg College, Columbia University (as a CBS Foundation Fellow) and the University of Kansas, and has degrees from the University of Nebraska and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
His 21st Century consulting relationships have included:
The Episcopal Church, New York, NY(principal client, 2003-9); African Assistance Program (Minnesota African refugee/immigrant service initiative), Diversity Foundation, St. Cloud, MN (advocacy/organizing/film production). He is author of After Jubilee: Justice or Exile? - The Church in the Global Economy (Episcopal Parish Services, New York, NY, September, 2000), chapters in Ending Racism in the Church (Susan E. Davies & Sr. Paul Teresa Hennessee, S.A., eds., United Church Press, Cleveland, 1998) and Re-Membering and Re-Imagining (Nancy J. Berneking & Pamela Carter Joern, eds., The Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, 1995); articles in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Anglican Theological Review; and Racism in the USA: An Essay on Power and Identity (2005 updated through March 2010), used as a workshop handout and available at www.socialjusticeblog.com
As a volunteer, he coordinates the Anti-Racism Network for Episcopal Province VI (eight-state Upper Midwest/West); is a member of planning teams for the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative in the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis interfaith Discussions That Encounter, and the Minneapolis Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness; board member of the African Assistance Program and the Diversity Foundation, Clerk of Gethsemane Episcopal Church and a member of its Shelf of Hope Team; and is a member of the Minnesota Episcopal Multi-Cultural Ministries Network.
Peter Lengkeek Crow Creek Dakota Indian Reservation, Fort Thompson, South Dakota
Peter Lengkeek is an enrolled member of the Hunkpati Nation (Crow Creek Sioux Tribe) serving as a Dakota Cultural Advisor with our Diversity Foundation, when Exec director Lyle Rustad was invited out to film and document Crow Creek's 1st ever Dakota Memorial Ceremonies in 2002. These 2-day traumatic events were organized and sponsored by Dakota descendants, who's pre-european ancestors had been forcefully exiled to this POW Camp from Minnesota following the tragic US-Dakota War of 1862....Peter's ancestors were among the 1300 prisoners who suffered greatly over winter at Ft Snelling and shipped to this Crow Creek prison camp in 1863. A tragic part of American History, where many Tribal Members continue to suffer from Inter-generational effects of "Historic Trauma", where the majority continue to live and struggle under "nearly 3rd world" conditions. (See DF Promo @ www.diversityfoundation.org )
From 1992-98, Peter served with US Marine Corps during Desert Storm War and continues to serve as ranking member of the Hunkpati Oyate Warriors Lodge and since 2010 serving as Vice Commander of National American Indian Veteran's Association. Since his honorable discharge from USMC, Peter came back to the "Rez" and has devoted his life toward Improving the lives and conditions for his Crow Creek Dakota people. In 2010 Mr Lengkeek was elected and served on Crow Creek's Tribal Council, Treasurer of CC Tribal schools as well as board member of Lode Star Casino. Also from 2003-2010, he worked as Construction Supervisor of Tree of Life Ministries, an organization dedicated to Upkeep and Repairing of substandard homes on Reservations. Peter has also been one of the organizers of the Dakota 38 + 2 Riders and was their Eagle Staff Keeper for 4 years.
Most recently Lengkeek has been employed with Wiconi Wawokia, as Prevention Specialist with Project Safe Shelter for abused women and children. He is also a Project Coordinator of "Engaging Boys and Men to end Violence against Women" and since 2010, continues serving as board member of Hunkpati Suicide Prevention Task Force.
Peter was a past board member of CC Boys and Girls Clubs and continues to serve as Cultural Consultant with both Minnesota Historical Society and Dakota Wicohan at Lower Sioux, Mn. Over the years, Lengkeek is regularly invited to be Keynote speaker at various Regional and National Native American conferences with focus on "Healing from Historic Trauma"...
Our Diversity Foundation is very appreciative for Peter's many years of serving as a Dakota Cultural Advisor, with DF's Native American "Reconciliation and Outreach" Programs, At Present, Peter has agreed to help advise and serves on DF's Organization and Planning Committee for Crow Creek's new "Sustainable" Housing Village, (originally proposed and designed by Crow Creek's 99 year Vern Ashley and his architect son)....in an effort to address the inadequate and overcrowding housing crisis that has been Systematic at Crow Creek (since early 50's) after losing their homes and everything else, when US Govt stole and flooded their land in constructing the Big Bend Dam. When Mr Ashley returned from WWII, he was elected Crow Creek's 1st Tribal Chairman (46-54) testifying before Congress, where the Govt. repeatedly lied, promising to rebuild everything they lost.
DF and Peter remain committed to helping US Govt finally begin to make good on their broken promises, where "Vern's Vision For Hope" can be realized for Crow Creek's new "sustainable housing" village development, ("Righting Historic Wrongs") ..... See Vern's historic Interview clips at www.diversityfoundation.org
Betty Smith Rochester, MN
Betty Jean (Ives) Smith was born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota. She has been employed at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center for the past 25 years. She recently completed her two year college degree in Supervisory Management while working full time and attending night classes! She is currently pursuing her four year degree.
She first learned about the Diversity Foundation when she attended the 1st annual Winona Dakota Homecoming while she sat listening to the beautiful flute music played by Bryan Akipa during the Sunday service. Little did she know she was listening to one of her long lost cousin’s from Sisseton, South Dakota! The Winona-Dakota Homecoming was co-sponsored by the city of Winona and the Diversity Foundation.
Betty’s mother (Nora Jetty Ives) was born on the Spirit Lake Reservation in Devils Lake, North Dakota. She and many of her siblings were educated At St. Michael’s Little Flower School, Fort Totten Government Boarding School and Marty (SD) Indian boarding schools. Like so many Native American men had done, Nora and her sister, Sarah Jetty Hoven, left the “Rez” and joined the Navy during WWII, and worked in Washington, DC.
After her Mother’s death in 2001, Betty and her sisters (Shirley and Pam) began researching their family history. They realized their mom was never really proud to be Native American, due to her negative Indian boarding school experiences. They have since located and met many more relatives at the Sisseton-Wahpeton, South Dakota and Spirit Lake, North Dakota reservations. Betty discovered her great-great-great grandmother; Anna Jetty Williams Siyakka (Hunka) was a well-respected Dakota Sioux Indian princess who married a French Canadian fur trader prior to the Minnesota 1862 Dakota Uprising and Exile. Betty says “Without my Hunka’s determination to keep her children safe during and after the U.S.- Dakota War, we would not be alive today. She is my inspiration!”
Her family history blends both Norwegian and Native American heritage, so their upbringing is somewhat unique. Growing up in Rochester, they never really learned much about their Native American heritage. They now feel like sponges trying to soak up the rich history and culture missing from their childhood experiences. They have learned many things from their new-found relatives that were not part of their public school education in southern Minnesota. After beginning to learn the history of her ancestors and the autrocities that they endured, she is striving to help educate others and “helping bridge the gap” in her local communities.
After beginning to learn about the history of her ancestors and the attrocities they endured, she has joined the Diversity Foundation's board and is striving to help bring cultural awareness by "bridging the gap" in Rochester and South Eastern Minnesota. The Diversity Foundation appreciates Betty Smith in joining our efforts.
James B. Jensen
Attorney/ Small Business Owner (retired)
Bella Vista, Arkansas
After graduating with a BA degree from the University of Minnesota,
Mr. Jensen spent several years serving his country thru Volunteers in
Service to America (VISTA). His first assignment as a volunteer was to
an inner-city neighborhood in Houston, Texas where he worked along
with other VISTAs as a community organizer. With the help of the
neighborhood people they were successful in creating a community
center which provided many services for the neighborhood.
Jim was then asked to move to Albuquerque, New Mexico where as a Vista
Leader he supported the efforts of 48 volunteers in central New Mexico
who were working at a variety of projects including two Job Corps
camps, a migrant camp, the Acoma and Laguna Pueblos, three rural
community action agencies and several inner-city neighborhoods of
Albuquerque. From there, he was then asked to transfer to the VISTA
project in the Virgin Islands and was a resource for 41 volunteers
that were mostly involved in pre-school education and community
organizing. He also worked as a VISTA recruiter in northern California
and was on the national evaluating team out of Washington, D.C.
At the conclusion of that assignment, Mr. Jensen returned to school
and earned a J.D. degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St.
Paul. He has used that degree in a variety of ways from agricultural
and small business planning to working at the Minnesota State
Auditor’s Office. For Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, he
organized and staffed a Senior Citizen Legal Services program for a
six county area in southeastern Minnesota. For the Minnesota Board on
Aging, he completed the mandate to provide legal services for all
senior citizens in Minnesota. For XCEL (then NSP) he was an ombudsman.
Jim and his wife, Julie, recently retired after 9+ years as co-owners
and operators of the Wild Bird Center of St. Cloud. Prior to his small
business ownership, Jim worked over 12 years in product development in
the legal department at Wolters Kluwer.
Since moving to Bella Vista, Arkansas, Mr. Jensen spent three years as
a Stephen Minister with the Bella Vista Community Church and three
years as a board member—two years as treasurer—of the Unity Church of
Sgt. Singleton, after 25+ years of experience serving in the patrol, investigative and administrative divisions of the St. Paul Police Department retired and began work in Washington with Homeland Security. In addition to being one of the first African American females in Minnesota law enforcement, she was also selected to serve as one of first female field training officers for 10 of those years. Prior to graduating from the St. Paul Police Academy, Ms. Singleton received a scholarship to study communication at Macalester College. She has since completed the criminal justice program at the College of St. Thomas and is continuing to pursue her Education in Business Management at the University of Minnesota.
Active in church and community, Mamie is founder (1994) and director of the Youth Initiative Mentoring Academies (YIMA) which partners adult law enforcement and community mentors with at-risk youth in tutoring and aviation flight training; In addition, shes a founding member of the Ramsey County Community Sentencing Program, co-founder of the African American Breast Cancer Alliance of Minnesota; board member of the Minnesota Association of Black Physicians and of the American Cancer Society, Advisory Board president at the Free At Last Church of God in Christ and assistant to the St. Paul Central District missionary of her denomination. The St. Paul Urban League and Free at Last church honored her with their prestigious Community Service and Millennium Awards for outstanding service. Recently St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly presented Sgt. Singleton with the City's Karl Neid award for 2002, given annually to the City's top employee who does the most for the entire community through their off-duty public service.