ANTI-RACISM ACTIVISTS HONORED WITH 16TH ANNUAL FACING RACE AWARDS

By Jeanne Carpenter

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year’s Facing Race honorees will be celebrated during a 30-minute program at 7 p.m., Sunday, October 23, on TPT MN.

The Facing Race Awards honor the anti-racism activists working to eliminate racism and its effects in Minnesota.
Honorees are nominated by the community and receive grants to benefit Minnesota nonprofits of their choice.

“The work to eliminate racial discrimination is hard; as a community we must acknowledge and support those who have made standing up against racism a major focus of their life’s work,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., Foundation president and CEO. “This year’s Facing Race honorees are doing just that. Through grassroots activism and organizational leadership, they are exemplary in pushing for justice and equity in order to make
positive change in Minnesota. We are honored to celebrate their tireless contributions.”

Here are the 2022 award recipients:

Classie Dudley
President of Duluth NAACP, Executive Director of Community Action Duluth

In both of her roles, Dudley works to eliminate systemic racism and gender disparities in the community. Under
her leadership, the city of Duluth now commits $600,000 annually to implement a nonpunitive crisis response team that is separate from the Police Department. With her team, she’s also established Minnesota’s first ever Afro-Academic Cultural Technology Scientific Olympics and eliminated privatized healthcare in four Minnesota jails. And Classie is just getting started — she’s currently spearheading initiatives with the area’s top employers and Duluth Chamber of Commerce to recruit and retain BIPOC professionals.

Lulete Mola
Co-founder and President of the MN Black Collective Foundation

Lulete Mola is co-founder and president of the MN Black Collective Foundation, Minnesota’s first Black community foundation advancing the genius of Black-led change. She leads the Collective as it is building infrastructure, practicing creative and innovative resource disbursement, growing assets, and expanding Black philanthropic power to advance a new model of philanthropy. Previously, Mola served as Chief Strategy Officer at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN), focused on the advancement of women, girls,
and gender-expansive people at the intersection of gender and racial justice. At WFMN, Lulete led the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a $10 million visionary public-private partnership to achieve equity in opportunities and improve the lives of Black, Indigenous and young women of color.

Txongpao Lee
Executive Director of the Hmong Cultural Center

In his 20 years as executive director, Txongpao has exemplified the center’s mission to bring the Hmong and broader community together. In leading the Hmong 101 program, he has trained thousands, including government employees, corporations, schools, and other nonprofits. The US Department of Justice Community Relations has even adapted the program into a curriculum for anti-discrimination trainings throughout the Midwest. Most recently, after a public act of white supremacy-fueled vandalism, Txongpao’s courageous and steady leadership helped raise more than $30,000 to support the cleanup and security enhancements needed to move forward.

Angela Hooks
Founder and Executive Director of Black on Black Development and Entertainment, Inc.

As the Founder and Executive Director of Black on Black Development and Entertainment, Inc. Angela works to remove racial disparities in institutions, corporations and the justice
system. Her latest initiative, a Multi-Purpose Service Cultural Arts Cafe and Supper Club, will allow BIPOC entertainers, chefs, artists and the formerly incarcerated to showcase their talents and build consistent revenue. Hospitality and maintenance will also be offered as educational training, resulting in licenses and
certifications that lead to more jobs.

This year’s Facing Race honorees will be celebrated during a 30-minute program at 7 p.m., Sunday, October 23, on TPT MN. The program will be hosted by the Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Nadege Souvenir. She will be joined by Dr. Jolly and the honorees, who will share stories of their community activism and anti-racism work. The broadcast will also feature a performance by Ensō Daiko from TaikoArts Midwest, an organization promoting taiko drum performance as a way to strengthen and build community while recognizing the full diversity and depth of Asian arts and artists in Minnesota and the Midwest.

Watch the awards and learn more about the recipients at FacingRace.org.